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  1. #1
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    Question GAS vs ELECTRIC central air systems

    Hi, Folks,

    We are in the middle of building our new home and would like to get your opinion on GAS vs ELECTRIC central air systems.

    Primarily, we are deciding based on the factors of operational cost and maintainence cost.

    Please feel free to give your opinion...

    Thank you.

  2. #2
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    I am assuming that you are talking about heat? If you are building from scratch, a geothermal heat pump would be the best thing that you can get. It will save you the most over the long run, and if you will be tearing up the earth anyways, the cost shouldn't be much more than a conventional system.

  3. #3
    timebuilder's Avatar
    timebuilder is offline AOP Committee/Professional Member*
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    Quote Originally Posted by oodssoo View Post
    Hi, Folks,

    We are in the middle of building our new home and would like to get your opinion on GAS vs ELECTRIC central air systems.

    Primarily, we are deciding based on the factors of operational cost and maintainence cost.

    Please feel free to give your opinion...

    Thank you.
    My friend Julie had a home built in 1973. The central air was an Arkla Servel gas fired "absorber" system. They are essentially a "mini gas-fired chiller." I'm not sure of how such a unit stacks up in terms of operating cost, but I CAN tell you that the thing still ran, as installed, until last year.

    I'm not sure what is available today, or if such units are still made to be so durable.
    [Avatar photo from a Florida training accident. Everyone walked away.]
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  4. #4
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    Jun 2012
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    Atlanta, Georgia
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    Any others?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    Atlanta, Georgia
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    GAS or ELECTRIC

    Folks,

    We are currently in the planning to build our future home. It will be about 3500 s/f and 2 stories total, and will definitely be 2 units. Also, we are in the state of Georgia.

    Just on the "basics" of HVAC, I would like to solicit your opinion on the following. Please keep in mind the decision will be made on the basis of maintenance, operational cost, and reliability.

    So the question is: Would you choose Gas or Electric?

    Thank you in advance.

    oodssoo

  6. #6
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    May 2012
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    San Diego, CA
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    I am assuming, by electric you mean a heat pump. Try to avoid electric resistance heating.

    I personally like the gas furnace. Geothermal may be a solution instead of the conventional systems.. but if you are going conventional I would recommend gas since it is common, not that expensive, and you don't have to worry about high electric bills from your aux. electric heaters when outside temperatures drop to 22 F there (based on ASHRAE design temperatures).
    You can call me Sam

    It should be a crime to be a mechanical engineer in San Diego
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  7. #7
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    East tx
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    Gas, gas, gas

  8. #8
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    Philadelphia PA
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    Why make a decision?

    How about a warm air furnace (gas) with a heat pump for the "AC" side?
    This hybrid will allow you to figure out which source of het is least expensive and therefore give you the chance to decide as the rates change.

    With the relatively low heating degree days in Atlanta, how about a simple 80% furnace. I don't think the extra first or higher repair cost will be cost justified with the heat pump option. You need a real contractor price for the complete job to see if this is true.
    Nice thing is the gas will be emergency heat if the heat pump take a dump on Christmas eve
    You have got to learn from other people's mistakes! Because God knows you don't live long enough to make them all yourself !!!!!!!!

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Moore, Oklahoma, United States
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    If you have gas available I normally don't see the reason to use a heat pump. Use local pricing to determine what is most economical for you, don't forget any "base charge" assessed by the gas company.

  10. #10
    Chris_Worthington's Avatar
    Chris_Worthington is offline Controls Committee & Global Moderator
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    Thread relocated to "AOP"


  11. #11
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    May 2000
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    Indianapolis, IN, USA
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    Unless gas is free or extremely cheap, a gas fired chiller will be expensive to run. In most cases, very expensive. It will be expensive to buy and hard to find people to work on it.

    The hybrid heat idea is likely the best one.

  12. #12
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    Jun 2012
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    Atlanta, Georgia
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    So, based on the feedbacks, I think Gas it the way to go.

    It appears that Gas setup is just as equal to maintain as the Electric (Heat Pump) setup.

    Can someone give an example of how the hybrid setup would work?

    Thanks again!

  13. #13
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