Does anyone have opinions on pros and cons of natural gas for a residential HVAC application? With natural gas costs so low during summer months, the main advantage I see to going with natural gas is that you can get very high utilization rates while still significantly saving on operating costs. With a residential electric unit, the family might have to endure a set point of 80 degrees or higher just to keep their utility bill under $500/month. With a natural gas unit, you don't have to fight peak hour summer rates on electricity and with natural gas prices lower during summer months you can probably crank down the set point on the HVAC and still have a relatively modest utility bill.
Some questions I have regarding natural gas HVAC:
1) I understand the natural gas HVAC units will be more expensive, but what are costs on comparable electric and gas units?
2) How much efficiency do you lose with natural gas?
3) I read on several sites that natural gas HVAC provides much better solutions for multiple zones within a residence. Can someone explain why this is so?
4) Since gas HVAC units often employ chillers, one question I have is whether anyone has come up with a residential unit that would store a chiller underground, so you would minimize heat loss during the heat of the day? I guess you could design such a unit to be incredibly efficient since even a few feet underground the chiller could maintain quite cool temperatures with minimum energy expended.
5) Does anyone make a gas unit that would do both heating and cooling together and would still fit into a residential application?
6) What are the recommended brands for gas HVAC?