Though Phoenix is known for its oppressive summer heat, winter can see a dip in temperatures sufficient to chill even northerners, and mandates some form of residential heating for basic comfort levels. That said, few Phoenix homeowners feel like shelling out several thousands of dollars for high-end heating solutions, and justifiably so. You can probably save just as much money, over a year's time, but putting that extra money toward replacement windows, better insulation, or any number of eco-friendly home improvements. At the same time, you'll still need a unit with adequate heating capacity, up-to-date safety features, and one that is generally reliable.
Phoenix Gas Furnaces: Replacement Benefits
For these practical reasons alone, it may be time to think about a new gas furnace. Phoenix is certainly not the largest market in the country for heavy-duty heating power, but even if it's only used sparingly, an older furnace can be raising your utility bills far more than you think. Regardless of your manufacturer of choice or the model you choose, nearly any new furnace will be far more efficient than the guzzler installed two decades ago. When searching for a gas furnace in Phoenix, it's a good idea to seek out a professional contractor first. A little local knowledge of how different furnaces perform in the unique climate of the American Southwest can along way toward finding a furnace that you can depend on without spending an arm and a leg. Plus, you may have trouble finding the information you need from manufacturers' or even consumer reports that are rarely tailored for heating performance in Phoenix.
The Cost of Phoenix Gas Furnace Repair and Installation
While the national average for gas furnace installation runs just more than $5,000, unless you have a larger home, chances are you won't need to spend quite this much. At the same time, just to show you how much the state of the local economy plays into home improvement decisions, a rough average of $3,500 for a new gas furnace is the same in Phoenix as it is in Detroit, where homeowners may be forced to sacrifice a high-end, energy-efficient installation to manage the initial cost. At the same time, labor costs may vary in a place like Phoenix where some contractors may attempt to charge premium rates to unsuspecting homeowners.
Gas furnace repairs in Phoenix can be an even trickier situation. On the one hand, older units tend to break down often and can be woefully outdated, but, at the same time, if you only run your furnace one or two months a year, a repair may extend the life of your furnace several more years. The exact cost and nature of the repair, the year and model of your unit, and your current financial situation can influence this decision, which is often far from clear. Again, talking to a local Phoenix contractor can help.
Alternative Home Heating in Phoenix, AZ: Heat Pumps, Solar, & Geothermal
Just as swamp coolers are a better choice in the southwest than they might be in other parts of the country, there are region-specific alternative home heating options that are perfect for Phoenix. Heat pumps are probably the most popular example of this.
In Phoenix, heat pumps are generally a more efficient choice than both standard furnaces and traditional air conditioning systems. Since you get both heating and cooling capabilities with a heat pump, Phoenix homeowners literally get the best of both worlds from a single, energy-efficient unit! Residents of colder climates are often advised to use a separate heating system because, though heat pumps provide sufficient warmth in milder areas, they lack the powerful heating capabilities that extremely cold temperatures demand. However, a Phoenix heat pump is rarely (nearly never, in fact) put to the kind of challenge a Montana or New England winter presents every year.
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For the eco-friendly homeowner in Phoenix, AZ, geothermal heat pumps are the best thing going. While their initial installation can be cost-prohibitive for those on a budget, the long-term durability, savings, and energy-efficiency of these units makes a lot of sense for those who can afford them. When considering an upgrade to a geothermal heat pump, Phoenix residents should make sure to do their homework. Government and local incentives for "green" home improvements are becoming more common, and qualifying for them can significantly reduce the blow of your initial investment.
Another heating alternative to consider in Phoenix is electric heat powered by solar panels. Again, the initial expense of solar panel installation can be too much for some homeowners to bear, but when you consider the long-term savings and the good you'll be doing for the environment, this option is at least worth some serious thought.
Phoenix HVAC Contractors
Despite the lesser needs of residential heating for Phoenix homes, you can still find plenty of contractors. HVAC contractors work year round to install, repair, and maintain your home's comfort level. This is far from universally true, but it's possible that the same contractor who takes a look at your air conditioning in the spring can look at your furnace or heat pump in the fall. ServiceMagic, through our rigorous 10-step screening process, will put you in touch with only reliable, competent contractors. To take full advantage of our service, be sure to check out our online ratings and reviews section to see what other Phoenix homeowners had to say about specific contractors before making a final hiring decision.