Help navigating central AC quotes
Current System: A 15+ year old 3.5 ton unit with a SEER 8 rating - ducts appear to be uninsulated and run through the attic. Simple setup with a 50' main supply duct that runs a straight line down the middle of the house and 10 smaller ducts running from it to vents. Home is a ranch style house with 2500 sq ft. Located in southern CT. Current system is obviously inefficient and needs to run 100% of the time during hot weather but does cool and dehumidify well.
Trane outdoor AC unit
Condenser leveling pad
Trane Hyperion indoor air handler
Watertight safety drain pan and platform
Scope of work:
Remove current air handler and condensing unit and discard per EPA requirments
Place new air handler in attic with water tight pan/wood platform
Wrap existing supply and return distribution system with R8 duct wrap
Install new R8 flexible duct from existing distribution line to ceiling registers
Place outdoor condensing unit on a approved pad
Replace refrigeration piping/electrical wiring
Complete drain piping.
1. XB 14 SEER OPTION - $X
Indoor unit: GAM5A0C42M31
Outdoor unit: 4TTB4042E1
Combined SEER = 15
2. Xli 15 SEER OPTION - $X
Indoor unit: AM7A0C48H41
Outdoor unit: 4TTX5042A1
Combined SEER = 16
3. Xli 16 SEER OPTION - $X
Indoor unit: AM7A0C48H41
Outdoor unit: 4TTX6048G1
Combined SEER = 17
Honestly all of these quotes seems really high. There's nothing particularly difficult about this change out. Guy is claiming it will take two guys 4 days to complete for EIGHT man days and that this is where the majority of the cost is occurred. Guy was pushing option number 2. Honestly I know very little about HVAC.
Another guy came in and said he wanted to install a 4ton Rheem with a SEER 13 rating. Project would include changing air handler, AC, and lines.
Interestingly he said the main supply duct was internally insulated and he was just going to wrap that duct without disassembling it and replace the smaller feeder ducts with new insulated flexible ducts.
His cost for the job $X
My concerns: He said 2 days maximum. He is the only one to mention the "internally insulated duct". Is Rheem a lesser brand? I'm assuming if wants to use a SEER 13 system he's scrapping the bottom of the quality barrel? I was referred by my neighbor and they are perfectly happy but I've called some of their "guys" in the past and they definitely value $ over quality. Should I be afraid of this quote??
I only put the $ amount because they are drastically different but the work isn't apples to apples. Any thoughts or opinions would be appreciated.