Thanks for your inputs, and Sorry about $$$
First I would like to say I appologize about the $ question, I did say in my original post that exact numbers were not what I was looking for, I'd just was wondering if the delta between systems could be so much!
The house system is a 5 ton HP with gas secondary, 12 seer trane with variable speed, the house upper level is a 14 seer split 2.5 ton system with the variable speed air handler. The recording studio above the garage has a total space of aboout 1,000 sq ft, there are 3 rooms which are the control room, tracking room and a small lounge area. I think they are looking at the 2 ton system for this room, this is the second studio we have built and I know that the ducting system is important, and the use of large supply and returns.
We are in the Middle Tennessee Valley (MTEC) area and I think our cost is about 6 cents - 6.5 cents per kw therm. The house is about 3900 sq ft, 2600 sq ft 1st floor, 1300 sq ft 2nd floor. We are upgrading the insullation, using 5/8" dry wall vs 1/2 inch, were using wood clad insulated windows with Low E and argon (sun or pella windows and doors). Actually, I have tried to get the contractors and even the electric company to calc out the house and studio but no one seems to provide me that information. The studio probably will be used only about 3 days a week, so the main use is the house. The current house were in is 2300 sq ft, it has a 12 seer 5 ton, hp/gas and our bills have averaged about $100 per month with our usuage so I kind of just guessed on the $200 per month costing.
Again, thanks for the response, Im not looking for a quote, I was just wondering if for the equiptment only would the difference between the 10 seer contractor model and the higher efficency units be that much of an increase in a percentage range and will by going to the higher units will I see a payback in my life time? I am not trying to get firm quotes just if the delta between the units seem out of line or not.. this is because of the equiptment upgrade only, and I was told it is irrespecive of the duct work.
So, I hope that better defines what I am looking for.
Thanks again, Dave
Sizing comment, thanks, I"l look in to it.
Thanks for the info on the sizing, I am just going by what the two contractors are bidding, both have said they have done the load calcs and have come up with the same sizes. The house is a raised foundation, very large rooms, 2x4 construction with rock and brick exterior, I am using R13 in the walls (May go to celulose) and R38 in the attic area. Windows are all Sun or Pella top of the line energy efficient wood/clad windows. I am confident in the builder who builds a good tight house, he is the one who suggested which HVAC guys to get bids from.
One of the contractors went to the Trane 1200 package unit at 5 tons because he said that unit is a variable speed unit.
It's been 14 years since we built our last home, lots have changed in the industry since then as has the prices for sure. Both contractors have said all units are 10 year parts and labor warranties.
Based on 6.5 cents per KWtherm anyone have an idea on energy costs to run these things?