I have read many of the posts on this board and I have found them very interesting. I live in State College, PA and purchased a renovated 1950 home in the historic district. The previous owner did many great modifications but AC/Heat was not included. The AC/Heat is too small for the current size of the house. In the fall, I replaced the old Kenmore gas hydronics system with a 200,000 BTU Buderus Logamax wall mounted unit and the continuous hot water. I also installed new baseboards and zoned the house (three zones). I am now looking at replacing the new AC and solid HVAC firms in the area are limited. I had three contractors come in and give me quotes. Two did load calculations and one did not so I am now down to two. The two solutions presented include the addition of returns in the three bedrooms since only one return in the house was installed. This will bring the total returns up to four. Below are the details of the two solutions:
1) A Carrier 13 SEER (3.5 Ton Puron 24APA342A003) condenser and a Carrier variable speed Puron air handler (FV4BNF005)
2) A TRANE 14 SEER (3.5 Ton R410A XL14i) condenser with a TRANE variable speed R410A air handler (I have not received the written proposal but it is either the compact version (4TFE) or the full (TWE)).
Here are my questions:
1) It seems that the quality between the two is about the same from the comments on the board and that the skills of the HVAC contractor are the most important. Is this correct?
2) The warranty on the TRANE is better than the Carrier (10/10 vs. 10/5) so how much should this shape the decision?
3) Does anyone have any comments on the sound insulation between the two condenser units?
4) Any other comments or concerns are welcome!