We live in New England (RI) in a single level ranch house that is almost 50 years old. Outside dimensions are 50' x 26‘. We added attic insulation and replaced all windows last year. We have hot water baseboard heating and are looking to install a new central AC system: vents and air handler in the attic, ceiling diffusers, one zone thermostat, and single return in the main hallway.
We received multiple estimates from three HVAC contactors. All contractors measured every room and mentioned that they would do a Manual J calculation. There are many options and we hope to get some of our questions (listed below these options) answered on this forum in order to help us select a system.
Contractor 1: American Standard equipment
Gold Series XM air handler 2.5 ton
Gold Series SI Allegiance 13 SEER condenser 2.5 ton
Upgrade air handler only to:
Platinum Series XV variable speed air handler 2..5 ton
Upgrade both air handler and condenser to:
Platinum Series XV variable speed air handler 2.5 ton
Gold Series XI Allegiance 15 SEER condenser 2.5 ton
Contractor 2: Lennox equipment
Elite Series XC 13 SEER condenser 2.5 ton
Elite Series CBX27UH air handler 2.5 ton
Contractor 3: Carrier equipment
This contractor gave 7 options (good “Comfort Series”, better “Performance Series”, best “Infinity Series”), but I’ve listed only the Infinity Series option.
Infinity Series 16 SEER condenser single stage 2.5 ton
Infinity Series variable speed air handler 2.5 ton
Infinity Series 17 SEER condenser two-stage 2 ton
Infinity Series variable speed air handler 2 ton
Infinity Series 17 SEER condenser two-stage 3 ton
Infinity Series variable speed air handler 3 ton
(2.5 ton two-stage is not available)
Do we need a high efficiency system with 2-stage condenser and variable speed handler?
Summers in New England although relatively short, can have multiple hot and humid days.
All three contractors agree that our house is at the upper limit of a 2.5 ton system.
The house is covered by a lot of shade from trees, and we might cut many of these down in the future.
One of these contractors recommends against a diffuser in the bathroom (11’ x 5’), but the other guys would put a small one there. The bathroom already has a new exhaust fan in the ceiling, with a timer. We’re leaning towards omitting it. What do you think? Thank you!