We need to replace our 13 years old packaged unit. We live in North California.
I know that packaged units are limited to 80% efficiency, and for that reason I was planning to get a split system with ~95% efficiency.
But my contractor tells me that with a good 2-stage, variable-speed packaged unit, the difference in operating cost due to the 80 vs 95% efficiency difference becomes minimal. He says that since the system will run at reduced speed most of the time, the split system would not really save me an additional 15% in operating cost.
On the other hand, he says that since we already have a packaged unit, simply replacing the packaged unit would result in ~ in installation cost, compared to installing the split system.
What do you think? Is his efficiency vs operating cost argument correct?
I still prefer the look on a split system, but if this means more and if we don't have a substantial operating cost reduction, then we may stick with a packaged unit.
Thanks in advance for your help!