So I have had all the locals out to give me advice and proposals. They all agreed on some bigger points which helped.
Based on referals and reputation I picked the installer. Their main brand is Carrier.
Background: 3400 sf, 2 story home near Philly, PA built in 1998. System was put in by builder: bryant. No major issues yet however outside unit is making some noises (clunking when turning off and on)
Current gas furnace is 90%
Looking at 3 options:
single stage 59SP5 furnace (96.5%)
2 stage 24ACB AC (16seer)
two stage 59tp5 furnace (still 96.5%)
2 stage 24ACB AC
a few hundred more $
two stage 59TP5 furnace
25HNB6 heat pump (up to 17.2seer)
about 12% more $
My head is spinning... I think they all seem fine.
Carrier has a great computer program that will show you the exact operating cost of each system (for your area) so you can make an informed choice.
Originally Posted by gtstricky
If you do not already have a high efficiency air cleaner, make sure they offer the "E-Z Flex" hi-eff. filter that come standard with the furnaces.
Also ask about the Infinity control (thermostat).
P.S. The home is large, if the sq. ft. are accurate, so the equipment (A/C or H/P) is
(over 3 ton)? If so, have them put the furnace on a box and take the air in the bottom and side. Good luck.
I see no provision in those furnaces for a 2 stage A/C. Carrier doesn't intend the non variable speed product to properly control the blower for the 2 stage cooling or heat pump unit. A dealer could jury rig something I suppose but it isn't what the engineers had in mind.
On the other hand, in a northern climate with a mild cooling season, there likely is NO economic payback to go above a 14 SEER single stage unit. You are likely paying a $$$$ premium to save low $$. But your money, just know the truth about high SEER and low cooling needs. Good for the salesman's commission, not the practical homeowner.
We average about 1100 cooling degree days. That is mild correct?
That would be mild!
Doing a calc for that area and size using a healthy 12 cents per kwh, I find about a $50 savings for 16 SEER over 14 SEER. Reduce if your rates are less.
Most 13 SEER basic units get 14 SEER with an ECM blower like the furnaces you are looking at.
If you decide you want a 2 stage. Get it for comfort, it won't really save you what it cost to upgrade to it. But you want a VS blower to get the comfort it is capable of giving you.
Thanks. I think I will go with a lower seer rating than. Great info. Appreciate it.