The wife and I decided to replace our Comfortmaker furnace AC system from 1987, and have two different bids - 1 for carrier (TP5) and 1 for Lennox (EL296V)
Honestly, we just wanted to replace the system with the cheapest/least efficient (80) unit so that when we go to sell the house in (5+ years??? maybe more) we wouldn't get dinged by people saying the equipment was too old. But after looking around, we're not sure if that's the best idea.
Both the bids are for 96 efficiency units, but the differences come with the blower motors. One is an ECM and the other is a variable speed. It's my understanding that the Carrier ECM has several "stages" but isn't a true variable speed.
All other things being equal, are we wrong to go with the cheaper Carrier? The Lennox guy told us that you wont see much of a benefit to going with a high efficiency unit without a variable speed motor because they don't reach peak efficiency until about 6-8 min into their cycle, and ours currently runs for about 4 min, and a unit without a variable speed would do the same thing.
We live in a split level (1600-1700 sqft.), and the basement is always several degrees colder, and we were under the impression that a variable speed that runs more often would help even that difference out, but the Carrier guy told us that the one he has in the bid (TP5) would do that just fine, and that we'd be wasting our money going with the other model because it would require an infinity control unit. We have a Nest we haven't installed yet, so I'm not sure why I would have to buy his more expensive unit.....
We're just not sure which model is going to do what we want it to do... the cost difference between the two bids is around $$$, and at $$$ already, that extra expense for the Lennox unit isn't looking good.
So is the variable speed worth it when we're not even sure we're going to be in the house for much longer than 5-7 years?
Any thoughts or input would be greatly appreciated.