My home warranty company sent a company out to diagnosis my upstairs Lennox 4-ton gas heat pump unit. Quick diagnosis showed no freon and leak estimated from the coil. The insurance company states that to repair I will have to pay upgrade fees associated with bringing the system up to new code (different drain overflow pan, disposal fee, city permit, parts for up to code). This is my first option that repairs the problem the least expensive way.
The technician advised me of other options to change the coil and condenser and keep the Lennox gas furnace but I would only be able to go up to 14SEER unit single stage because of the furnace. This would convert me from R-22 to R-410a. This is the second option that saves me from making a full system replacement.
I could also replace the entire unit with an Amana 16SEER two-stage unit with 95%?? Furnace. This is the third option that has a tax credit, better financing options but also the most expensive and major replacement.
I brought out a different HVAC company for second opinion that diagnosed my problem as the coil as well. They have given me a Trane 16SEER quote.
(1) There was no pressure test done by either company. Should I pay for a pressure test or something to make sure it's really the coil? Could there be something easily welded and expensive R-22 added?
(2) Should I save money and simply replace the coil and postpone doing this major replacement? I would use my awful America Home Shield warranty and pay that ridiculous up to code fee.
(3) Should I keep the old Lennox furnace that hasn't given me one problem since building the home in 1999 and do a coil/condenser replacement that matches this furnace?
(4) Replacing the entire unit is even more difficult. The warranty company offered their AC company a larger buyout amount than they offered directly to me, so going with them I can get a 16SEER Amana unit. If I get my unit replaced by another company the insurance gives me a significantly less buyout amount. The other company quoted a Trane unit. If I replace the full unit, do I go the cheaper warranty route with the Amana, which my research shows is simply a Goodman that used to not have good reviews or go with the better brand Trane? The Amana has a lifetime compressor warranty versus 12-year on the Trane.
Ideally, I want the Trane with the insurance company's buyout to their company. Is there a way to have America Home Shield use another company?
As you can see, I need a lot of advice!
Thanks so much,