I am getting a new A/C unit, Coil and Furnace installed this Thursday. Originally, I was going with the Single Stage 16 SEER model because of cost, But the more I read the more I wonder if it's worth the extra money to bump up to a two-stage model.
House is 2,336 sq ft (plus finished basement)
Current A/C is a 4 ton, builder grade house built in 2000, so likely a very low SEER, maybe 10 or less??
We do have uneneven temps in 2 upper bedrooms as well as morning room in kitchen (south facing with big windows)
We live in MD, so hot/humid in summer, and can be pretty cold in winter
Bryant Preferred System
A/C Model 126B, 16 SEER (actual model is 126BNA048) **Note, the contractor did some calculations yesterday and feels that we probably should get a 3.5 ton instead of 4 ton
Furnace - Plus 80x Model 313 (actual model is 313AAV048090)
Bryant Evolution System
A/C Model 187B, 16-17.5 SEER (actual model is 187BNA048) Note: Contractor said we'd stick with 4 ton for this system
Furnace - Plus 80v Model 315 (actual model is 315AAV048090)
Cost - The cost of the two-stage model is $1,100 more than the single stage unit
1. Is there an actual efficiency/energy savings that results in cost savings by going with the two-stage vs. single-stage?
For example, will I get my $1,100 back in savings in 5 or 10 years (or less?) by going with the two-stage model?
2. Or is the only benefit, simply a better comfort level with the 2-stage, but no cost savings?
Ultimately, I'm trying to justify the $1,100 cost increase with the 2-stage over single-stage systems...
I've read several postings and the information doesn't seem clear as to the accurate answer to this, so any help is Greatly appreciated!!