Our home AC has been unsatisfactory for about 5 years now. It is not uncommon to have 80 degrees in the house on a typical 92 degree day with the unit running all day long. Anyway, this year we have decided to get a new unit. I have had a heat calc professionally done and have gotten 3 professional estimates. They all agree that our AC is undersized, not to mention, it is 12 years old.
Each guy is pushing his companies equipment, Carrier, Amana, Trane. Are the big names really better? Amana guy told me that there are only two manufacturers of compressors anyway, so no matter what name is on the case, its the same inside. True?
Refrigerant - Carrier is pushing R410, other guys say R22 will be around for the next 10-15 years and by then I will need a new system anyway. R410 is higher pressure making leaks more prevalent, more expensive, and fairly new so there are still some kinks in the systems. True?
Dual fuel - We have a split unit w/ gas heat. Gas furnace is in great shape and capable of handling the bigger AC unit. Some guys are pushing heat pump/gas in a dual fuel setup to supposedly save me money in winter. I'm in Chattanooga TN where our winters aren't very cold anyway. Do I just replace AC or do I want to get into all of this fuel pump, dual fuel stuff?
The decision is made to get a new unit, Im just getting confused by each guy telling me that the other guys stuff is not as good as his, refrigerant, heat pump, etc. Anyway, thanks for any advice you guys can give me.