HP or no HP??
I have met several contractors that seem to be honest and knowledgable, however, I am getting recommendations all over the map.
I am upgrading a funace/Ac system. Home is 20 years old, approx 2800 sqft, 2 story home with a partially finished basement. In SE PA. (let me know if any additional detail would be beneficial.)
Really having trouble deciding which guidance to follow ~15 seer AC/HP with ~80 efficiency or ~14/15 seer AC with 90+ efficiency furnace.
Will the upgrades be most worthwile ( 2 stage burner, VS fan, etc) . on the AC/HP or Furnace side?
Any reservations with either Comfortmaker or Westinghouse?
With a budget of approx 8K, which setup is likely to be the better for this area.
Would very much welcome some thoughts on the subject
Short answer: say yes to hp
A heat pump is one of the best ways to save money on your energy bill. Whether you use a 80 or 90% could vary with fuel cost and installation. The thing I would suggest is to get the variable speed blower in your indoor unit, they give you much warmer air and sooner in the cycle than the standard blowers. Don't get too into the SEER numbers, remember that these are only the efficiency ratings for the COOLING cycle, not how it will work during heating. For that you need to look at the HSPF numbers. Sometimes a unit with good cooling numbers will not heat as well as a unit with a lower SEER rating. If you spend more months of the year in the heating mode, look at the heating efficiency numbers. We have several installations with the high end furnace(to get the VS blower) matched with a simple 13 SEER heat pump and we're getting very good feedback from those customers. Check into using a variable speed electric furnace as your auxiliary heat source to your heat pump, they can sometimes offer a less expensive installation and less lifetime maintainence.
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I agree on a heat pump. I would go with a 410a unit because it would be more efficient in the colder temps.
Everyone on this site has a preference for equipment (I like carrier, particularly the infinity system)
I'm in South Lancaster County in a 250+ yr old renovated farmhouse with an oil furnace. I just added a little 1-1/2 ton heat pump to the oil furnace and have yet to need the furnace to maintain 72º.
I recommend at least 95% efficiency with a variable speed blower and a 14 SEER heat pump. This will give you efficient comfort with dehumidification capabilities for those mild temperature humid PA days. You will also be eligible for a $200 tax credit for the furnace and depending on which heat pump you go with you could be eligible for an additional $300 tax credit for the cooling application (needs to be 15 SEER. Some 14 SEER heat pumps are rated at 15 SEER when used with variable speed indoor units.)
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In PECO land,we have gone out and replaced NEW a/c with heat pumps to get the RH rate,it is cheaper to operate the heat pump than the FURNACE!A heat pump makes heat,a furnace takes something burns it to make heat,so it will never be efficent as a heat pump.I would use 80 2 stage variable with heat pump,if you go with heat pump the back up is only used below 35 degrees plus or minus.Did we come out to your home??
It's NOT the BRAND,it's the company that installs it!!!!!