I have a 20-year old 2.5 ton GE Wethertron heat pump that I am finally going to replace. I live in Sacramento and have a challenge with the way my house is built with high vaulted ceilings. I already received 2 quotes with another 2 on the way. I am having a very difficult time figuring out which contractor to believe and who offered me the best matched unit for my house. I have kept it less complicated by only looking at one brand, Carrier.
I live in the Sacramento,CA area and have a 1500 sq ft house. Half the house, the 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms have normal ceilings. The other half composed of one huge great room that has the living area with fireplace, dinning area and kitchen. This half has high volted ceilings with only three vent registers. The other side doesn't have any registers because of the high ceilings. Thus the bedrooms get nicely heated, but I am always cold in the living area. I get cold very easily and can't tolerate the cold. So the heating part is very important to me. I believe I already have 8 inch ducts. Below is what the contractors proposed:
Contractor A is an authorized Carrier dealer with NATE certification. He walked thru the house, listened to my problems and said that I need to replace all my ducts and that this is better for these new Carrier systems otherwise it would shorten their lifecycle. He is going to re-design the airflow into the living area and install new supply outlets to blow the air more distance into the room to cover the areas that don't have vents. He was also going to install a small air return in the master bedroom. He gave the following three options:
a) Carrier two stage 2 ton condenser 25HNA924, with 3 ton airflow fan coil FE4ANF003 and Infinity night set back thermostat. 18.3 SEER,13.5 EER,8.5 HSPF. Installing 9 inch ducts, (no mention of any heat strip)
b)Carrier Performance one stage 2.5 ton condensor 25HPA430, with 4 ton airflow fan coil FE4ANF005, standard night set back thermostat. 15.5 SEER, 12EER, 9HSPF. Installing 9 inch ducts,(no mention of any heat strip) .
c) Carrier Infinity two stage 3 ton condensor 25HNA936, with 5 ton airflow fan coil FE4ANB006, Infinity Night Set Back thermostat. 18.2 SEER, 13.5 EER, 9.5 HSPF. Installing 10 inch ducts, (no mention of any heat strip) .
He was pushing me towards option c) saying that I would be the most comfortable with that for my house. Do I really need new ducts??
Contractor B is also an authorized Carrier dealer with NATE certifcations. He also just walked through the house and said I didn't need to go to new ducts. They would repair anything that needed repairing and sealing. He also said I didn't need a second air return if I am comfortable in the bedrooms. He is going to enlarge one of the supply vents openings in the great room with new duct to 8 inches to blow more air horizontally to reach the other side of the great room and replace the 3 great room vent registers. Alter return duct system, size to optimize manufacturers cubic foot per minute w/grill. He mailed me the one option below:
Carrier Infinity "S" two-speed 3 ton condensor 25HNA936A003, Infinity variable speed fan coil FE4ANF003, Carrier backup heat strip 5 KW # KFCEH0501N05, and Infinity TrueSense digital thermostat. 17.2 SEER, 12.6 EER and 8.9 HSPF.
I still have two more quotes coming in from 2 contractors that are Carrier Dealers but not NATE.
Please any advise on need of changing ducts, the above equipment, sizing of equipment for my situation, etc would be very much appreciated.
Also is it better to have scroll compressor vs reciprocating.
Is the 5 KW heat strip big enough
Should the fan coil be more in tonnage than the condensor?
Is it important to have a contractor that is authozied Carrier dealer with NATE? or any Carrier dealer will do?
Sorry for such a long note. But this is such an expensive investment and I don't want to wind up with the wrong system. Please hellllllllllllllllllp.