I recently purchased a cape cod home with an older hot air/oil furnace and some missing ductwork. My husband and I have gotten two quotes so far for heating & cooling our cape which are completely different... we need some help understanding the plans. Our main concern is the AC, especially upstairs.
Our cape cod is 1,300 sf total with a full basement. Each room has one vent(4 rooms main level / 2 bedrooms upstairs). The first floor has a central return at the bottom of the stairs. There is hardly any wall space for new ductwork since we utilize the entire upstairs floor space. We have a ceiling fan in each of the bedrooms (2) upstairs.
Plan A. Install a new hot air furnace with a strong fan & central AC. Add return ducts in each room on the 1st floor (4 total) and install one central return duct on the second floor in the hallway between the bedrooms utilizing the small closet in the bathroom. I am told that this plan is not perfect, and we'll still have a temperature change from downstairs to upstairs, but that "running the fan" all the time on the furnace will help circulate the air.
Plan B. Install a new boiler & central AC for the downstairs. Do not add returns in each room, the central return is enough. Add AC wall units in each of the bedrooms upstairs.
With Plan A, I am unsure that the 2nd floor will receive enough cooling. With Plan B, I am unsure that return ducts aren't required throughout the house.
Any thoughts? Thanks for your reply.