I am getting estimates on replacing my 9 yr old 10 SEER York heat pump system. York, Trane and Lennox contractors have provided me estimates on 17 SEER heat pumps. The pricing on the heat pumps and air handlers are very close, what differentiates the estimates are the humidifier and air filter options. And I am no expert in these areas. Can someone help me with these questions?
1) For a heat pump system, is a steam humidifier required? Can an evaporative humidifier work with a heat pump?
2) Each salesman seemed to have a different opinion on the usefulness of air cleaner systems. Compared to just the 1 inch furnace filters - does the HEPA filter system really clean the air much more (worth the hundreds more in cost)? No one in the household has allergy issues, but we have cats and some visitors have allergies. Will having a HEPA system be good for the heat pump air handler?
3) One air return in an upstairs room - furtherest from the air handler in duct-distance - performs poorly; the room is hotter than all others. Is it reasonable to expect the new installer to fix that existing problem as part of the new installation? In the two stage speed process - will this air return do even worse than before?
Thanks for the help.