Hi. I am new to HVAC-Talk and have a ton of questions, but I will start with our situation. We are looking into replacing our downstairs system (2250 sq ft 2-story house, gas/AC down, HP up). We have a 1995 Tempstar 2-ton AC unit and a 1995 ICP/Tempstar 80% furnace (75,00 btu's, I think, yes, it is oversized) downstairs (installed in the crawl space, which is more of a walk-space). We have lived in the house for 2 years (30 yo house) and have discovered that our home inspector missed the recalled flue pipe. We have contacted CAP and can either have the flue pipe replaced with the correct pipe and a power venter or get a rebate on a new high eff. gas furnace as long it is an ICP (Tempstar, Comfortmaker, Heil, etc). Since we have also had to have our AC recharged because of low freon this season, we are thinking that it may be time for a new AC and Furnace. With the age of the units, we are not sure that it is worth repairing. My husband is all for replacing, but I am on the fence. To add to it, we have some duct repair. The intake was not done properly, when you take off the vent cover and filter, it is totally open behind it with a hole cut in the floor (studs, subfloor, nails, crud). Actually, we discovered a treasure trove of items that the previous owner had forgotten back there, they used it for storage! My husband's office is 'that room', you know the one that is hotter or colder than the rest of the house, he has one vent (6" duct) and it has been suggested to "replace with 8" ", "no, 8" is too big, replace with 7" ", "Yeah, we can look at it while we are installing (i.e. now clear answer)", "install dampers", etc. The connections in the ductwork are leaky and the insulation on said ducts is...well...it has seen better days. So...since money doesn't grow on any trees around here (just outside of Charlotte, NC), we have some decisions to make.
We have talked with several companies and I think that we have come away with more questions than answers. The biggies: repair or replace? what to do with the ductwork (patch, seal what is there?)? stay with gas? duel fuel? switch to hp? We have talked to 2 Lennox guys and it sounded like they weren't interested in installing any other brand even though they sell others and would, they just don't think it is a good idea, Carrier guy likes the Comfort Series Dual Fuel and focused on the ductwork, Goodman guy 14 SEER/ 95% furnace and patching up the ductwork, and Trane guy (he is working up a proposal), I am not sure what his thoughts are yet, but he was the least concerned about brand and is more than happy to show us other options.
As far as a load calculation, we are having someone else do it. The first guy said we need at least a 2.5 ton (the system he recommended only comes in whole tons and he rec. a 3 ton, it didn't sound right) even though we have been comfortable with our 2 ton system and it doesn't run constantly even on the hottest days.
I am sure that I am forgetting something or talking myself in circles. Any help that you guys/gals can provide would be awesome! Thanks! "Mrs. Knows Enough To Be Dangerous and Confused"