Total newbie here, although I've spent considerable time searching here trying to find the answers myself. I suspect that the answers I seek will help many others as well.
I'll try to be brief, but don't want to omit details, so here we go. My thanks in advance to those willing to slog through and share their expertise!
I have a 2800 +/- sf home in NY. It is 8 yrs old and equipped with a large Williamson forced air furnace (roughly 80% efficient) using a 1 gal/hour nozzle as well a Lennox 5 ton 11 SEER heat pump set to "change over" to oil at 45 degrees. On an annual basis I use about 850 gallons of oil, which at current pricing is about $4200/year (ouch!). I also use a Duro Dyne 2 zone panel and dampers.
I have spoken to a few contractors, but remain puzzled at the inconsistency. The consensus is that my Williamson unit is oversized by a good 20% or so.
Seeing as how I haver better uses for money then sending it to the Middle East nutjobs who don't much like us, I am pondering the following:
1) Carrier Infinity ICS Modulating propane furnace w/ a 5 ton Carrier Infinity heat pump (their best).
2) Same as above only with a Carrier oil furnace.
3) Hallowell air to air heat pump
4) Energy Kinetics EK1 boiler and TWO Carrier 3 ton units (This is already disfavored as the estimate was about 3 (yes THREE) times #1 above. I sense they want to out the kids through college on this ONE job.
5) Do nothing other than set the change over on the Lennox to 30-35 instead of 45.
I am interested in the best long term solution saving money, energy and more and am stymied at the choices: Propane vs oil, Carrier vs. Lennox vs. Trane vs. hallowell and on and on it goes. Despite many, many hours of research and calculating, I am stumped as to how to best approach the situation and see what make the best long term (5-10 years hence) approach. In short, I am not even sure I am asking the right questions and/or considering the right factors.
Sorry for the rambling, but I'd greatly appreciate input as to the more reliable brands, propane vs oil and, of course, how to best calculate a pay back time. My thanks to all in advance.