Hi, first time poster, although I've tried to read as much as I can on here in the last 3 days. I'm interested in upgrading my HVAC this summer with an eye towards possibly qualifying for the government's 30% up to $1500 tax credit.
Right now I have a 5 ton Payne outside unit that was manufacturered in 1987. The coil looks ancient so I'm sure it was installed then as well. The inside unit is a Trane furnace/air handler and looks like it can't be much more than 5 years old (I need to check to be sure). The unit works fine. The duct work in the house appears to be original metal duct work. We have visible black deposits at the registers. They were inspected when we bought the home 2 years ago the inspector didn't think they were mold, but I didn't pay the several hundred dollars to send off a sample to be tested. I haven't noticed any health issues that would be attributable to a mold issue, but the deposits make me slighly uncomfortable all the same, and I wouldn't mind a good excuse to replace the existing ductwork if it made sense.
I had a contractor come out to give me a quote. He did a heat load on the house (was there about 4.5 hours and spent about 3 of those taking measurements, inspecting the units and duct work, etc.) He recommended a complete system replacement, indoor/outdoor matched units, complete ductwork replacement, and the installation of an air purification system (not a HEPA) for around xxxx installed. He believes the right sized unit for the home is 3.5 tons. He is also recommending attic insulation to bring the attic up to R49, cleaning of existing soffit vents, addition of new soffit vents to achieve one every 6 linear ft (i'm at 1 every 12 ft right now), and the addition of 2 powered attic fans (solar). The system would be a heat pump/hybrid that would kick over to gas when it was too cold for the heat pump to keep up. I'm in North Texas, I'm not sure how cold it has to get for a heat pump to not be able to keep up but it rarely/if ever gets any colder than the teens here. For all of that he wants xxxx and guarantees in writing a 45% reduction in energy usage for HVAC. If I do the insulation, soffit work, and the attic fans myself he only wants xxxx and he would guarantee a 25% reduction in energy usage. He also assured me that the units and installation would qualify for the government's 30% up to $1500 tax credit.
I had him call me today with the model numbers of the units he'd be installing.
Outside unit: GSH13048
Inside unit: GMH8090 5
A quick google search indicates that the inside and outside units are Goodman branded SEER 13 and appear to be bottom of the line as far as what they are offering today. Is this builder quality? The coil is a 16 SEER unit. This chart: http://www.goodmanmfg.com/Portals/0/pdf/SS/SS-GSH13.pdf would seem to indicate that those 3 products installed together would only give a SEER of 13.5.
I called the guy back to confront him with this information and ask him how he would reconcile this with the government's 16 SEER requirement for split systems and he tried to tell me that it's more about how the unit is installed than the unit itself.
I welcome any advice on what I should do in general for my home, what I should do about this contractor, correction of wrong information I've presented here, etc.
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