I live in Irvine, in Orange County CA. My house is 29 years old. Its compressor (the outdoor unit ) started giving problem i.e. not running some times. I wanted to change the existing Lenox 5 ton unit (existing furnace is RHEEM) I had couple of contractors look at it and they recommend changing the whole system including the coil. furnace and thermostat. The reasons are if I change the outdoor unit only, it will have to be R22, which is being phased out. It may be mismatched unit and will not work on full efficiency (SEER). The system has outlived its life and the remaining equipment may fail in due course and by that time I would have missed the opportunity to replace the outdoor unit to R410A the new refrigerant replacing R-22. It will cost more to make two trips and will also lose the opportunity for the Gas co. rebate and IRS credit.
My question is if the recommendation is valid?
I got couple of estimates the one of them gave a detailed estimate on the whole system by two different manufacturers as follows:
Payne: 5 ton R410 A 13 SEER compressor, 125000 BTU 95 % single stage Furnace, evaporating coil and new thermostat. Total cost , Gas co. rebate 200, IRS credit 1500, net cost to me $. (he did not give the model no.s)
American Standard: All American Standard products, 5 ton R410 Premium Allegiance 14 SEER compressor, Premium Freedom 95 Comfort R variable speed, two-stage Furnace ( I believe it is 130,000 BTU), new evaporating coil, new Ultimate 800 family 7 day programmable touch screen thermostat. Total cost , Gas co. rebate 200, IRS credit 1500, net cost to me $.
The also include new Gas Flex connector, New emergency gas shutoff valve, New plenum, new fuel vent pipe, new condenser pad, weatherproof power disconnect (if necessary), High side Refrigerant cleanup filter, , new power fuse, new circuit breaker (if necessary), new condensate drain, new filter., new return air grill, 2-3 new supply air grill (my request), 2-3 dampers (my request)
The contractor is recommending Americanm Standard for, better name brand, two stage Furnace, 14 SEER instead of 13 SEER compressor, better thermostat.
How does the cost sound on these two systems?
Is it worth spending $ extra for the reasons given above?