Trying to Decide on the Best Geothermal System - Can you help?
We have been reading your website for weeks. We have gotten many quotes. Now it is time to make some decisions and we still don't know what to do.
We currently have a 30 year old outside compressor and a 20 year old oil furnace. The compressor died and we will be replacing with a closed loop geothermal heat pump. The federal, state & county tax credits & grants bring the final cost very close to a conventional system. We are excited about that but want to be sure that we are getting the right system.
We just north of DC and have a 30 year old 4500 sq' home (including finished basement) with a 4 ton compressor. The upstairs never gets hot or cool enough. We have had 6 quotes - some say only a 4 ton is acceptable (because that's what we have now) and others say a 5 ton is best as long as we have a variable stage blower (which we do want). One measured our ductwork and said it is of sufficient size to accommodate a 5 ton. So, that's the first question - what size should we get.
Second question - which brand to purchase. We have quotes for Bryant (most expensive), Water Furnace Envision, Climate Master Tranquility 27, and FHP/Bosch.
Third question - which company to go with. We have 3 large companies that have done hundreds of residential and commercial (these are the most expensive); one large co. that is trying to break into residential geothermal and has done 100 commercial units but only a 4 residential; and our favorite HVAC guy (whom we have used for 20 years) who has installed many HVAC systems but only 3 geothermal (and these were all open loop) and is only authorized to sell one brand.
And fourth (I know - I have so many questions, which is why our heads are spinning) are all the options. Do we get the Honeywell true steam or another brand of humidifier (we will be running the system on low full time) and do we pay for an enhanced filter system or just use the 2" filter they provide? Do we get the ultroviolet mold reduction light?
If anyone could help on even one of these issues, it sure would be helpful. I'm thankful for all the options (I've heard some areas of the country can't even get multiple quotes) but it sure is making things confusing. Thanks in advance.