DavidNJ sorry to put my question to you in this thread but can't figure out how to send you a question or in my case a bunch of questions. I find your comments are very detailed and you seem to know a lot about HVAC, therefore my questions:
I live in Virginia Beach, VA in a 24 yr old 2,850 Sq Ft ranch. It is a three bedroom with a room over the garage. My Trane Executive Heat Pump compressor died last Sunday afternoon. It was original equipment, so I know I was on borrowed time, but now I have to make some decisions. My requirements are I want the best equipment within a reasonable price range. I might be losing my job in the near future with the closing of the military command I work for, so not sure if that means relocation or retirement, either way I need to fix the problem. I want the rebate and lower bills and I want a quiet unit. My old HP is a 3.5 ton but I had recent duct work under my crawl space six months ago because of moisture from condensation issues and was told then that I most likely needed a 4 ton unit. Since the duct work, my wife has complained that she doesn't like hearing the air go on, she has sensitive ears. The duct guy took out what he said was excessive duct routes under the house and made simpler the installation, so I think that is why it has more force. The other thing, the HP does a pretty good job in the summer for A/C but in the winters which are fairly mild here, it doesn't really keep the house very warm and we don't like to push the thermometer up too much because we don't like to see the green light of the emergency energy booster go into action. I do have natural gas at my home for my fire place logs but that is all I use it for. So, my big question is if this was your home what would you choose for a unit and what types (two stage compressor; multi speed fans; electric HP only; Gas/electric hybrid; geo thermo; SEERs 15+??, etc, etc). I did not replace my return duct in my attic which is the same square fiberboard (4 insulation rated) I replaced in my crawl space. My new duct work is 8 rated. I also had the duct guy put three filters on the return duct and cleaned out the attic return. I was quoted on a Carrier Comfort 15 at $5400 installed (taxes etc included) if I just replace without any more duct work. This is before the tax savings. I haven't heard too many things good about Carriers and was thinking about TRANE or RHEEM but only know what seems to be consumer reports’ rating them as better. Can you help me? Thanks Ron in VA.