We're looking to replace a 12-year-old Johnson Controls electric heat pump that has malfunctioned due to a coolant valve failure. We're currently on emergency heat. Located in Pennsylvania.
I contacted three local family-owned HVAC contractors that have been in business for decades and have good customer ratings. But I'm no HVAC expert.
Any thoughts on the relative merits of York, Trane and Lennox?
I got these proposals, a few hundred dollars apart:
1: York 3.5 ton XL series heat pump model YHJF.
w comparably-sized variable speed Affinity series air handler.
2: Trane XB14-036 3 ton heat pump with Trane 4TEE3F40B variable speed air handler.
3: Lennox XP_14 3 ton heat pump with compatible Lennox variable-speed air handler.
Contractor 1 recommended 3.5-ton based on size and layout of house. Same contractor also declined to offer two-stage heat pump option because single set of ductwork and duct work configuration would result in poor upstairs cooling during the summer. Said he has seen this in other similarly configured homes. Contractors two and three did offer two-stage cooling options, taking the outside unit up a notch in SEER rating, but adding a couple thousand dollars to the price. Contractor 2 also threw in a wildcard: A Whirlpool ultra-high efficiency 18 SEER option: WGHP48036 at about the same price as the upgraded 2-stage cooling Trane system because of incentives. All carry 10 year parts and compressor warranty. Contractor two offering 10 years labor on upgraded systems, 2 years on basic one-stage unit. Others offering two years labor.
Should I stick with single stage cooling heat pump?
If dual stage cooling is an option, is it worth spending a couple thousand dollars more to get it?
Should I even bother to consider the Whirlpool?