Hello and thank you for this service. I live in Jacksonville, Florida. I have a 20 year old Trane heat pump that I am replacing. I have a few questions I need professional advice on. I have a 5 ton heat pump for 2600 sq ft with two returns in the house.
1. Are dual stage heat pump compressors reliable? One Carrier dealer recommends it (Performance Series) and another says to stay away from all dual stage heat pumps as the compressors have a very high failure rate, including Carrier. The second dealer says there is no savings in my electric bill to the two stage heat pump system either and that the single stage Comfort series is the way to go. Who is right? Do dual stage have high fail rates? And is there really no savings?
2. Of course, I have to replace the air handler. Again, one contractor tells me I should go with the variable speed with a thermidistat and the second says that I should not need a variable speed air handler. What is recommended? Will the variable speed provide better comfort? What about additional savings in electric costs? The variable speed is about $ more.
3. The return duct work. Again, another contradiction. Contractor one says that my 18" return duct work will have to be replaced with 20" up to the box, where the duct splits. The second contractor says the 18" duct is perfectly fine because I have 2 positive returns. Who is right?
As you can see, I have two entirely different proposals from two reputable Carrier dealers; each having received their own "awards" for various reasons. I need some very objective advice as to what I should do to replace this unit. The difference is cost is almost $ and I can't afford to make the wrong decision.
Thanks to all in advance for your valuable opinions and advice.