We are looking at completely replacing our HVAC system including replacing all the ducts. We recently discovered termites at our house when they swarmed. The pest control company that treated it said that the condensation off the ducts in the crawl space was really bad and contributing to the termite problem. The moisture problem in the crawl space is pretty bad overall. We did have them install a vapor barrier (plastic) on the ground, too, but that was it for that. Any ideas on that? Anyway, since our winter heating bills are pretty bad ($300+), our system is old and I have asthma and allergies, we thought it may be best to replace the whole kit and caboodle.
Currently we have the original 30+ yo GE Electric Air Handler (model BGLE051D1A00) and an AC only outside unit at least 15 yo (can't tell make or model) - all electric system. I have been reading a lot of posts to get ideas, etc. Problem is finding a good installer. I know no one who has done their system in the last 10 years or at all with the exception of one NON-recommendation. I went through the BBB list and a local home remodeling association's list and called several people, but most can't do an estimate for at least a few weeks.
So far I have only gotten one person to do one. Can't say I'm completely ease with him. He didn't evaluate the energy load to determine size although he said he would come back and do one if I wanted. They work with most brands, but his recommendation was a 14 SEER Trane XL16i heat pump (or the 16 SEER 2-speed one but he discouraged us on this one since it is frequently backordered), with matching variable speed handler, their programmable thermostater, all new insulated ducts and an electronic air cleaner. He said we don't need a dehumidifier with that system - it will completely take care of it. Are heat pumps really comfortable? I know in the past people told me their houses were colder in the winter with heat pumps.
Any suggestions of what to do or what is best? Also, what are the differences between a 14 or 16 SEER system other than energy savings? It's about a $450 difference after rebates. Is that worth it? Thanks for any help you can give me. I appreciate it! (Posted this in the wrong place the first time!)