I am looking for some advice. My family moved into a 2 story, 10-year old home in a north Atlanta suburb last winter. A beautiful home but the builder's special HVAC system is on it's last leg (2 systems: 2.5 ton down and 3 ton up - both at 10-11 SEER and probably running inefficiently). Coming from Florida, we like to keep the temp quite cool at 72-74 degrees 24/7 (except when we are not home) in the summer and 78-80 in the winter. The downstairs unit works fine but the upstairs unit's outside condenser motor just went. So we started the proposal process.
Let me note that i had starting getting proposals back when we first moved in becuase I knew the units were on their last leg. AT that time we found a very knowledgable professional (who owns his own company and came to us from Home Depot) who was the only one who did the airflow testing. As a result we had our ductwork sealed (and I beleive that it did help soemwhat - airflow calculations were done before and after). However, in re-starting the proposal process he was the only one (out of 4 propsals) that recommended staying with the same size system (3 ton but increasing SEER to 16 or 19) while the other theree revommended jumping to a 3.5 ton system (at 13.5 to 14 SEER). He was the only one who sepnt time doing additional calculations for a "whole house heat/loss" calculation. He also was the only one to recommend a "dual-fuel" heat pump system that would be of great energy savings in todays rising energy cost market. The others were electric for cooling and gas for heating. All recommended variable speed.
Also to note, one area of the upstais gets quite hot in the summer and cool in the winter...I surmise because it is at the end of the ducts away from the unit....so we need to do something soon!
I am leaning towards his recomemndation only veasue he spent the time to back up his recoemmendations...which by the way were a Trane 3.0 ton 16 SEER split system heat pump and a 80% variable speed gas furnace OR a 4 ton 19 SEER system with the same 80% variable speed gas furnace). He was quite keen on the 4 ton unit syaing that we would never have any issues regarding colling/heating but also said that the 3 ton 16 SEER unit would be fine based on the calculations. It was also $3K less for the 16 than the 19.
So in a nutshell....is this guy just trying to wow me with all of these calculations or are the other guys just trying to sell me on something without adequate knowledge.
Thanks so much for your help. Let me know if you need any more information.