Ok, dead Apollo system and after much reseach/talk I've decided to go with a heat pump. VERY hard to get guys to come out and work up an estimate. Got first estimate today and it knocked me out.
Trane XL14i Seer, 1.5 Ton, R-410A, 4TWX4018A1000A
2 Ton air handler: 4TEP3F24A1000A
(house is approx 1000 sq feet, probably "average" insulation for a 1987 home, in central North Carolina, with windows facing south that are very well shaded in summer.)
The sales rep started with a lower level system, but when I saw the HSPF factors I was sorely disappointed and we moved to the classier model. Trane's website brags "up to 9.85" for their XR14, but when you look at the 1.5 Ton units its actually only about 7.0! Even the system above is only 7.35!
1. I want an energy efficient system, especially on the heat side, but I don't want to spend so much that it takes 10 years to make back what I spent to go more efficient. I have no way of figuring that out.
2. I have no heat, December tends to get cold, and I'm finding it amazingly difficult to get someone to come to the house. Half the people I've called about this haven't even called me back! No kidding! One that I had a great reference for had his wife call to tell me he can't come because he's too busy.
3. I have no idea what anything costs. The 2 guys I've spoken with don't give me any idea what ballpark we're in. They ask me what I want, but don't let me know what the difference in price is. I had NO idea we were talking as much $$$ as the final number that I was handed. And now I have NO idea what percent of that number is due to replacing the ductwork, labor, etc., and what percentage is the actual hardware. No idea if reducing the system to an XR14 or XB13 would be a good call or a bad one.
How do I make a judgement call when I don't know what things cost and what the different feature sets will save me over time?
HELP. By the way, I plan on staying in the house for the foreseable future. I know you guys can't tell me costs (sigh), but can you suggest what level Trane system (the 1.5 tons is most likely just right, I mean which model). For one person, in a small house, who hates being cold, has had no trouble living with a 1.5 ton 18-year-old air conditioner. And can manage to borrow the money if necessary, but it's a big deal to do so.
Thanks in advance for your patience/expertise. Please pardon the ranting; I'm quite stressed out over this decision.