I probably need "HVAC for Dummies", but here is my question...how does one make the final decision about whether to go with a heat pump when replacing a gas furnace and air conditioner? I live in Cincinnati, this is my first year in this home so don't know what to expect. I have pretty much decided on a Bryant Plus 90t.
The house is 1300 square ft, cape cod built in 1928, upstairs bedroom only used for guest room. Original wood double hung windows with aluminum storms. Attic insulation approx 10" but no wall insulation. Aluminum siding over old cedar (?) shingles. Regardless of which Bryant or Armstrong I go with, it's approximately $770 to go with heat pump. I will probably live here 5-10 years.
My main concerns are that heat pumps don't last as long as a/c (altho I don't use my a/c unless it's extremely hot and humid), I know the air blows "cooler" ...and wondering what will happen with local electric rates here. Right now they are cheaper than gas, but contractor told me they have rumors that after Jan 1 they will increase 40%. I am trying to make an intelligent decision based on what I know, but I don't own a crystal ball. I don't want to be kicking myself in the butt in a few years for not being more forward thinking....any help would be appreciated!
By the way, I can take the extra cost, just want to know if it's worth it. Also, is it worth an extra $800 to jump up to variable speed? I don't usually leave my fan on all the time.