I seem to get different recommendations from everyone I ask. I'd like to get more feedback to see if any particular recommendations start piling up. Thanks in advance!!!
Tampa, FL - south facing; 2,700sf (1,300 1st flr & 1,400 2nd flr); 2-story; open cell foam in attic; no load calcs yet; builder uses Carrier
General thought is to go with a single unit, zoned for 1st and 2nd floors, The idea of going with a single HP unit to save on second unit and apply toward whole house filtration. I've heard a large single unit will be less efficient due to pulling larger loads when cycling. I like the idea of a single system to pair with a single filtration system. Zoning will allow me to raise the upstair temps during the day when everyone's gone (I work in 1st flr office)
The builder's standard is a comfort/base system with an XL13 motor (I think that's what he said). I noticed Carrier's website says the comfort/base systems can achieve a 16 SEER rating. It also says the performance/comfort and infinity/performance models achieve a similar SEER (16-17). This is probably a newb question, but why go with a supposedly better system if the SEER rating don't increase.
I definitely want a variable speed handler to address humidity. Will going this route allow me to skip the dedicated dehumidifier? The builder stated these can be loud ... I have no clue.
Would going with a 2-stage compressor result in even better humidification? The builder stated I would see a return on the added cost around the 10yr mark ... any validity to this?
Is there any validity to going with a straight AC system with heat strips or furnace (I'll have natural gas)? A buddy of mine (partner in a commercial engineering firm) feels heat pumps aren't needed in FL. I've heard HP units are much more efficient than straight AC units due to the high cost of heat strips. Even so, I probably only run the heat maybe 3-4 weeks out of the year. Is there much more involved in HP functionality that would add maintenance and repair?
As you can see, I'm somewhat all over the place ... touching all aspects and trying to figure out which way to go. Not to discuss specific costs, but if a comfort/base system costs X, would a performance/comfort system cost 2X, a infinity/performance system cost 3X and infinity system cost 4X?
Many thanks for any insight!!!