I am throwing this question out to this forum. (Thanks in advance!)
I live in Minnesota (I can give more detials on the size of house, etc., if this is relevant). I am in the process of getting bids to replace furnace and AC. Also an issue I'd like to address is a problem of keeping our basement warm in winter.
Contarctor 1: Fantastic referrals, very service-oriented, big company (75 years in business). Rep spent 2+ hours looking at system, looking at home (e.g., counting vents and returns on each floor), asking about concerns. Will do a heat calculation to confirm sizing. Proposed Bryant 90i (two-stage) with Puron AC (Model 550A, 13 SEER).
Contractor 2: Small company (but over 20 years old), very low-key (perhaps because sales rep was on vacation, so a service tech came out). Rep quickly looked at existing furnace and AC, proposed replacing with same rated units, was through in under 30 minutes. Will bid a Ruud Modulating 90+ (and will also price the 2-stage at my request) and an R-22, 13-SEER AC unit (said he didn't trust the Puron units and that there would be no problems servicing R-22 into the future).
As an engineer, I am enthralled with the modulating furnace. Seems perfect fo the frigid north. However, Contractor 1 (Bryant) seems to be willing to make sure they do everything right. Everyone says the installation is more imprtant than the unit... Also concerned about R-22 AC; would a repair 15 years out be insanely expensive?
Please, your opinions. Go with one of these? Get more bids? Thanks, again!