Presently I have a Trane XL 1200 (4 Ton) that was installed in '87, and an Amana Air Command 80 (GSI-B) that was installed in '90. Furnace is in the crawl space. 1960's ranch, about 2100 sq ft. The inducer motor burned out once and was replaced. I often smell gas before the heat kicks on. The ductwork is old and leaky. The furnace was making a racket so I was thinking of a new unit and ductwork. Everything was installed for the prior owner by Estes. Because the furnace is a pain to get to, Estes suggested a package unit. Other vendors said that was nuts, and all I needed was a split unit with a good media filter so no one would have to go into the crawl to change filters except once a year.
Trane/Goodman guy is pushing the 13seer Goodman heat pump and says one of the problems with my existing furnace is that it exhausts out my chimmey and the run is too long and dips down before it rises. He says I need at least a 90% furnace so I can vent out the back wall.
Lennox/Amana guy says much the same thing, but wants to put in a 96 furnace and go straight A/C.
I've been looking at this forum for awhile and I'm beginning to believe my current furnace and A/C are not that bad or inefficent(except for the venting issue and poor ductwork), and the only reason to change (versus service and repair) is to go with a heat pump (and maybe to cure the furnace venting issue). I like the efficiency of the heat pump but my wife is concerned about "cold blow", esp. in an older house that is not as tight as new ones.
Thoughts and recommendations would be appreciated.
In dual fuel, the pump is used in mild weather when you would get decent temp air out of it.
If there are venting issues, definitely should be corrected ASAP. If you are in a mild climate, you could stay with an 80 if vent ran uphill and the chimney had a liner installed. 80 alone should not be vented into a chimney without a liner kit.
I'd stay in the crawl, sure be cheaper that reworking the ductwork for a packaged unit. Definitely go with the media cleaner.
Your current equipment may be just fine for a while, 12 SEER A/C. Might be wise just to correct the duct leakage and the venting for now.
What is the expected useful life of my current furnace and A/C unit? I'm not sure there is a quick or easy fix for venting the furnace, short of upgrading to a 90+.