Thank you both for your feedback, very much appreciated.
I have had 3 companies look at, and price it – as well as get some better explanations from them.
It is not that they cannot find an indoor coil to pair with the unit, it is that they cannot find one to pair that will give them an official “SEER Rating” that the electrical company will accept for the rebate. I get $600 back for 14 SEER or better Heat Pump, but because I am not replacing the furnace at the same time, I cannot get the highest SEER rating, and other calculations bring the official rating to below 14 even though it will likely operate better than that. I have a 3-speed, DC motor on my furnace, but because it isn’t new, I get the basic SEER rating, which is lower than the advertised rating. So they can get me a heat pump, just not necessarily one that qualifies for the $600 rebate.
Also, while there are some ultra-high efficient, and solar ready units, cost grows exponentially with those features. Once we get above 14-16 SEER, cost gets pretty high… I have prices from Lennox, Carrier and Bryant. All prices are remarkably similar.
The 2.5-ton Heat Pumps are looking like right around $6,000 installed. My $600 rebate brings me down to $5,400 but I do get half price electric rates on a metered program. A 3-ton 16 SEER, 2-stage A/C unit is looking like $5,400-$5,600 and a $100 rebate gets me to, lets call it $5,400 as well. About the same price as the Heat Pump. All 3 then have some 2.5-ton 14 SEER AC units for $3,800-$4,000 installed with the same $100 rebate. I think, over the course of 10 years, I am unlikely to see a cost savings of $1,400 between the higher level 2-stage AC or Heat Pump, as compared to the 14 SEER unit.
Not to mention, for Carrier and Lennox at least (Bryant was unsure), my Ecobee3 Thermostat will not (or so I am told) make use of the 2-stage cooling, variable speed, etc. of the 2-stage unit and I would need a $300+ thermostat to pair with it. It also seems, to me at least, that this is pretty new technology and more parts to break and go wrong. They all offer 10 year warranty on parts, but only 1 year on labor.
So maybe the best plan is to keep it simple and more cost effective to go with the 14 SEER, single stage A/C.
Might be best. Go simple and look at a complete overhaul later if energy prices dictate. We are in a similar boat – sort of. Should have put in central air years ago just never did – have a window unit in the bedroom and one in the office. Big windows throughout the house with cross ventilation and fans. Works most days. The few it doesn’t we hole up in a bedroom. It’s what folks did 100 years ago.
My furnace is ancient – like 60 years old – but well built and easy for me to maintain (I can clean and check myself easily). My HVAC guy just laughs when he sees it – love to sell me a new one but says the energy savings wouldn’t be enough to justify new. So I put it off waiting for it to fail and it never does. He has been waiting to close that sale for 20 years.
When it does though I plan to go all in – new furnace and central air and all new duct work in basement – THAT is when I look really hard at heat pumps for the AC part. If all I am doing is modernizing to sell – I won’t go with the heat pump. Buyers won’t appreciate it.
Let us know what you do and how you like it – might help us make that decision ourselves. Good luck.
The energy savings on a new furnace don’t justify replacement? Wow. My old house was 2400 sq ft and I had a 15 year old Lenox furnace that was in tip top condition, but not high efficiency. My new house is 3600 sq ft and with the 6 year old high efficiency furnace I pay about 2/3rds the heating cost of my previous, smaller house. Add in my new house has 2.5 floors above ground and twice the windows (less efficient windows too), I can’t believe you haven’t switched.
We have a furnace that’s almost 90!!! And we haven’t switched either, also on the advise of our heating guy. As Dryfly states, it’s simple, it’s easy to maintain and we have radiators, not forced air. The efficiency value isn’t the same for hot water heating. Don’t compare newer built homes with forced air to old fashioned radiator heat and assume a new furnace is more efficient. It’s not. Our heating guy inspects our ancient metal monster in our basement every year and every year he says the same thing, that it will last another 100 yrs.