Goodman VS. Trane or Carrier HVAC installation advice
I'm thinking of changing out my current HVAC system (8 year old 80% efficient furnace and 10 SEER AC unit) with new 95% efficient 2 stage variable speed furnace and 16 SEER Heat Pump system. I am leaning towards the Goodman products after getting a quote on Trane $$$$ and reading allot of reviews on Trane, Carrier & Goodman and comparing prices. Trane and Carrier reviews usually did not rave about the product and some were not good. Many seem dissapointed about energy savings with the $$$ of the Carrier and Trane systems. Goodman reviewers either love them or hate them, no in between, but the price is so much lower. It seems like it may more likely justify the replacement cost for less then expected energy savings. I have heard allot of manufacturers use internal components made by the same manufacturer and you pay for the name brand anyway.
I also know that using a good installer is a main factor in the installation. What is the best way to find a reliable and knowledgeable one in my area? I'm looking for someone who would install the units properly and also knows how to set them up properly to make them more effecient for my home, not just make the existing connections and use the default settings of the units. I can do that myself. I am looking for someone with both knowledge and experience and who will do the job right, without gouging me on the price. I am probably living in a dream world with all those qualifiers.
Is it better to shop for the units myself or go through the installer. Or will the installer even install a unit not purchased by them? With high end units like Carrier and Trane, you don't have the option to buy them yourself. I see Goodman products all over the internet.
I would like to install a Hybrid system (heatpump & furnace), but I would like more info on how to control it. How do I select between using the heatpump or using the furnace? Is it automatic with the right thermostat and programming? Do I need 2 separate units (separate furnace and heat pump housings or separate therostat control) or can I use the same indoor unit and thermostat controller? If I only need 1 thermostat, I have a Honeywell RTH230B programable thermostat, can I use that same thermostat for the Hybrid system or do I need a special thermostat? I have heard that an efficient heat pump is more effecient in the fall and spring mid temperatures (40 - 55 degree range) then a furnace. I know from experience, that the heat pump does not work in the really cold temps.
I know I have allot of questions, but I would really appreciate any good feedback I can get.