Air Conditioner or Heat Pump?
I just got my AC and furnace checked up a couple of days ago. Ours is a 2,500 sq ft. two-story house built in 2000. The current heating cooling equipment include a 2 -ton Carrier AC and a natural gas furnace for downstairs (coil and furnace in the crawlspace), and a 2.5 -ton AC and natural gas furnace for upstairs (coil and furnace in the attic). The natural gas furnace is probably 60-70% AFUE. The HVAC person told me that everything seems OK except the coils, which have got rusted, and that they may go out anytime. When that time comes, his recommendation was to replace them with AC and 80% AFUE furnace. Going to a higher AFUE furnace would require making changes and putting PVC pipes for exhaust (costly changes according to him). I asked him if I should go with Heat Pumps (instead of ACs) and 80% AFUE furnace. He said I should stay away from the heat pumps as they are noisy. My question is, which is a better option: heat pump + 80% AFUE furnace (dual fuel system), or AC + 80% AFUE furnace? My understanding is that most of the heating will be done by the heat pump except the very cold days when the furnace would kick in. Since the furnace will be used minimally, a 80% AFUE furnace is adequate. So heat pump plus furnace is a better option than AC plus furnace. Are the heat pumps noisy and unreliable compared to ACs. But I have no knowledge about these things and would appreciate your advice. The house is located in Chapel Hill, NC.