Newbie HVAC Questions
I own a 2-story daylight/walkout basement home, 3676 s.f., have a very old Bryant 80% efficient 5 ton furnace (was old when bought home 8 years ago) with outside condenser also can tell very old. Live near Tacoma WA, can get down to 8 degrees on occasion and up to 90s rarely in summer. Home built in 1972.
I had a duct sealing contractor (A+ BBB) referred by my energy company come out and look at things. He thought ducting looked good from what he can tell (it's all indoors running between the two floors where a drop/acoustical tile ceiling exists) except for the immediate ductwork coming out of furnace, part of it was some kind of board material and he said should be metal ductwork. He recommends getting the blower pulled and cleaned out.
The air flow is NOT good and he suspects the old furnace is the problem. I'm trying to figure out if it is worth me paying a contractor to come out and clean blower/replace the "board" ductwork or buy a new furnace since this one is old and I believe contractor would replace that board ductwork included with new furnace install.
I'm a total newbie to HVAC and have been googling some things such as heat pumps, I read something that if temps get below mid-30s where you live heat pumps won't heat and you need secondary heating (furnace?) anyway so a heat pump doesn't make sense where i live since it can get down to 8 degrees and often gets down to high 20s/low 30s in winter?
And considering size of my home, is a multi-zone system something I should consider? The downstairs is cold year round due to daylight basement design and really doesn't need A/C in summer but upstairs DEFINITELY needs A/C in summer, gets hot up there and most of upstairs has vaulted ceilings.
I have replaced most of the windows in the home with high quality Milgard fiberglass windows.
Thanks for all advice, trying to learn and be educated when I start talking to contractors.