AC + Heat Pump replacement
I've been reading a lot of older posts from this forum would appreciate some comments on these 3 quotes for replacing my heat pump / ac system. I live in Durham, NC and have electric heating and cooling. My house, built in 2001, is 2 stories, 1,100 ft^2 on the first floor and 650 ft^2 on the 2nd floor with some very high ceilings and an open balcony from the 2nd to the 1st floor. The existing system is a set of two 2.0 ton units, one for each floor, Carrier FB4ANF024000AFAA air handlers and Carrier 38ycc024 heat pumps, now both leaking refrigerant at a fairly rapid pace. All the vendors say that the existing ductwork is in good condition and that the attic and crawlspace have plenty of room for replacement systems. Existing returns are via a 20" square inlet in both levels. Aside from the refrigerant leaks, our main complaints with the existing system is the high velocity of flow out the vents (especially upstairs), the noise from the outdoor units & poor efficiency in heating mode. The quotes are as follows, given with as much specificity as the vendor provided:
#1 - $11,066: Upstairs - Trane XR15 1.5 ton heat pump, Trane TAM7 air handler. Downstairs - Trane XR15 2.0 ton heat pump, Trane TAM7 air handler. This vendor plans to replace the existing supply return plenums. Both units have 5kW heat strips and new thermostats. 2 year labor warranty, 1 year satisfaction guarantee.
#2 - $11,344: Upstairs - Bryant FV4C air handler, Bryant Preferred 226B 2.0 ton heat pump. Same units downstairs. No mention of work on the supply return plenums, 5kW heat strips in the air handlers and new thermostats. Byrant Space Guard media cabinets quoted at an additional $350 each. 1 year labor warranty.
#3 - $11,376: Upstairs - Trane XL15i 4TWX5024B 2.0 ton heat pump, Trane TAM7 A0B30 air handler. Downstairs - same as upstairs. Supply return plenums to be modified as necessary, 5kW heat strips in air handlers, new thermostats. 1 year labor warranty
All vendors plan to use the existing line sets. All quoted programmable thermostats without giving any model # details. All quotes include new pads for the outdoor units, disposal of existing equipment and a new drip pan and alarm for the attic air handler. Vendor #2 also provided an alternative quote using lower grade Bryant equipment (FX4D air handlers & 215B heat pump) for $9,488. All parts warranties are 10 years.
So - do these look like reasonable quotes for the proposed systems and what other information would be useful to have? Vendor #1 performed the least through assessment of the house before proposing a system; #3 the most detailed. Vendor #3 also suggested that a 1.5 ton unit might be adequate for the upstairs but since the existing 2.0 ton unit seemed to be performing fine planned to stick with that size.