Help Weighing Options for AC/Heat Pump System
We live in Northern Mississippi and are looking into replacing our HVAC system. Our current system is the original in 1330 square foot home built in 1996 and is a traditional central air system and our heat is run off of our hot water heater and distributed through the central air ductwork. Currently, our 2.5 ton 10 SEER A/C cannot keep our house below 80 degrees while the sun is up (and we haven't even hit the hottest part of the summer) so I believe it is time for a replacement. Below are some quotes through Lowes (they are using a reputable HVAC company with an A rating on Angie's list):
14.5 SEER, 3 TON R-MODEL, R-410A TRANE HEAT PUMP SPLIT SYSTEM for $6,135
14.5 SEER, 3 TON R-MODEL, R-410A TRANE GAS OPTION SPLIT SYSTEM for $5,510
14.5 SEER, 3 TON R-MODEL, R-410A TRANE DUAL FUEL OPTION SPLIT SYSTEM for $6,378
They would be using the existing ductwork but are replacing the refrigerant lines. I am having another contractor come out tomorrow to give me an additional quote. He sells Rheem systems. So, here are my questions:
1.) Do the prices above seem reasonable? I know Rheem systems are cheaper than Trane's, but how much less?
2.) Should I be upgrading to a 3-ton from my current 2.5 ton? They told me that according to their calculations, our house is borderliine between the two sizes but because our current system cannot keep the house cool they thought the larger was better.
3.) Heat pump vs. traditional A/C with a gas furnace: which would be best for this area? Temps rarely get below about 25...this last winter we may have had 7-10 days that were below that mark, and it was considered to be a very cold winter. Other winters it may barely get below freezing. Would an all electric system keep it comfortable those couple of nights a year that it gets below 25 without breaking the bank?
Thanks in advance for the help!