Systems comparison (HP vs. AC/Furnace) + thoughts on the nest
Hi Everyone, After receiving many quotes to replace our 15+ year old 5 ton AC/furnace setup for a 3,000 sqft house, we've got it narrowed down to two choices. Both include replacement of all ductwork as it is in pretty bad shape (rusty, holes, fallen insulation, weird combos of rigid & flex). Also, I've received a mix of suggestions for 5 ton vs. 4 ton total, but the two companies below spent the most time doing the manual J calc and said the house is right at 4.
1) Trane -
Downstairs - 2 ton - XR A/C 14.5 SEER (4TTR6024B1000A) XV 95% Furnace 60,000 BTU (TUH1B060A936)
Upstairs - 2 ton XR Heat Pump 15.5 SEER (4TWR5024G1000A) + air handler (TAM7A024) + aux heat (BAYEVAC05LG1AA)
Total cost - $19,900
2) Carrier (all performance series)
Downstairs - 2 ton - A/C 15.5 SEER (24ACC630A003), 2 stage 95% furnace (59TP5A060E17--14)
Upstairs - 2 ton - A/C15.5 SEER (24ACC630A003), single stage 80% furnace (58PHA070---1--16)
Total cost - $18,133
Both companies have very positive ratings/reviews on Angie's list.
I'm leaning towards option 2 based on price, but wondering what others think. Option 1 sales guy says furnace upstairs is overkill and would require running gas line and extra flue in roof. Option 2 says he didn't think we had room in our electrical panel to add a HP. Also a HP isn't good for covering 4 bedrooms/2Bath upstairs since when it gets cold it will freeze and switch to defrost mode.
Finally, I can save about $3-400 on each quote by supplying my own thermostat. I really, really like the look of the nest and personally think most thermostats are ugly. I've seen mixed reviews online, with people both loving and hating them. System performance is obviously important, but I also don't want to walk by two thermostats each day and wish I had something better looking. Thoughts on The Nest? Anything else that looks similar?