Help choosing A/C & Furnace Replacement Quotes
My 70 yo mother lives in the D.C. area and I'm on the other side of the country. It's hot as hell, the A/C is completely dead and needs to be replaced (vintage 1974, was on its last legs with leaks for years, now the compressor keeps killing capacitors and is completely dead).
She asked me to help her decide which HVAC proposal to choose and I need your sage advice. (I did some research on here but, in the limited time she has, I'm not conversant enough to get fully educated on this stuff.)
Here are the facts: Single family detached home with 2 stories and a basement, aprox. 3200 sq. ft. Built 1974 with a single furnace and A/C for the whole house. A/C is vintage 1974, gas furnace was replaced in 1984. Brick exterior on 50% and wood-type clapboard on the rest. Single pane wood windows with plexi storm windows. Very uneven air flow in the current system to different parts of the house--points close to the blower get decent heat/cool, rooms on the 2nd story of the opposite side barely get a dribble.
She has proposals from three contractors, some for replacement just of the A/C and some with an option to also replace the gas furnace. Here they are:
Proposal #1A $5149.00
5 Ton American Standard, 13 Seer, 4A7A3036A1000A and 4TXCD061BC3HCA.
Warranty: 5yrs parts, 2 yrs Labor, 10 yrs Compressor
(no indication who is providing the warranty.)
Proposal #1B. $7,945.00
Same contractor, A/C, and warranty as #1A, but replace furnace with American Standard AUD1D120A9601A, 80% AFUE, 120,000 BTU
Proposal #2A. $5,700
5 Ton American Standard, 4A7A3036A1000A, 13 Seer (no mention of the model for the coil other than "5 Ton Hi Efficiency Coil").
Warranty: 1yr parts and labor with the contractor, 5 yr limited parts warranty from the manufacturer, 10 yr extended parts warranty on compressor and outdoor coils, 20 yr extended parts warranty on "Heat Exchanger"
Proposal #2B $9,500
Same contractor, A/C, and warranty as #2A, but with new furnace, American Standard AUD140R9V5K, 80% AFUE, "2 Stage Variable Speed Furnace"
Proposal #3A $6,693 (Contractor thru Costco program)
Lennox Merit Series 13ACX A/C up to Seer 13 Model 13ACX-048
Lennox Merit Series ML180 Gas Furnace, 80% AFUE, Model ML180UH135.
A/C Warranty: 5yr Parts, 1yr Labor, "Compressor 5 Years"; if owner registers with Lennox within 90 days, the warranty is extended to "10 years full parts and & compressor".
Furnace Warranty: 5yr Parts, 1yr Labor, "Heat Exchanger 20 Years"; if owner registers with Lennox within 90 days, the warranty is extended to "10 years full parts"
I asked my mother whether anyone did calculations and she said "no, no one did." In fact, she asked one contractor whether he was going to do calculations or just rely on the existing units, and he assured her that calculations were not necessary.
I expect my mother will remain in the home indefinitely. She's been there since 1974 and I don't see her moving within 10 years; she's in great health. She doesn't like to run the A/C hard because she doesn't like it "too cold" and her electric bills are enormous when she does run it (I presume lots of that is from an inefficient, old system).
It's hot and humid this time of year in MD/D.C. My mother is 70 years old and her significant other is an 87 year old WWII Navy veteran. They need to get this contracted ASAP because this weather just isn't good for them at their age.
Any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated. I'll be traveling on and off for the next week so I apologize in advance if I don't get back to any questions within hours. I will be checking back every time I can, though. Apologies if I included too much info but I tried to anticipate questions I saw in past threads.