Ginny and I decided to get a new furnace & air conditioner this year … with the price of natural gas going up, we figured it would probably make sense to get a more efficient furnace … and our A/C has always been kind of wimpy.
As I always try to do, I got at least 3 quotes … in this case, four.
Three were for independent HVAC contractors … the remaining one was from Sears Home ImProvement (SHIP).
Three of the quotes were pretty close … one of the independent quotes was about half what the others quoted.
We decided to get a 80% efficient, two stage, variable speed, system by Carrier. We could have gone with the +90% efficient system, but I think the time to recoup the extra cost would take too long. The variable speed aspect was the only iffy bit … we were told by all the contractors that, because our house lacked adequate air returns, the variable speed fan would not be as efficient as it could be (it will still save us money, just not as much).
We ended up going with Sears … mainly because they were also willing to run the duct work necessary to add returns in the three upstairs bedrooms. None of the other contractors offered that. Well, there was a good reason they didn’t offer that. The estimator from Sears (Ron) said it would cost an additional $2000 for the duct work.