New dual fuel system - questions

Hi all. Decided to replace 9 yr old Jantrol heat pump it's a POS and has been a continuing source of problems. Currently taking estimates for the job and have a couple of questions.
1. Are there any prefered brands or brands to avoid? So far I've heard pitches from Rudd and Lennox and I'm liking Lennox better on paper.
2. Is R410A Refrigerant important? I know it is being mandated... are there any issues? Lennox has it for their Signature Series but it seems other brands don't for some models.
3. Is there a rule of thumb to pick the point of deminishing returns for SEER? There is a point where more efficiency cannot justify additional expense because it won't be recovered over the lifespan of the unit. I'm having a hard time finding that point.
4. Two stage furnace - is it preferable? Lennox says yes but the Rudd guy says no. His reasoning is that the heat pump takes care of the heating on milder days and on colder days it will kick into high anyway.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
In-line

That's Jani-junk for you.

How many estimates? Are the contractors licensed and insured? Have you checked references?

expensive, propriatary parts sometimes. My Lennox distributor is 30 miles away rom my office. If I have to go get a part right away, who pays for the trip?

lines they have that use 410 and that tells me something. I feel that there is a better, lower pressure refrigerant coming out before R-22 gets phased out completely in 2020.

means 10 BTU's of cooling is made by 1 watt of electricity. 13 SEER meas 13 BTU's of cooling is made by 1 watt of electricity. To me, it's better to pay a little more up front and not have to pay the power company a lot more over the life of the AC.

Personally, I'd go with the 2 stage.Once the house is near the set point, there is no reason for high heat to fire. Besides, any time the outside air is below about 40, the heat pump should be locked out(and not run).
Hope this has helped.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tue, 26 Oct 2004 06:58:43 -0400, "HeatMan"

three more. First two guys disagreed on size. Lennox guy says 3 ton HP and 70000 BTU Furn The Rudd guy says 3.5 ton and 90000 BTU. :( I'll check references when I settle on one.

Really? What was that you called Jantrol? Not that I disagree... I'm considering Rudd, Trane, Rheem and Lennox. Any others I should look at?

Interesting. So what is the problem exactly? Are they prone to leakage because of the high pressure?

I agree but what I'm getting at is "top of the line" (say18 SEER) is usually VERY pricey and not the best value nor is the cheapest (say 10 SEER) the best value. I will take a guess at around 14-15 SEER is best value, that is, balance of initial price vs. annual cost.

stage because he doesn't sell them. ;)

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

"Sometimes?"
It's more like "whenever they can."
Lennox seems to want to be different from the field just to be different. If you live a distance away from the "big city" you should not even consider Lennox because they may suddenly decided that your local HVAC guy isn't "gud enuf" for them and he will have a difficult time getting replacement parts. (Would you believe a FIVE YEAR back order on a Lennox blower motor?)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.