The Bryant contractor offered a 10 SEER Freon unit, and an 11 Seer Puron (R410A) unit, and was strongly pushing for the Puron unit. He also explained the coolant issue thoroughly.
I am stuck between the Lennox Elite 11 at $2300, and the Bryant Puron at $2450. I was leaning toward the Elite 11 due to the scroll compressor, which they explained was quieter, and had less moving parts to break. But should I go an extra $150 and get the Bryant Puron unit? (the Lennox Elite 12 with R410 was pricier than Bryant's equivalent). I am not too concerned about the SEER. I think a 10 or 11 is fine for my area. The warranties are the same for each of these units. Would it be better to save the $150 right now, and take the chance that the unit will be fine for the next 10 years or so, or should I go with the Bryant Puron? The Lennox guy and the Bryant guy were like night and day on their opinions of the new/vs old coolants, as far as the importance of getting the new stuff.
Another question - how do I know if they did a cooling load study on my home? They both measured the house. One of them asked about insulation, and went up to the home's second level and took a quick look around. Both gave me a complete quote on the spot. From what I have read, the study sounds more complicated than that. Or are they able to judge by their experience in the area ( I live in an older tract subdivision, where lots of the homes are similar, both are local contractors). They both quoted 2 1/2 ton units, which coincidently is the sq footage of my house divided by 500.
Any help would be appreciated. Also any input on the quality of the brands, or is there a better one comparably priced?
Thanks for any help you can provide.