We will be replacing our two heat pumps in the near future, once a 15 year old Trane XL13i and one 20 year old Janitrol (Goodman), both are 2.5 ton. The Trane has never worked correctly on the cooling side. The Janitrol has been rock solid until last winter when it stopped heating.
We have had many contractors (12+) representing many brands come out to give us bids. Very few were interested in doing load calcs and several just wanted to replace what we have without verifying duct work. We know we have duct work issues simply due to air flow, some registers blow hard others you can barely feel anything. We have narrowed it down to 3 contractors. All 3 did a load calc and all 3 will properly size the ducts.
Contractor 1 is proposing Amana (Goodman) middle of the road equipment, has been in business here since 1972 and has a good reputation. Our Janitrol (Goodman) unit has given great service and this contractor does good work. He is also $2k cheaper
The other two contractors are proposing Carrier. One is proposing two middle of the road units while the other is proposing a single higher end unit with zoning. Money is pretty close to equal. The two unit approach has the advantage of if one system goes out at least an area in the house will continue to be conditioned. In everything I've read the zoning advantage will be better efficiency, better humidity control and better temp control due to the variable speed compressor.
The contractor that is proposing zoning on a single unit is the only one to do so, everyone else has recommended staying with two units because zoning is allot more work to get right.
I have spoken to references of all three contractors, read all reviews and am pretty confident in their abilities. The contractor proposing zoning did a home fairly similar to ours with zones and the homeowner was ecstatic with the results, everyone else face good reviews. The Carrier equipment is probably better, maybe but $2k is 17% of the job.
I am leaning towards zoning but am nervous as this will be an extreme change to what is normal but zoning has come a long way.
Anybody have any experience or input?