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2 HVAC systems or 1 with 2 zones?

11 years ago

I'm trying to decide on my best option for replacing my current HVAC systems and am looking for some input... I read through a handful of threads online to see what kind of information is typically requested, but please let me know if you need anything else to give some input.

Some background: My house is 2 story (each story around 1000-1100 sq feet) in Dallas, TX, there is a separate AC and furnace for each story, all components are original to the house (built in 1996) except one outdoor unit (Trane XR13) that was replaced approximately 6 years ago (by prior owner)

I have had 2 companies come out to prepare bids, they are comparable price-wise but the 2 companies each have completely different ideas on what would be best...

Contractor 1 suggests keeping the one replaced piece and putting in 2 new furnaces (Trane 80% AFUE 60000 BTU two stage variable speed gas furnace, model TUD2B060A9V3VA) and 1 new outdoor unit (Trane 15 SEER 2.5 Ton High Efficiency Split System, model 4TTR5050*1000*)

Contractor 2 suggests putting in a single system consisting of Carrier Infinity 80 4-way 110000 BTU furnace, model 58CVA110-1-20 and Carrier Infinity 5 ton, 17 SEER Two stage, model 24ANB760A003 and setting up 2 zones (upstairs/downstairs). This contractor did considerably more measuring, ran some load tests through his PC, and also verified that the current ducts would support this type of set up.

Both contractors indicated I would need an additional return added upstairs and would remove the "boxes" that split the ducts to improve performance.

So basically I'm trying to figure out what is a better option -- 2 systems or 1 system? Thanks!

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