Surprise, its summer and our AC broke down.
We were quoted prices for installation of the current standard (SEER 14) AC units (about $6500 unit cost and installation) vs Trane's SEER 18 AC units ($10,100 unit cost/install). The sales rep for the local HVAC company said the SEER 18 AC units was significantly more efficient than even the SEER rating indicated. The reason, he said, was that the unit has a variable rate compressor. He said normal online SEER savings calculators. Like this one underestimated the impact of the variable rate compressor.
This is for our upstairs in our dual zone system. We live in a rather humid area in the summer, and the unit is used for both head pump and AC. We plan to live in this home for a long time.
Is it worth the $3500 bump in price to get a unit with a variable-speed compressor? Are the online calculators underestimating the bump up to a variable speed compressor? In general, when is it worth the price difference to get a variable speed compressor? Help me (and everyone else who sees this question) be better informed when talking to their HVAC sales rep!