The heat pump is your main source of heating and cooling. Due to this, we recommend investing in a higher end heat pump as it will serve you all year round. Heat pump comfort and efficiency have made large improvements in recent years.
You want a new system to achieve two goals, comfort and efficiency. First, let's define these terms:
Comfort - The temperature and humidity in your home is matches what you have set on the thermostat, and is even throughout each room in the home.
Efficiency - The system uses the least amount of energy possible to achieve comfort.
Heat pump comfort: 2-stage or variable speed compressor: Just like the multi-stage gas furnace, 2-stage or variable speed compressors are now available on higher end heat pump systems. This allows the system to match the output needed to keep your home comfortable while using the least amount of energy possible.
Heat Pump Efficiency: Heat pump systems are now at an unheard of 20 SEER and 13 HSPF. HSPF is Heating Seasonal Performance Factor is a measure of the heating efficiency of a heat pump. The higher the HSPF number, the more efficiently the heat pump heats your home. More than likely, your current system is 8-10 SEER. A new system could be more than twice as efficient! Carrier's Infinity system also puts out more heat at lower temperatures allowing it to run longer without using the resistive heat in the air handler.
Fan Coil Comfort and efficiency are all up to the fan: The EC variable speed motors automatically adjusts speed based upon heating and cooling requirements. This allows the system to operate at a longer run time, reduces stop and starts, and evening out hot and cold spots in the home.
Heat pumps range in price (installed) from about $3,500 for a builder's grade, up to $15,000 for a super high efficiency model with a fantastic warranty.