HVAC for two levels house with walkout basement


I will soon be replacing a 25 year old gas furnace and central AC system in KY.

Current equipment is Heil: Furnace is NUGE125 AK01 (125000 btu); AC is CA5048 (4 ton?)

The house is 1600 sq ft main level with full finished walk out basement 1600 sq ft, for a total of 3200 sq ft of living space (most of basement is above grade). There is just the one unit. I plan on getting quotes from three HVAC companies – Carrier, Trane, and Rheem dealers (looking at high efficiency units). After reading the posts I also understand that a good installer is as important as the equipment.

I have a few general questions that the answers would be helpful when I get the quotes.

1) Since the Heil system is 25 years old, can I assume it is probably 80% efficient (new)? I can’t find any info on the system so old.

2) We endure basement level cooler than main level during all seasons (due to the one system). I compensate some by closing the basement vents in the summer and open in the winter. Is there any zone option since the area is finished and only the duct work in the utility closet is exposed?

3) In winter we usually run a couple room humidifiers to increase humidity. Are on furnace humidifiers (such as Carrier Performance Bypass) something to consider or is their reliability and upkeep just a continued problem?

4) I have read it is best to replace tubing coil to outside, but since ours is run between the basement ceiling and main floor and it is dry walled, should I request tubing be flushed and pressure tested?

Any other suggestions on a set up like mine would be appreciated!



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