Advise re HVAC/Insulation for new construction project
We are buiilding a new home in Port St Lucie, FL. Delivery still more than a year out, but we need to make tons of ‘upgrade’ decisions fairly soon, and plunk down a sizable deposit on them well in advance. We are very undecided on what to let the contractor do, and what to do ourselves after-the-fact. Ther are serious pros and cons either way.
One of the decisions involves air conditioning, a major concern in this climate. The builder offers an upgrade to a dual comressor system, or whatever they call it, to the tune of some $4000. I see from my investigating the subjecdt that this will indeed lead to energy cost savings and probably prolong the life of the unit. But my thinking is: At an upfront cost of $4000, how much energy savings over and above the $4K will I REALLY realize?? I figure with $4000 still in my pocket, that’s a good start to a totally new system after 8-9 years, which is probably the max life span of AC units in this climate. Any thoughts on this subject from anyone?
Along the same lines, the builder offers an insulation upgrade from R19 to $30 for about $700. That sounds to me like a more reasonable and cost effective alternative to minimizing energy costs. Again, any thoughts?
Finally, in regards to the above insulation cost. Would I be better off letting the builder stick the standard R19 at no additional cost, then letter a third party add more to upgrade to R30 after-the-fact? Any pros or cons?
Thanks in advance.