I live in nothern Virginia and am about to install a new HVAC ystem for my home. I've been comparing the savings I would get if I installed a 3 ton Hybrid system with an 80% furnace, or if I went with a straight A/C and a 95% furnace. My gas bill is currently $250-$400 a month during the heating months, with $150-$200 electric. The summer brings lower gas bills but higher electric.
The cost of a %95 furnace is about $900 more than the hybrid not including venting work. I would like to recoup my $ investment over the years, with the confidence of efficiency and long life of the units. Any insight?
You should consider the highest efficiency system that you can afford. With government rebate programs, and tax incentives combined with rebates from the suppliers and equipment manufactures. You would spend less not only up front, but down the road in energy efficiency overall.
I would suggest that you get a audit done by a BPI professional to determine where your energy loss is and what you can do to improve your current home before you put in any equipment. As the sizing for furnaces are dependent upon how well your home has been improved upon over the years. And these people can assist you in making that choice.