Heat pumps and cold weather are not a good combination. Once the outside air drops below freezing they typically cannot heat efficiently and burn through the electricity and typically require secondary heating. It was 29° this morning in COS...
Yes exactly, it would be a dual fuel system so you can chose to run your gas furnace or else use your heat pump during the shoulder season in March, April, May and again in Sept, Oct and Nov. Natural gas wins hands down at today's prices, but since you'll probably be getting a 10 or 12 year warranty with your system, you might want the ability to have the heat pump in case natural gas takes off in price or a political decision is made to tax carbon.
It's happening right now north of the border. In BC, natural gas is subjected to a 20% carbon tax which will continue to ramp for the next 9 years. Hopefully that fool idea won't take root down there.
Pick the contractor not the brand of equipment. The higher the efficiency the sharper the service person has to be with the training and tools to diagnose the problem. Would you want a ford mechanic working on your tesla? Look at possible rebates from your utility companies. Have you been satisfied with your existing equipment as for both heating and cooling? Nows the time to address the problems. Any contractor want to do a manual j load on the house? Thinking about windows,doors, roof color or insulation? Plan to stay in your house long term 5 years or more? Most people looking to buy see new equipment not what it is.
Most home comfort issues are duct related. There is a fairly large jump between sizes so finding the exact size that matches the load calc is hit and miss.
Don't buy a unit with proprietary parts. Ya will be married to them. Something like Goodman or equivalent. Most all heating establishments can find parts for a Goodman or equivalent on any given day. The homeowner might even be able to buy the repair parts themselves.
I would also look at Rheem. We upgraded our HVAC from a heat pump to a gas furnace and regular AC after getting a gas line run to the house about 20 years ago, and have only two service calls. One for a non-Rheem expansion valve in the evaporator, and the second because I could not figure out if it was the thermostat or the control board causing issues.
The expansion valve went bad after 3 seasons of use, and since that time, no other parts (except for the thermostat) have been replaced.
I have found that Rheem parts are readily available online from various sources.