All this thinking and planning and debating and praying about the HVAC situation, and I guess God already had our unit picked out for us. And it turns out He thought we should upgrade to the dual fuel system for downstairs, because that's what we got!
It's hard to explain how I didn't know what we were buying, but with all the confusing model number changes, rebate offers, different components you can mix and match, and other befuddling details, I was pretty sure I had communicated we had settled for the gas furnace. And the price on the final quote sheet definitely reflected that fact (gas-only is a good bit cheaper than the dual fuel heat pump plus furnace).
So imagine my surprise when the installer handed me the manual for the downstairs unit and it was for a dual fuel! And the unit was already sitting on the pad hooked up, so they said it was ours and not to worry about it when I asked. The owner admitted it was his mistake and to consider it a bonus! So we got a top of the line, highly efficient unit without meaning to and without paying any more than we were planning to for the gas-only one. One more blessing in the long line of fabulous happenings here on the farm!
Here's to being cool in the summer and warm in the winter. The process took twice as long as expected (but was still completed in only two weeks, which I find amazing). I had the opportunity to interact with a very reputable family business, a nice crew of guys, and learn more than I ever thought I would want to know about heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. It took a very big chunk of our renovation budget, but we think it's worth it.
Next step: Learning how to control our fancy-schmancy "environmental control" (nothing as simple as a thermostat, of course) with Jeff's iPhone!