Top Benefits of Replacing Your Furnace and Air Conditioner at the Same Time
Replacing an air conditioner and furnace on their own can be expensive. Replacing them together may feel out of the question. Plus, you want to get the most use out of each unit, right? However, there are several benefits to a total HVAC replacement even if only one of the units has reached its breaking point, and you may even walk away spending less in the end.
1. Keep both units running at maximum efficiency.
Since air conditioners tend to have shorter lifespans than furnaces, homeowners usually replace this part of their HVAC system first. Air conditioners often last between 10 and 15 years, while a furnace can last between 15 and 30.
If you only replace the air conditioning unit, it will continue to use the blower motor from the furnace, which may not be compatible with newer high-efficiency AC units. Therefore, you may not be experiencing the full benefits of a high-efficiency air conditioner. If the SEER rating on your air conditioner is higher than your furnace, your system’s overall performance may not be as efficient as you think, as it will default to the lower efficiency level.
2. Protect internal parts from wear and tear.
When you replace both the air conditioner and furnace at the same time, you will avoid issues that come with older and more worn-out parts trying to keep up with the newer and more efficient parts. The components between the older furnace and the newer air conditioner may run at different speeds, which could end up lowering the efficiency of your HVAC and raise your energy bills from month to month. Even more concerning, the extra strain between incompatible parts can lead to premature breakdowns on various parts, requiring frequent repairs and/or another total replacement sooner than expected. These extra costs can be avoided with brand-new parts on both units with a total system replacement.
3. Avoid double-paying for installation.
When you replace each unit individually, you will pay for the installation cost both times. Having an air conditioner and furnace replacement done at the same time means you only have to pay for installation once. Although you may get a few more years out of your furnace if you wait, oftentimes it saves you money in the long run having both replaced at the same time.
When should you wait to replace it?
Since air conditioners and furnaces have differing lifespans, they don’t always fail at the exact same time. Often, you will need an AC replacement first. There are times when it makes more sense to wait on the furnace replacement rather than have both replaced at the same time.
For instance, if your furnace is 10 years old or younger, you may get away with replacing just the air conditioner this time and waiting until the next replacement to swap out both units. It is likely that your furnace will last another 10 years before parts wear out or its efficiency levels start to fall enough to warrant a replacement.
Sometimes, only a repair is necessary to keep both units running for a little while longer. Even if your system completely quits one day or it won’t turn on, a simple fix may be all that is needed to get your system up and working again. If your units are younger than 10 years old, you may want to call a professional to diagnose and repair the problem before looking into replacements.
How do I know when it is time to replace?
Besides the age of each unit, there are several signs you can look for to know when it is time to replace one or both of your units.
- Energy costs are much higher than normal.
- Heating and cooling your home take longer.
- Your system has difficulty maintaining adequate temperatures.
- Temperatures are uneven throughout the home.
- There are strange noises or smells coming from the units.
- One or both units is leaking.
- Humidity levels are imbalanced in the home.
The best way to ensure the longevity of your HVAC system is to have it regularly maintained by a professional technician. The best time to schedule a tune-up is in the fall for a furnace and in the spring for an air conditioner. Once-per-year tune-ups will help with the efficiency of each individual unit and the compatibility between them. By having a regular check-up on your units, your technician will be able to warn you when one or both of your units is ready for replacement.