Heating and cooling your home are two of the most important aspects of maintaining a comfortable living environment. They can often be taken for granted, however, and it’s no more apparent than when a unit needs replacing. But how can you ensure that your air conditioner and furnace are ready to take on the season and the changing weather? One way is to replace them at the same time if one of the two needs it. If one fails, there’s a good chance the other is not far behind. There is more than one reason to do it together, though, and it can ultimately lead to more efficient heating and cooling that will save you money.
After determining whether your units needs to be replaced rather than just repaired, these benefits will help you understand why replacing your AC and furnace together is a good choice.
If your air conditioner or furnace is on its last legs, odds are they’re both fairly old units. Especially if they were previously installed before moving into your home, they’re likely not up-to-date and as efficient as they could be. Though a failing AC unit or furnace can be rather inconvenient, it also gives you the ability to make the upgrade to a more modern and efficient unit. Even units from a decade ago are now considered outdated, so anything newer and you’ll be sure to notice a significant difference.
New air conditioners, for example, have a SEER or Season Energy Efficiency Ratio of 13, the government standard for air conditioning units. The higher the SEER, the more efficient it is. For furnaces, AFUE or Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency is used to measure performance and the same applies. In this case, a rating of 90% or higher is generally recommended. When both are replaced at the same time, efficiency is exponentially improved and homeowners are able to switch between units seamlessly without losing this efficiency.
Like previously mentioned, even AC units or furnaces from 10 to 15 years ago are considered antiquated by today’s standards. New systems allow for improved and efficient performance that just can’t compare to an older unit and trying to mix the old technology with the new can lead to some issues. Manufacturers know that mixing and matching old and new units can lead to undue stress on both and in some cases, won’t even offer a warranty if they suspect that’s how they’re being used.
An air conditioning unit and furnace essentially work in tandem, sharing the same handler, and making sure that both systems are running with the same efficiency makes a big difference in providing you with the comfort you expect in your home. By replacing both units at the same time, you can be sure that there are no premature repairs or issues caused by incompatible units.
Cut Costs & Save Money
Imagine installing a new AC unit only to find a month later that your furnace needs replacing, too. If both the existing air conditioner and furnace were purchased at the same time, one breaking down likely indicates that the other is also on its way out. If this is the case, replacing them both at the same time can save you on hefty installation fees. This also helps if your unit needs a repair—having two units of the same age means you can perform regular maintenance at the same time, not to mention they’ll both be under warranty, unlike if they were mismatched.
Ultimately, however, most of your savings will come from the improved efficiency. Higher SEER and AFUE ratings mean that your utility costs will be lower but performance will be better. Better efficiency means less energy being used and the energy that is used is done so more effectively.
Unfortunately, when an AC or furnace fails, it’s often at the worst time. It’s understandable that in some cases, homeowners won’t be able to make the upgrade to two new units right away. If you’ve been experiencing worsening performance from one unit for some time, however, you may have already been considering an upgrade. If you’re wondering whether or not to replace them both together, the answer is simple: yes. In the long run, it will not only save you money but also improve efficiency. You’ll even get the added benefit of saving on installation costs and even minor maintenance can be done at the same time. If you’re still on the fence, a contractor or trained professional can help you determine whether or not your unit needs replacing and if so, can help you find ones that are affordable and effective.