Much like the leaky roof that we don’t notice until it rains, our air conditioners and furnaces tend to go unnoticed until they eventually cease to function.
No matter how good you are with maintenance and care, eventually one of those systems is going to kick the proverbial bucket. And when they do, you’re about as likely to think about replacing your AC in the dead of winter as you are to consider your furnace on a sweltering summer day. In other words, not at all!
But there are some good reasons to replace those systems together, even if one of them is the last thing on your mind.
Improved Efficiency Means Energy Savings
If your HVAC system (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning for short) is more than 10 years old, there’s a good case to be made for replacing them together. Modern furnaces and air conditioners use substantially less energy than those built just 10 or 15 years ago.
And the more efficient they are, the lower the cost of running them. If both of your systems are reaching peak age (which is generally up to 15 years for a central air conditioning system and up to 20 for a furnace) then you could save yourself a pretty penny on electric and gas bills.
Matched Sets Work Better Together
Even if one of your systems is newer than the other and you think you can squeeze more life out of it, you may be doing yourself a disservice in the long run by only replacing the older of the systems.
A new, highly energy-efficient system combined with an older, less-efficient one can actually decrease the performance of both and even potentially decrease the lifespan of your newer system. Since your air conditioner and furnace share the same air duct system, a “matched” system will work at peak efficiency.
You can witness the results in your comfort, and the effects on your pocket book.
Plus, matched sets are designed to work effectively together, and when both systems are new, they are both under warranty, which means fewer repairs and less costly upkeep.
The Replacement Cost May Be Lower Together Than Separately
When you replace an air conditioner or furnace, you need to detach them from the evaporator coils and other components. That means there is overlap in the labor, so replacing one system and then later replacing the other can actually cost more in time and labor than if you had done them at the same time.
This is an especially relevant consideration if both of your systems are reaching old age. If you’re replacing one now, and think you may be replacing the other within the next few years, it makes more financial sense to do them together.
Another consideration is how difficult your system is to replace. Part of the cost of replacing a system is the time and labor involved, and if your system is wedged under your house in a crawl space or in a tiny closet somewhere in the basement, that could contribute to the difficulty of the job – and ultimately the cost of replacing the system.
If your job is a tough one, it may be more cost effective to do it once then not think about it again for a long while.
The Bottom Line
As you weigh your options, consider each of the points here to determine whether replacing your whole HVAC system is a better option that replacing one piece at a time. The age of each component, coupled with their efficiency, and the difficulty of the job, will all factor into your decision.
If you’re thinking of replacing your furnace, air conditioner or whole HVAC system but aren’t sure what to do, let us help. We’ll visit your home for a free assessment and estimate to help keep you comfortable and save money, too. Contact us online or call us at (732) 316-5554.