Your HVAC system, which means your heating and cooling systems, are the heart of your home. They are the reason you can sleep well at night when it’s blistering hot out or you can read comfortably on your couch when it’s cold outside. These system are designed to work for years, but after a while, like all things used on a regular basis, they must be replaced. Yet, advice varies on whether or not you should replace your air conditioner and furnace at the same time.
Consider how quickly technology develops. A decade ago cellphones were still about the size of small bricks and now you can comfortably slide one in your back pocket (or lose it in your purse!). Imagine how far energy efficient technology has come since the day your furnace was installed twelve years ago. Considering homeownership is one of the biggest investments of anyone’s life, it’s safe to say there’s a whole industry around making that the most sensible choice for you.
Heating and cooling systems have similar lifespans and often operate together. Your ventilation system is what moves air, both warm and cold, through your house. If you replace your air conditioning unit but the other aspects of your system are outdated you may not be using your conditioner to maximum efficiency.
Also, if you only replace one piece of equipment and continue to repair the other one, the amount you spend on repairs and in utility bills on less efficient equipment may easily be outweighed by buying an entirely new, modern air conditioning and heating system. By the time you do replace that second piece, it may be more efficient than your now-older equipment ensuring you still don’t operate at 100% capacity.
Consider the amount of time that goes into replacing one piece of equipment. You need to consult a specialist, select a unit, review warranty and service agreements, schedule an install date and take off that day from work, and setup repair and servicing for your outdated equipment. Whereas, doing a system overhaul means you can take care of everything in one fell swoop, and sometimes get a better deal in the process!
It would be unfair of us to ignore factors associated with replacing separately, but these truly are conditional. If neither of your equipment is more than a few years old and you are having serious problems with one piece, that piece may be defective. You should consult your installer and the manufacturer regarding how to replace the equipment as soon as possible. If you only need to conduct minor repairs or replace parts well known to break down early, you only need to deal with one piece at a time. However, if you are replacing an 8 year old air conditioning unit and haven’t considered replacing your 10 year old furnace, we strongly encourage you to consult a specialist about overhauling your system.
By replacing both units at the same time you save money on energy bills, minimize work done at your home, and can open up opportunities to increase efficiency at large. If you are replacing your equipment you should have your ducts inspected as well. (30% efficiency is lost through heat and cool transfer in leaking ducts.) One system overhaul could have your home operating hassle free for ten years or more!