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Should I Replace My Air Conditioner and Furnace at the Same Time?

8 min Read
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Does it really make sense to replace both your air conditioner and furnace at the same time? The answer might surprise you. Learn about the advantages of upgrading both systems together.

 

As a homeowner, making the call to replace your air conditioner or furnace is a big deal. The lifespan of one of these systems is typically about 12-15 years, and you probably want to be sure that you’re not getting rid of a system that still has a few years left in the tank. Does this sound like you?

Then, when you do decide to hire an HVAC professional, you might be shocked to get a recommendation of replacing not just one system, but both.

This advice might come as a surprise, but it’s worth learning about the benefits of replacing both your air conditioning and heating systems at the same time.

The HVAC professionals here at Mattioni are committed to promoting informed decision-making from our customers; so in this article, we’re going to identify the benefits of replacing both your heating and cooling systems simultaneously, and also take a look at some situations where doing so might not make sense.

Here’s a quick look ahead:

6 Benefits of Replacing Your Furnace and Air Conditioner at the Same Time

  1. Improved Performance and Comfort Level
  2. Improved Efficiency and Lower Utility Bills
  3. Prolonged System Health
  4. Reduced Installation Costs
  5. New and Synchronized Warranties
  6. Avoid a Future Emergency

3 Situations Where Replacing Both Systems Might Not Make Sense

  1. More Than One Year Left Under Warranty
  2. Planning on Moving Soon
  3. Budgeting Constraints

Let’s explore the six reasons why simultaneous heating and cooling upgrades can be a strategic approach to managing your household.

 

6 Benefits of Replacing Your Furnace and Air Conditioner at the Same Time

  1. Improved Performance and Comfort Level

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Air conditioners borrow the blower motor that’s housed within your furnace to distribute cool air throughout your house. Therefore, replacing just your air conditioner and not your furnace results in a brand-new cooling system that’ll use an outdated blower motor to deliver the cooled air to each room in your house. This leads to sub-optimal cooling performance and comfort levels in your home.

Alternatively, putting a new air conditioner next to a new furnace will set up your air conditioner to operate at peak performance, and you’ll feel the difference.

  1. Improved Efficiency and Lower Utility Bills

The efficiency of your system is also tied to its performance level. If your AC is using a less effective blower motor because your furnace is older, then the system will have to work harder and/or longer to achieve the temperature set at your thermostat.

When you replace both systems together, your cooling system will run as efficiently as possible and save you on utility costs.

  1. Prolonged System Health

An improved HVAC efficiency level means that the system will encounter fewer start-up sequences and therefore less wear and tear. In other words, the boost in performance and efficiency your new air conditioner experiences when it’s set up with a new furnace will also improve the health of the system.

Conversely, an air conditioner that runs alongside an older furnace has a greater likelihood of needing repairs sooner than one running alongside a new furnace.

Another consideration you might want to make when replacing your heating and cooling systems is ensuring that they’re both sized properly for your home. Be sure to consult with your HVAC professional about matching the sizing of your system with your home.

  1. Reduced Installation Costs

Much like other types of purchases, the costs tied to installing heating and cooling systems are reduced when bought together. This is because of both the time saved when both jobs are done at once, and the special deals that HVAC companies typically offer to replace both systems together.

We’ve estimated that you can save between $2,000 and $5,000 by bundling your heating and cooling system installations.

  1. Updated and Synchronized Warranties

HVAC system warranties that are out of sync can lead to confusion about how much a repair will cost, which could cause you to pay more for a repair than you initially thought. When you’re replacing one of your systems, check on the status of the other’s warranty. If it’s got about a year or less remaining, then replacing that one as well is a smart move.

Replacing both your air conditioner and furnace simultaneously will not only give you a full reset on the length of your warranties but they’ll also be lined up together. This gives you a clear picture of your current coverage level going forward, saving you from any confusion and unexpected costs.

  1. Avoid Future Emergencies

If you’re wary about upgrading both systems because you think one of them still has a few years left to operate, you may want to consider the flip side of what may occur.

If your furnace or air conditioner fails, it’ll probably be when it’s working hardest, i.e. the hottest or coldest days. You’ll be left without heating or AC and you’ll be forced to scramble to find a new system to install as soon as possible, which could be a few days away. We’ve seen this nightmare situation all too often.

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If you’re replacing one of your systems and the other is between 12-15 years old, we highly recommend speaking with an HVAC professional about how installing a new system now can save you from an emergency in the future.

 

Three Situations Where Replacing Both Systems Might Not Make Sense

As you can see, there are plenty of reasons to consider replacing both of your HVAC systems concurrently, however there are a few situations where doing so isn’t always recommended.

1. More Than One Year Left Under Warranty

 If the system you weren’t planning on replacing is still under warranty for at least one more year, it’s probably smarter to wait on upgrading it. If this is true for you, your system is likely not old enough to require replacing, and by utilizing the entire length of your initial warranty, any repair costs will be reduced or removed.

If you have less than one year left on your warranty, however, the benefits of replacement likely outweigh the benefits of sticking with the initial warranty.

2. Planning on Moving Soon

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Another situation where replacing both systems might not be the best idea is if you are certain you’ll be moving within a year. If you’re sure you’ll be moving in the foreseeable future, you won’t see the rewards of replacing the second system, but you’ll still be paying for it.

A new heating or cooling system might be a great selling point for your house, but it doesn’t always increase the value of it. In this situation, just stick with replacing the system that needs to be replaced.

However, if you know you’d like to move but aren’t sure of how soon you’ll be able to, this may not be your situation as you could end up staying in your home for a few more years.

3. Budgeting Constraints

While it’s true that you can save $2,000 to $5,000 by having both installations done together, by doing so you’ll also be paying more in the short term.

Budgeting for both your heating and cooling is more challenging than budgeting for one, so you may rule it out based solely on your financial situation. If you’re working on a strict budget, then having both installations done together may not be for you.

However, it is important to know that financing options are available, including 12 months interest-free, and that prices are only expected to increase in the future.

 

Is It Worth Replacing Both Systems Together?

Ultimately, whether replacing both systems at the same time is the right move will be unique to you and your home. While there are some negative performance, efficiency, and pricing implications to operating a new heating or cooling system alongside an older one, there are also situations that should rule out the heftier investment.

We encourage you to make an informed choice, so comparing the benefits, financial implications, and risks surrounding this decision with your own situation and priorities is a good starting point. Consulting with an HVAC professional will also help you gather more information and get a personal recommendation about whether this makes sense for you.

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If you haven’t reached out already, our HVAC professionals are ready to help you navigate this process today. Call us at 610-400-8510 or schedule an appointment online to learn more about your HVAC system installation options.

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