Should I Replace My Air Conditioner And Furnace At The Same Time?

April 24, 2024

A good HVAC system should keep you cool during hot California summers and comfy when the winter chill sets in. Over time, these units wear out and require replacement. But if one breaks down while the other still works, do you need to replace your air conditioner and furnace?

Replacing your air conditioner and furnace at the same time is often an economical choice. The decision involves a few important considerations. Learn about the benefits of installing a new furnace and AC at the same time and what factors to consider.

How Furnaces and Air Conditioners Work Together

Although many homeowners perceive furnace and air conditioning units as completely separate systems, your heating and cooling units actually work together to form your HVAC system. Most homes have split HVAC systems, which use cooling refrigeration cycles to remove hot air from your home and replace it with cool air. During warming cycles, the furnace heats the air and the system’s blower circulates it throughout your home.

A split air conditioner is composed of two main units:

  • Outdoor unit: Contains the condenser coil and compressor. It’s responsible for compressing and cooling the refrigerant.

  • Indoor unit: Contains the evaporator coil and air handler/blower. It’s responsible for circulating cooled or heated air throughout your home.

Advantages of Replacing Both Units

Replacing both your furnace and AC units at the same time offers several potential benefits.

Ensure system compatibility

Manufacturers design furnaces and AC units to work together, and you’ll get the best performance from a matching set. While it isn’t mandatory to have matching furnace and AC units, poor compatibility can result in limited efficiency, increased wear, and voided warranties. 

Boost energy efficiency

Modern HVAC systems are usually more energy-efficient than older systems. By replacing both units at the same time, you can enjoy utility bill savings without compromising on performance.

Improved comfort

With better efficiency from a new heating and cooling installation, your HVAC system can provide optimum temperature control and regulation throughout your home.

Avoid repair costs

Older systems tend to break down more frequently than new equipment, and some repairs can cost more than half the price of a new unit. Investing in new and compatible furnace and AC units translates to future savings from fewer repairs and lower energy costs.

Warranty coverage

New HVAC systems have manufacturer warranties for parts and labor over a certain period. Replacing both units ensures they’re both under warranty, providing protection on your investment.

Decision-Making Process: Factors to Consider

Although it offers big advantages, the decision to replace your air conditioner and furnace at the same time depends on a few important factors. Our HVAC technician will assess your specific needs and determine the best course of action.

Age and condition assessment

Consider the age of your current furnace and AC unit. Depending on maintenance, make and model, furnaces can last between 15 and 30 years while AC units last between 10 and 15 years.

If both units are approaching the end of their lifespans, replacing both may be more cost-effective. If your AC unit is at the end of its life, and your furnace is only a few years old and performing well, it might make more sense to only replace the AC unit.

Energy savings

Determine whether your existing system makes sense for your home. Ensure your system is the right size and model for your home and has modern energy-efficient design. A tailored and upgraded HVAC system makes a big difference to overall energy consumption and longevity.

Financial considerations

Take a close look at your budget, financing options, and current repair costs to determine the most cost-effective solution. Are your repair and maintenance costs stacking up? If you’re facing frequent breakdowns, investing in a new system may offer better returns than numerous costly repairs.

Warranty coverage

Mismatched units can inflict extra stress and wear on each other. In some cases, manufacturers won’t honor separate warranties for mismatched units if they break down. 

Incentives and rebates

Homeowners can access various government rebates and incentive programs that provide grants, tax credits, or other benefits to help promote energy efficiency. Check if you’re eligible for programs such as:

Contact Service Champions for a HVAC Installations and More

A furnace and AC combo installation can keep costs and energy consumption low while keeping your home a comfortable temperature year-round.

Ready for a new furnace and AC system? The team of technicians at Service Champions is available 24/7 for consultations and estimates. We also offer easy payment plans from our financing partnerships. Contact us or book online to get started with your HVAC system upgrade.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I determine the age and condition of my existing HVAC units?

You can typically find the manufacturing date of your current AC unit on the nameplate of the condenser unit. Alternatively, locate the serial or model numbers — the first four digits usually represent the unit’s manufacturing year. Contact the manufacturer or ask our Service Champion technicians if you’re unsure of the age or condition of your units. 

How do I know if my current furnace and new air conditioner are compatible?

To check for HVAC unit compatibility, ensure the components match and:

  • Verifying power availability

  • Assess ductwork

  • Verify indoor coil type

Our HVAC technicians can perform an in-depth assessment of your HVAC system’s compatibility.

Related Reading