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Do I Have to Replace My Furnace and Air Conditioner at the Same Time?

Heating and A/C units allow families to feel comfortable in their home. A good heating and cooling system should keep you cool in the summertime and warm in the winter months. Many homeowners often wonder if they need to replace their furnace if they replace their air conditioner. While installing a new heating and cooling system is an investment, what most people don’t realize is that replacing both the air conditioner and the furnace at the same time will ultimately save money on overall cost over time due in part to higher energy efficiency and system longevity.

Energy Efficiency

Your air conditioner and furnace share the same air handler and blower, which is why both units should be in tip-top shape to maximize efficiency. Replacing the air conditioner without also replacing the furnace is kind of like hitching a trailer to a Ferrari. The trailer will slow the Ferrari down even though the sports car is designed for speed. While the new a/c unit you install in your home may have an excellent efficiency rating, the older unit will drag it down, causing you to pay just as much if not more in energy bills.

System Longevity

The air conditioner and furnace units are really part of a single system. When all the technology, parts, and components are matched, the system runs more efficiently and lasts much longer. A mismatched system compromises the longevity of each unit, particularly the newer unit which must work harder to compensate for the older one. The added stress to the system may lead to premature breakdowns that can be costly to repair.

Overall Cost

While getting a new air conditioner and furnace at the same time costs money upfront, you will actually be saving more money in the long run on:

Installation Costs

You can minimize the cost of installation by having your HVAC contractor install the entire system at the same time.

Voided Warranties

Most manufacturers will not cover the cost of repairs or replacements for a mismatched system due to the number of problems that arise with mixed units.

System Repairs

Units that are matched in age and technology will not break down as quickly or as often as systems with mixed technology.

Energy Bills

As mentioned earlier, you can maximize the efficiency of your HVAC system and save on energy costs by selecting a newer heating and cooling unit with a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) rating greater than 13. The SEER rating is the cooling output during a cooling-season divided by the total electric energy input during the same period. The higher the unit’s SEER rating, the more energy efficient it is. Most energy companies, including MidAmerican Energy in Des Moines, will even offer rebates for energy-efficient systems.

Replacing your heating and cooling system is an investment and an important decision all homeowners have to make. The good news is, if updated and maintained properly, you shouldn’t have to install a new HVAC system for at least 20 years!