Air conditioners and furnaces are two parts of a whole in more ways than one. They’re the yin and yang of your Austin air conditioning and heating home comfort system. One brings the heat, the other the cold. They operate using the same ductwork. You control both using the same thermostat interface. All it takes is a single switch on that thermostat to switch from one to the other. Because of all of this, there are many good reasons why you might want to consider replacing these two appliances together, rather than waiting until one gives out and then replacing it, then waiting for the other to give out and replacing it.
This might seem like a lot of investment to throw down at once but many professionals recommend this method of replacement over the standard “replace when broke” philosophy that many people take to by default. In this tip of the day, we’re going to investigate a multitude of arguments as to why it might be a good idea to replace your furnace and your air conditioner simultaneously as well as some common counter-arguments to this idea. Read on to learn about this common issue that pops up and the opinions you’ll see thrown up the most in its discussion.
The Main and Only Real Drawback
Before we dive into the arguments for replacing your air conditioner and furnace at the same time let’s cover the main argument against it. A lot of the reasons why such a strategy is a good idea hinge on repealing and overriding this main drawback so let’s jump into it. The main and really the only significant drawback to replacing your air conditioner and furnace at the same time is exactly what you might think, money.
Air conditioners and furnaces are not cheap devices and new ones are even less so. Sure repairing might cost some significant funds, and things like regular and annual maintenance can take a bite out of your paycheck too. But the actual appliances themselves can sometimes seem dauntingly costly especially if you aren’t anticipating having to replace one. That cost just about doubles when you consider replacing both at the same time.
That’s why it can be very tempting to only replace the one that’s giving you the most trouble at this moment and squeezing as much time as you can out of the other. As you prepare for a substantial expense, it’s easy to think that you’ll wait and replace the other system later. Many of the arguments for this simultaneous replacement are going to hinge on the idea that this double expense isn’t as bad as you’d imagine and could end up being good for your wallet in the long run over waiting for both appliances to reach the absolute end of their rope.
Energy Efficiency Pays Off
One of the best arguments for replacing an old furnace or air conditioner, in general, is the energy efficiency angle, and for good reason. As technology marches forward, the old is put to shame by the new in terms of energy use and that gives you an advantage when in the market for new HVAC units. The heating and air conditioning systems being manufactured today are highly efficient and use much less energy than systems built just 10 to 15 years ago. You can easily compare the efficiency of different air conditioning systems as you research by checking the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio rating. New systems have a SEER number of at least 13, the minimum government standard for cooling systems. The higher the SEER, the less energy used and the lower the cost to operate.
Furnaces use their own energy efficiency rating system. The rating for furnaces is the annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE), a measure of seasonal performance. In general, an AFUE of 90 percent or higher is recommended for a new, efficient furnace system. Boilers and heat pump systems will have a slightly different recommended number. The standards of efficiency ratings for both air conditioners and heaters have gone up since the older devices you probably have in your home were made, meaning one thing you can be sure of when you upgrade these appliances is that you’re going to get something that’s more efficient. On average, a modern furnace will last 15 to 20 years and a central air conditioning system will last 12 to 15 years, depending on the quality and efficiency of the equipment.
The efficiency increase pays off too. The energy efficiency of your HVAC units directly influences the amount you spend every month on your Austin heating and cooling bills. The more energy-efficient, the lower the bills. In essence, what this means is that the older your cooling and heating units are the more they are costing you every month in energy bills. The sooner you replace them the sooner you’ll be reaping the benefits of highly efficient appliances. Therefore it follows that since you’ll have to replace both eventually anyway, you might as well replace them both once one needs replacing since you’ll immediately start to see the benefits in your monthly energy bills.
Machines Mismatched or Complementing
There are certainly more technical reasons why replacing both your air conditioner and your furnace at the same time is a good idea. Since air conditioners and furnaces work as two parts of a whole HVAC system and they use much of the same infrastructure in your house, making sure the two units are well-matched is a worthwhile consideration.
Mixing old and new technology can decrease system performance. By replacing just one part of your overall system, you effectively lower the performance of both systems. When you couple a new highly-efficient system with your older system, the components don't "match," and you won't be utilizing the new technology to its full potential.
On the other hand, matched systems complement each other. Your furnace and central Austin air conditioning system share the same air handler or blower in addition to the same ducts and thermostat. Having a matched system with an efficient handler will allow both systems to operate properly, giving you the home comfort you want with as much energy efficiency as you can get.
Attempting to match an older air conditioner with a new furnace or vice versa can be bad for the health of the newer unit too. The results of not replacing both parts with new, efficient equipment can lead to discomfort, frustration, and unnecessary costs. Matching a new system with an old, inefficient system will potentially decrease the lifespan of the new system you just invested in.
Then there’s also the warranty issue. In terms of warranties, manufacturers are not obligated to honor warranties of new systems that are combined with older systems if they break down during the warranty period. Replacing both systems at the same time will ensure you have the protection of your warranty if you should need it.
Updating to Minimize Repairs
AC repair in Austin and heater repair are two of the most common sources of frustration in the household. As sophisticated as these machines are, they put in a lot of work day in and day out and this naturally results in the fact that repairs are going to be necessary from time to time no matter what. Even with the best maintenance, you can’t avoid random chance malfunctions. But one thing about AC and heater repair remains true across the board and that’s that they are way more common with older systems than newer ones.
That’s one of the best arguments for replacing an HVAC unit period. Older units nearing the end of their lifespan are going to need much more frequent repairs and these repairs are going to add up to the point where you would have been better off from a money perspective, not just a comfort perspective if you’d replaced the unit much earlier instead of waiting until it absolutely couldn’t go any further.
This basic principle, that replacing sooner than later will save you money in potential repairs down the road, is one of the best arguments for replacing your heater and air conditioner at the same time. Since they’re likely to be about as old as each other, you might as well replace both once one needs replacing since that will save you the headache of needing more repairs down the road.
And this argument is further bolstered by the fact that mismatched old and new systems will cause repairs to be needed even more frequently in many cases. Mismatch units create undue stress on your air conditioner, resulting in an unnecessary, premature breakdown. In other words, you'll save money over time with a matched system. When components are matched, they are designed to work together for maximum efficiency. By replacing both systems together, you'll save money if repairs are necessary because both systems will be under warranty. Overall, new systems will require fewer repairs. You also may save money on installation when you purchase both systems together because the process will be less complicated and involved. Down the road, you'll have to pay for a second installation when you decide to replace the older unit.
Replacing Your HVAC Units and Air Conditioning Repair in Austin
It’s always a sad day when one of your HVAC units finally gives out. But every end is a new beginning. IN this case, it’s the beginning of a better home heating and cooling experience. Replacing both your air conditioner and your furnace at the same time is really the best way to go about it. There is a multitude of reasons why this is the most prudent practice, many of them stemming from the fact that these devices are very intimately intertwined, and matching them will do wonders for your comfort and energy efficiency.
Whether you’re in the market for a new furnace, a new air conditioner, both, or just need some professional maintenance done on one or both, consider AC Express. AC Express is an Austin heater repair and AC repair company that does AC repair in Austin and throughout the area, from Buda and Kyle to Taylor and Leander. For excellent AC and heater repair in Austin, call today!