Should You Replace Your AC and Furnace at the Same Time?

Depending on where you live, your family may depend heavily on your heating system this time of year. Many homeowners keep up with regular maintenance to ensure their furnace or boiler works as efficiently as possible for as long as possible. However, even they will eventually need a replacement unit.

Usually, the need for replacement doesn’t come as a surprise, and many people know that the time is drawing near when their system stops heating all rooms/levels as evenly as it once did. Or maybe it’s been needing repair after repair just to keep running. The average furnace will last between 15 and 20 years. If your heating system is around this age, the time to get the unit replaced is likely coming sooner rather than later.

What about my air conditioner?

Many homeowners often wonder if it makes sense to replace their air conditioning system at the same time they’re replacing their furnace. In some cases, yes, it is a good idea to replace both units at the same time. However, there are also some situations where it might not be the best decision for your home (or for your budget).

Scenarios in which it’s a good idea to replace BOTH your AC and furnace

Existing AC and heating system aren’t the right size

If you noticed during the spring and summer months last year that your air conditioner seemed to be breaking down often and requiring several repairs just to keep it running — even if it isn’t yet at the 15-to-20-year age mark — it could be indicating that the unit isn’t the right size for your home’s cooling needs.

If an air conditioning system’s cooling capacity is too big or small for the home, then it will likely experience issues with premature wear and tear on its most vital components. This could lead to your home not being cooled evenly, or your AC may randomly cycle on and off. When this happens, it may result in very expensive energy bills, as well.

The same could be said for your furnace. If your system hasn’t reached the end of the average lifespan just yet, but it still seems to break down more often than you’d like and/or your home doesn’t feel as warm as you’d like, then this could also be an indication that it isn’t the right size for your needs.

An experienced heating and cooling professional will be able to assist you with determining the heating/cooling load capacity for your home and recommend the best size for a replacement AC and furnace for your family.

A discount or incentive may be offered when both units are replaced at the same time

It’s no surprise that replacing a heating or cooling system isn’t exactly a low-cost purchase. Replacing either unit on its own could cost you thousands.

Many heating and cooling companies will offer a special discount or incentive if you decide to replace both your air conditioner and furnace at the same time. These special offers may also involve waiving labor/installation fees, or they may provide other incentives such as the installation of a new smart thermostat.

Be sure to ask the heating and cooling professional you work with about any manufacturer warranties that will be included with your new purchase. If there isn’t one available for you, consider enrolling in a Heating Repair or Cooling Repair plan from Oncourse Home Solutions for added peace of mind.

New furnace won’t be compatible with the existing air conditioner

There is a part of your furnace that is in use year-round, regardless of whether you’re running your heating or cooling system. It’s the blower motor. This device is responsible for helping circulate conditioned air throughout your home.

If you are considering replacing your furnace only, then you need to consider whether the blower motor on the new unit will be compatible with your existing AC. The AC’s cooling output needs to be able to be supported by the blower motor.

Not sure whether the two are compatible? Consult a heating and cooling professional for advice. He or she will know if the two will be able to work in unison to keep your family comfortable, or they will let you know if you need to also replace your cooling system at the same time for an optimal environment inside your home.

You want to improve your family’s overall comfort

If you’ve noticed that your home just doesn’t feel as warm or cool as it should throughout the seasons, then it may be time to consider replacing both your furnace and air conditioner. When that happens, contact a heating and cooling professional. He or she will be able to help you decide which new systems will work best for your family’s needs. They’ll also be able to recommend new functionalities for your heating/cooling systems that your existing units may not have — like variable-speed blower motors or multi-stage equipment.

When shouldn’t I replace both my AC and furnace at the same time?

If you’ve recently replaced your cooling system and now find your furnace acting up, it goes without saying that it doesn’t make much sense to replace your air conditioner again! And if your heating and cooling professional advises you that the new furnace you’re considering will work just fine with your existing air conditioner, and that air conditioner is still within its usable lifespan, then there is no need to consider replacing it now. Let it continue keeping your home nice and cool during the spring and summer.