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Should You Replace Your AC and Furnace Simultaneously?

October 13, 2020

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One item that property owners tend to put off when making home improvements is the replacement of their heating and cooling systems. Why? Because it's expensive, it's time-consuming and messy, and without prior knowledge of the HVAC industry, it's impossible to know if it's actually time for an AC replacement, or if the HVAC contractor is simply trying to make extra cash. Before you start wondering whether or not you can replace a furnace and air conditioner at the same time, research the facts. A good rule of thumb, according to the authorities at Energy Star, air conditioners that are ten years or older and furnaces that are 15 years or older are due for an HVAC replacement that's more efficient and modern.

Should you replace a furnace and air conditioner at the same time? The pros are saving money on HVAC installation costs, less disruption for project completion, and a greater chance for both units' seamless operations from the start. The disadvantage is the initial expense in separate appliances.

Before you decide whether or not you should replace your furnace and air conditioner simultaneously, take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of the possibility. While HVAC specialists suggest that the pros outweigh the cons in the long run, it's up to you to decide if it's right for your situation and your budget.

hvac contractor installing an ac unit

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

There are indicators that your heating and cooling equipment is failing, and the signs to watch for will point you in the right direction of whether or not you should replace them both at the same time.

First of all, if you notice any of these problems or situations occurring at your home or commercial property, it's time to start planning for an AC replacement and heating installation:

  • Frequency in AC repair and furnace repair is more than normal
  • Spaces in your building are too hot or too cold
  • Energy bills are increasing 
  • Humidity issues within the home or office
  • Dust is excessive
  • Noisy heating and cooling appliances during operation

Do any of these predicaments sound familiar? If you answered yes to one or more, start budgeting for an air conditioner and furnace replacement. Even if it's a month or more out, it will be inevitable to complete the HVAC service someday soon. While you're doing your planning, know that there are numerous benefits to replacing both the AC unit and heating system at the same time. Let's break it down quick:

Reasons to Replace Your AC Unit & Furnace at the Same Time

Maximum energy efficiency

Some of the parts that are used to operate your heating and cooling equipment are the same. If you replace only the air conditioner and run it off an old blower, for instance, then you're not getting the most from your new appliance. Taking out everything outdated and installing more technology-advanced and higher performing equipment will guarantee lower energy costs, greater efficiency, and overall better comfort throughout every season of the year.

Parts and equipment that match

Have you ever read the warnings about mixing old and new parts? Perhaps the most common is batteries, but the same goes for your heating and cooling equipment. When you combine old with new, you have a greater chance for failure because the systems aren't meant to operate together. By replacing your air conditioner and furnace at the same time, everything is from the same brand or manufacturer and designed to work flawlessly together from the first day.

Lower AC and furnace installation costs

With any HVAC installation by a professional air conditioning or heating company comes the labor price for the work they have to do. Installing an air conditioner and furnace separately means that you will have two different bills for the service. When you have them done concurrently, you will only be charged for one HVAC labor service.

Less disruption to your daily routine

One of the reasons many put off their AC replacement or heating installation is because it requires disruption to their daily routine. The property is in part under construction, leading to stress, headache, and frustration. When you replace the AC unit and furnace together, it's all taken care of at once.

residential ac unit replacement

Are There Any Reasons NOT to Replace Simultaneously?

There is a concrete "con" when it comes to replacing your AC and furnace at the same time: the initial investment. Without question, you will have to pay more because you're purchasing both a furnace and an air conditioner. With the money and time saved on doing it all at once, that initial investment will eventually pay for itself in the passing months.

Chances are if your heating equipment is outdated, your air conditioner isn't far behind, and vice versa. The benefits far outweigh the disadvantages in many aspects, but again, it's up to you to decide what's best. Discussing the advantages in detail with a professional HVAC company always helps, as long as you have a reputable one that you can trust.

Can You Replace Your Air Conditioner Without Replacing the Furnace?

If you don't have the funds to replace your air conditioner and furnace together, you can absolutely replace the AC unit and leave the heating system alone. Just keep in mind that, as mentioned, one usually follows the other. You may need to look into financing options if you want to avoid having two separate HVAC installation services performed. Most heating and cooling companies offer to finance in house, but you'll have to call their customer service team to find out for sure what's feasible.

HVAC system including furnace and ac unit

How Long Does it Take to Install a New Furnace and Air Conditioner?

With one of the benefits of replacing your AC and furnace at the same time comes the hours saved. So, what exactly are you shaving off of your HVAC installation in terms of disruption to your daily life? It could be up to four hours or more.

An AC installation on its own takes anywhere between four and eight hours. The typical furnace replacement is frequently done in four to ten hours, depending on the difficulty level. However, if you replace the air conditioner and furnace at the same time, the job is done in eight to 14 hours by most trained HVAC contractors.

It is possible to get a more accurate estimate of how long it takes to install a new furnace or air conditioner by calling your preferred HVAC provider. They will send a heating and cooling specialist to your location for an evaluation. Then you can get a customized estimate that includes both cost and timeframe for completion that is specific for your home or commercial establishment.

Do the AC and Furnace Work Together?

To reemphasize, in most cases, yes, your AC and furnace work together, at least in part. The heating and cooling systems run through the same ductwork, for example. Some of the parts, like the blower that forces either the cold or warmed air, also works with both systems.

Your thermostat is another piece of the puzzle that works with both your AC and furnace. While it's not absolutely necessary to replace your thermostat during a heating or cooling upgrade, it's often recommended by the experts because of the energy efficiency that comes with a more advanced device. 

Today's thermostats can be programmed to turn up the heat or kick on the air conditioner at specific times, for instance. Some even can be operated from your smartphone or tablet, making them extremely convenient.

HVAC replacement can increase home value

Will a New Furnace and AC Unit Increase Your Home's Value?

It's no surprise that a new furnace and AC unit are expensive. On average, according to HVAC contractors and Home Advisor professionals, the national average for HVAC replacement is $7,000. That includes the equipment and installation, along with the removal and disposal of the old system. Here are some more detailed rates to reflect on:

  • AC - $3,800 to $7,500
  • Furnace - $2,600 to $6,300
  • Heat Pump - $4,100 to $7,200
  • Ductwork - $500 - $2,000
  • Boiler - $3,500 to $7,700

Your final cost will depend on the heating and cooling equipment you choose, the building's size, and the complexity of installation. Keep in mind that when you do your air conditioning and furnace installation at the same time, you will reduce the cost of labor.

So with this purchase, will the new furnace and AC unit increase your home's value? Yes! Whether you're putting your home up for sale, or if you're just looking for ways to make it worth more, heating and cooling is always a productive way to invest your money. People looking to purchase a property want to see that the furnace and central air conditioning systems are new, making the home's value much higher. That's because the consumer recognizes they won't be out the cost of a new AC unit or furnace anytime soon.

The Final Answer: Should You Replace Your AC and Furnace Simultaneously?

After you review the numerous benefits of replacing the air conditioner and furnace at the same time, for the majority, it's the most suitable option. The only reason you wouldn't want to do this is if you don't have the money to put into the project upfront. If your budget only allows for one HVAC replacement at a time, then you can certainly update the air conditioner without replacing the furnace. Financing the entire project is what many that fall into that category ultimately decide to save time and money and guarantee their new AC and heat systems work correctly from the start.

commercial HVAC Contractors performing an ac unit replacement

Who We Are

Cypress AC Repair Pros is a locally owned and operated AC repair company in Cypress, TX. The crew of qualified HVAC contractors offers 24/7 emergency AC repairs, installations, replacements, and maintenance services along with furnace repair and indoor air quality options. Each employee is vetted and highly trained in heating and cooling for quality assurance for guaranteed customer satisfaction. Cypress AC Repair Pros have years of experience working with all HVAC system makes and models. They continue learning and education in the HVAC industry to stay current in the most modern, energy-efficient methods for heating and cooling options for their valued HVAC clients. If you're interested in hearing from specialists about the pros and cons and whether or not you should replace your furnace and air conditioner at the same time, there is a knowledgeable customer service representative available around the clock. When you require a furnace or AC replacement in Cypress, TX, we're the professionals for you!

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