If you are planning to replace your air conditioner, you may want to seriously consider replacing the furnace too, and plan accordingly, as there are plenty of practical reasons to do it.
The main indicator you should use when deciding if you’ll replace the furnace or not is its age. The average lifespan of furnaces is often two times longer than the life of an air conditioning unit, so you might be tempted to postpone replacing the furnace if it’s not too old. Here in Texas, furnaces last 20-25 years, while air conditioning units last about 10-15.
However, if you do replace your air conditioner, the best decision is to go with a furnace that contributes to the efficiency of the whole HVAC system. Newer units need proper airflow to operate. That air flow comes from the blower in the furnace and the existing unit may not be able to handle it.
What Exactly Does Each Component Do?
The furnace is what provides heat to your home. It communicates directly with the AC unit, which distributes the heated air through your home and cools it down during the hot season. It can work on gas, electricity or other types of fuel, but the distribution system is generally the same for all models, relying on the fan for airflow.
The air conditioner can be split or a packaged system. A split air conditioner has an indoor unit and an outdoor unit. The outdoor unit contains the compressor and the condenser coil, while the indoor unit ensures the airflow and it also distributes warm air from the furnace. In a packaged air conditioning system, there is no outdoor unit and all components are in the same place.
Pros of replacing the furnace at the same time include overall increased efficiency. Even better, if you replace them at the same time, your entire HVAC system will be under the same warranty. When it comes to installation, you will save on labor costs since we only have to do a few extra things while we are already there in order to replace the furnace as well. Best of all, you have added peace of mind knowing that you have an entire brand new system, and won’t need to replace anything at all for years.
Conversely, if you choose to keep the furnace, you’re accepting the potential for future breakdowns. You run the risk of buying into a sunk cost fallacy, wherein many customers will sink thousands of dollars into future furnace repairs once they decide to keep it when they could have invested that money in a new furnace from the beginning. And as we mentioned, if you choose not to replace the furnace at the same time, your HVAC system is not a “matched” system and will lack some efficiency compared to a matched system.
It’s a big decision, but our friendly, experienced professionals are here to walk you through it. Give us a call at Gentry today, and let’s talk about your unique situation.