We hope the following situation doesn’t describe you this summer, but it very well may. Your AC is old, and you’ve been running it for years on one leg. Either it finally gave out, or it’s about to, and now you’re faced with a decision: you know you’ll need to replace the air conditioner, but what about the furnace? Should you replace that, too?
At first, replacing the AC and furnace at the same time seems like a strange thing to do. After all, the furnace isn’t broken yet, and if the AC hadn’t failed, replacing the furnace would be the furthest thing from your mind. But as weird as it may sound, replacing the furnace isn’t just an option — it’s a pretty good idea in many cases.
Replacing AC and Furnace at the Same Time
We had a client in Stockton last month who faced this dilemma, and she ultimately chose to do both systems at the same time. For her, the reasoning came down to simple logic. Her AC and furnace had been installed together. They were the same age and had worked together for years. She’d done a pretty good job of keeping them both up to date, but about a year ago during a routine tune-up, we’d told her she’d likely need one or the other replaced soon. Now that her AC had failed, she had a hunch that the furnace wasn’t too far behind. By doing them both now, she controlled when to spend the money instead of being blindsided next winter by another replacement.
Not only did she get the benefit of knowing when and where the furnace would be replaced, she also got the benefit of doing everything at once. While this might not seem like a big deal, there are several reasons why replacing an AC and furnace at the same time is a good idea.
A Lower Cost in the Long Run
It’s cheaper for us to go into your home once than it is twice. Most of the same equipment has to be dismantled to replace the furnace as the AC, and so ultimately, it’s faster to install them both at once rather than one at a time. We come out fewer times, and we spend less time doing the job itself. Since this particular client wanted to collect a rebate for the work, she only had to apply once and she got one large check as a result.
Less Disruption at Home
As HVAC technicians that spend our days working in families’ homes, we understand that stress is no small consideration. Last summer, we had another client in Stockton who was facing this same dilemma of replacing his furnace, but unlike the woman last month, he chose to only do the AC. It was a pretty rough job, and we knew we’d be back to do it all again in winter. Sure enough, we were out there replacing the furnace not six months later. After it was all done, the client said that he’d wished he’d listened to our advice and done it all at once. Members of his family had anxiety issues, and having strangers in the house (even strangers as nice as us!) really agitated those issues. We understood completely, and only wished he had let us do it all the first time.
A Longer Lifespan
New furnaces and air conditioners last a lot longer than old models. Even if your system is only ten years old, it might be at the end of its lifespan. By contrast, a well-maintained system manufactured this year and installed today is designed to last at least until 2031. We can’t make any promises, but we’d guess we’ll still be servicing HVAC systems from 2016 in the year 2040. Seriously. That lifespan comes from build quality, which also translates to efficiency. Because these new systems run more efficiently, they cost less money to run every month.
You’ll also end up with a “matched” system when both HVAC systems are installed at the same time. Some folks think this is more important than others, but we can’t deny that a furnace and AC system installed together will be working at peak efficiency from day one — something that will not be the case if you only choose to replace your broken AC.
One Application for Financing and Rebates
When you replace any big part of the HVAC system, you’re looking at a sizeable investment. A great way to manage this expense is through financing, especially through a HERO loan. Whether you’re paying out of pocket or getting a loan to pay for your system, it’s easier to do it just once.
Every situation is unique, which is why we recommend following the advice of your contractor when these decisions are at hand. Obviously, it’s possible that your AC has failed but your heater has years of life left in it. But it’s also possible that it doesn’t. If you’re concerned about any of this, or would like to do some preventative maintenance on that AC before it fails, get in touch with us and find out why we’re the most trusted HVAC company in the Central Valley.