Air conditioners and heaters aren’t just luxuries, but appliances we need to keep our homes comfortable and liveable when the weather is too hot or cold. But part of keeping these appliances is replacing them every one to two decades when they start to wear out and become less efficient, and when that happens many people ask if they should replace both units at the same time.
The fact is that in about 70 percent of cases, it usually makes sense to have an HVAC technician upgrade your air conditioner and furnace at the same time, but today we’ll discuss in more detail the positives and negatives of this decision.
The Pros of Replacing Both Units at Once
There are many benefits to replacing your furnace and air conditioner at the same time, especially if both are due for an upgrade. For example, if your air conditioner is between 15 and 20 years old and you’re already going to be replacing an older furnace, then you might as well replace the air conditioner as well because it’s nearing the end of its life.
However, it’s important to note that a furnace has a lifespan of between 20 and 30 years, so if yours still has another 15-plus years of life, then you might want to hold off on replacing it. Another benefit of replacing both units at once is that it means you won’t have to worry about upgrading again for at least another 15 years, which can be very beneficial for people who are planning to retire soon.
Once you’re on a fixed income, you might not want to worry about making a large purchase, so replacing both now will give you plenty of time before you have to think about this again. Finally, upgrading your air conditioner and furnace at the same time is a good idea if you live away from Fredericksburg, VA, because that means an HVAC technician would have to travel outside the service area, and that would mean a higher installation cost.
By replacing both units at once, you can save on the additional costs of a double trip. Similarly, if your appliances are difficult to access (such as in a crawl space), then you should consider a dual replacement to save on installation costs again.
The Cons of a Dual Replacement
One of the only major drawbacks of upgrading your furnace and air conditioner at the same time is the cost.
On average, a furnace will set you back between $2,000 and $5,000, and any air conditioner will start around $1,000 and go up from there.
Then there are the installation costs to think about because it will be more expensive to install two units versus one.
Schedule an Inspection from an HVAC Expert
Your local HVAC technician will be able to evaluate your air conditioner and heating system for life expectancy, tell you if the installation job will be easy or difficult, and otherwise help you assess your needs and circumstances.
With that information, you’ll have an easier time deciding whether it’s worthwhile to replace both units at once, or if you only have to upgrade one or the other.
If you’re already replacing your air conditioner or furnace, most of the time it makes sense to replace the other as well. This is especially true if both units are reaching the end of their lives, if you’ll be retiring soon, and if you live outside the normal service area or have inaccessible units.
However, there is a higher cost associated with a dual replacement, so talk to your local HVAC expert about recommendations for your units.