For most homeowners, the first rule of owning your own home is this: if purchasing one new appliance is expensive, purchasing two new appliances will be twice as expensive.
To which we are happy to reply, “Not necessarily.”
There are some notable cost and efficiency advantages to replacing both systems at the same time, even if only one component is truly and thoroughly ready for retirement.
If you are on the fence about whether to replace just your air conditioning unit or to go for it and replace your furnace at the same time, this is definitely the blog post you will want to read to help you decide!
1. Reap the full benefits of increased energy efficiency and lower bills
The truth is, today’s HVAC systems are much more advanced than the systems that were being manufactured even five to 10 years ago. They are at once more compact and more efficient and able to do more work with less energy.
But to get the full benefits of any HVAC technology upgrade, you need to be sure your new system is a match for both cooling and heating. Only a dual upgrade can accomplish this.
Once you have made the switch, the increase in efficiency saves you money starting the day of installation. While it may not be so noticeable during the warm season (since our temperatures here in Ontario rarely reach the eye-popping triple digits of our neighbors farther to the south), where it will really become measurable is during winter.
To calculate estimated savings, take a look at your annual energy bill. According to Natural Resources Canada, up to 61 percent of the amount on your bill goes solely toward heating your home.
Energy Star states you can save up to 15 percent on your annual heating energy costs just by upgrading your furnace.
Let’s say your annual average energy bill is around that typically reported by Ontarian homeowners: $2,358. Sixty-one percent works out to $1,438. Fifteen percent of that works out to $215.
So you can tuck that $215 back in your pocket each winter for the next 15 to 20 years!
2. Seamless technology equals fewer headaches for you
If you have ever tried to cobble together a home entertainment or electronics system with components from different manufacturers or different model years, you already know how frustrating it can be to get all of the different components to play nicely with one another.
Unfortunately, the same holds true when you mix and match your HVAC appliances.
Today’s energy-efficient heating and cooling systems are designed to work best as a matched set. From the materials to the processes, you will get the best results and the least number of headaches by pairing components made by the same manufacturer that were created in the same calendar year.
This is particularly the case when you pair an older standard-efficiency component with a new high-efficiency component.
Another danger is that a component still under warranty will break down but your claim will be denied because that component is paired with an older unit from a different year or manufacturer that is not under warranty.
Here, it pays (literally) to read any warranty fine print with great care before choosing to upgrade just one part of your HVAC system!
3. There are deals to be had when you purchase both components at once
Whenever you purchase a new HVAC component, be it your air conditioner or heating system, there will be two costs: the unit purchase and the installation price.
Here, there are undeniable advantages to purchasing two components at once and having a single installation done to install them both.
In most cases, HVAC providers will charge less to install two components at the same time because it takes less time and effort to simply change out the old and put in the new.
It can quickly become complex to retrofit an older component to work with a newer component, and that takes more time and more money. As well, some contractors will not even do a retrofit with an existing unit they did not install because of liability issues.
For any single unit, you can expect to pay two to three times the price of the component itself for the installation portion. Here, it is easy to see how you might save $1,000 or more on installation when you choose to have your technician install both components at the same time.
4. You get HVAC peace of mind for the foreseeable future
Once you have upgraded both your air conditioner and your furnace, you can check both off of your homeowner major appliance upgrade to-do list for the next decade at least.
One Reason NOT to Replace Your Furnace Along With Your Air Conditioner
If your furnace unit is less than 10 years old and is still working well, there is a strong argument to replace just your conked-out air conditioner and leave the furnace alone.
Some furnace systems can have a 15- to 20-year useful life! As long as you continue to make regular preventative maintenance a priority, your furnace may conceivably last until you need to replace the air conditioner yet again.
So in this case, it really is your personal call whether to replace just the air conditioner or also replace the furnace unit.
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