One of the big questions home owners have is, “when should I replace my Furnace, A/C or both?” There are some things you should keep an eye on when thinking about this and also what you should look for in your current system.
Age is the one of biggest reason you should replace the HVAC system in your home. Not because it’s, “old,” but because they start to out wear their parts lifespan. 10-15 years is about how long a Furnace and A/C has in its lifetime. Determining your system’s age can be difficult since most manufactures don’t put a date on the system itself.
You can figure out the date by locating the manufacture number on the system and looking it up online or if you still have the original manual for your furnace the date may be in there. If your system is over 30 years of age it most likely won’t have a manufacture number tied to it. If you are approaching or are past 10 years of age, you will want to start thinking about the future of your system.
When your system passes 10 years of age the chances of a failure of your system increases dramatically. Every system will eventually be worn down because of thermal fatigue. Thermal fatigue happens because of frequent temperature fluctuations happening in your system. These fluctuations happen every time you turn your system on and also when it’s running.
If you have an older system, the chances that you will need to have a major repair increase. This can include the heat exchanger cracking on your furnace, your blower motor failed or your compressor went out on your A/C. Depending on the age, it may be possible to just fix these issues with a new part, but when these big issues happen, it will usually be recommended that you just replace the system. The reason is because the cost of the repair will be so high and you will only get a few more years out of the system anyways. So a new system that will last way longer is usually the most cost effective solution.
Older HVAC systems are not nearly as efficient as the newer ones. You might still have a working system, but you could be paying an arm and a leg on your utility bills alone. If this is the case then you may want to look into a system with a high SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) rating. The minimum that is required to be put in is a 13 SEER system but you can get much higher SEER rated systems. These higher SEER systems will reduce the amount of gas or electricity you will use throughout the year.
So if your furnace breaks down, but your A/C still works fine, should you just replace the furnace or should you go ahead and replace both? Most professionals will say go ahead and replace both. There are a few reasons behind this logic. One thing is that your furnace and A/C are probably near the same age anyways, so the A/C won’t be far behind and may break down soon. Also, if you have an older system in place and buy a new furnace, you are not going to get all of the efficiency out of the newer system that you could have because the technology has changed over the years. When you have both a new furnace and A/C, the technology will mesh and produce the high efficiency energy usage that you would want.
Before making any decision though, always consult a professional about your system. They will go over what your options would be and answer any of your questions.