Replacing just one part of your HVAC system can be costly. But, if you’re getting a new heating or cooling component, you should consider whether to replace your AC and furnace at the same time. You can save money and get some peace of mind in the long run if:
- Both your heater and air conditioner are getting old
- You’re planning to retire and move to a fixed income soon
- You’re ready to improve your system’s overall efficiency
- There is an opportunity to save money on installation
Getting a new heating unit or air conditioner is a big expense. But, these units don’t last forever. At some point, you need to think about buying a new one.
It’s understandable that people want to think about a single big-ticket item at a time. But, if one part of your HVAC system is ready to go, you should think about replacing it all at the same time.
Now, this isn’t always necessary. We’re not going to tell you to spend thousands of dollars when you don’t have to. If we did, we wouldn’t have an A+ Better Business Bureau rating and great online review from customers in Minneapolis and St. Paul among other places.
But, this is worth considering:
We’ll go through the factors you should consider once you’re in the market for new HVAC equipment. You’ll want to take stock of these yourself. Then, talk it all over with a professional, reliable contractor.
Then, you’ll know if this is the right strategy for you.
How to know if you should replace your AC and furnace at the same time
If you’re considering whether to replace your AC and furnace at the same time, here are three big questions to ask yourself:
- How old are both my heating and cooling units?
- How energy-efficient is the setup I have now?
- Will I retire soon or otherwise be on a fixed income?
Let’s take a closer look at all three of these.
Age of the units. The first thing you want to consider is how long you’ve had everything. After all, you could be about to go through the hassle of choosing and financing one unit only to do the same thing again in a few years.
If both your heating and cooling units are getting older, it may make more sense to change them both at the same time.
Now, it’s important to note that furnaces can last up to 30 years if you keep it well-maintained. That’s twice as long as the average air conditioner lifespan.
If you’ve had your heater a decade or two longer than the cooling system, have a tech check it out. It may be almost time for a new one of those as well.
Energy Efficiency. What we mean by this is how much power – electricity, gas, oil, etc. – your HVAC system uses to do the job.
Lower efficiency means it uses more energy to do the same job as a model that uses less power to get the same effect.
When you swap out any HVAC model with a newer model you’re almost certainly guaranteed to get a more energy-efficient, money-saving setup for your home.
As technology progresses, all appliances naturally become more efficient. However, there were a few milestones. For instance, requirements for central air efficiency rose thanks to new federal guidelines in 2006.
Meanwhile, all units become less efficient as they get older. Plainly put, they just don’t work as well as they used to once they’re near the end of their service life.
Personal finances. We mentioned before how you want to avoid two major purchases in a relatively short amount of time. Well, that’s even more of a consideration if you’re getting ready to retire.
When people leave the workforce, they’re usually moving into a fixed income: Relying on Social Security payments, pension, and retirement plans from here on out. You can’t rely on raises and bonuses increase your monthly income.
As you approach your 60th birthday, you should consider replacing both your heater and cooling system at the same time when one of them breaks down for good.
Remember, a well-maintained heating unit can last up to three decades. This way, there’s one less financial strain that can hit you later in life.
How to save money on your HVAC replacement projects
Sure, on paper it may seem like a good idea to replace more than one expensive appliance at the same time. But, it can still be very daunting from a financial standpoint. Fortunately, there are ways to make it a little easier on your wallet. And, you can unlock a few extra benefits.
First, there are rebate opportunities. These are actually easy to get, and they can take a big chunk out of your upfront costs.
Today, most energy companies offer cash incentives for homeowners to replace their old HVAC equipment with energy-efficient appliances.
Here in Minneapolis, check out the offers from Minnesota Energy Resources. Depending on what new equipment you choose you can save anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. That makes the purchases a lot easier.
Next, you have the advantages that come with a matching system. We touched on one aspect of this before: Increased efficiency.
That’s when you save money by installing equipment that uses less money to do the job. But, there’s more.
When you overhaul both your heating and cooling units at once, you can coordinate the project to save you money in the long run.
And, the savings don’t stop there.
We mentioned before how you’ll save money in the long run when you install more efficient equipment. Well, just purchasing and installing it all at once helps with that, too. When you do this, your contractor can:
- Design the system for maximum efficiency
- Install both components faster and for less money
- Maximize the warranties on both units
A significant advantage here is setting up your new system so that it uses some of the same components. Once both the heating and cooling systems use the same blower or handler, it can treat your home better in all seasons.
Meanwhile, you’re not paying for two jobs: One to replace, say the heater today and then another for the AC three years later. That saves you money on labor and parts, not to mention permits or other costs.
Finally, all your equipment will be new at the same time – and under warranty at the same time. And, newer equipment breaks down less than older units.
When you get both a new heating and cooling system at the same time, you cut down on the number of repairs you’ll need for the next few years.
Now, you can move to a lower-tier maintenance agreement if you have one. And, in general, you’ll spend less on repair calls with all-new equipment.
Switching to ductless HVAC for better efficiency and climate control
We talked about you can increase your energy efficiency when you overhaul your entire system at once. Well, there’s an even greater opportunity than just getting rid of a worn-out system.
A ductless HVAC system can offer you more control and comfort than traditional systems. It can also greatly reduce your energy bills.
Ductless uses a mini-split setup to deliver better heat and cooling than traditional systems. And, it costs much less on your energy bills.
It does this with an outdoor heat pump that uses heat transfer technology rather than generating warmth by burning fossil fuels.
Inside, wall-mounted air handlers circulate the air much more efficiently than ducts and vents. And, they use inverter technology – kind of like cruise control for your HVAC – to maintain the temperature you want while running in a low-power mode.
Ductless is an all-in-one heating and cooling package. You can eliminate hot and cold spots and watch your energy bills drop.
Of course, like any whole-home heating and cooling solution, it’s a significant investment. But, if you’re ready for an entirely new system, this upgrade is worth considering.
Are you thinking about the best way to invest in new HVAC equipment? Contact us, and we’ll design a system that’s perfect for your home!