If either your furnace or your air conditioner fail and you have an HVAC technician out to give you an estimate for replacement, you might be surprised if they recommend you replace both appliances at the same time—even though one is still working properly. It's common for homeowners to assume the HVAC company is trying to scam them or just drum up extra business, but this is unlikely to be the case. There are actually several benefits of replacing both units and reasons why your technician may be recommending you do this. Here's a look.
The new unit may not be compatible with your old ductwork.
If your home's ducts are older, they may not be large enough or positioned properly for use with a newer furnace or air conditioner. If you were to replace just one unit, you'd be left with ducts that were compatible with just the old unit or just the new unit. This could lead to uneven heating and cooling in certain rooms. By replacing both your furnace and your AC unit, your technician can then make any needed adjustments to the ductwork and be confident that it's entirely compatible with both of your new appliances.
You might save on installation costs.
If one unit is still operating but your HVAC technician feels it may be on its last legs, you might be better off just replacing them both at once rather than hoping the other one doesn't fail a few months down the road. Most HVAC companies will charge you less to install a furnace and AC together than to install one and then the other later on. The air conditioner coil usually sits on top of your furnace, so it's easier (and less time consuming) for them to do both at once.
Integration with your older appliance may harm your new appliance.
New AC units are not always compatible with the blower units that were used on older furnaces. And new furnaces are not always compatible with older AC units. While your HVAC technician might be able to "rig" your system to run mismatched appliances together, this is likely to cause additional wear and tear on the appliances, causing them to break down more quickly. Your appliance may not even be covered under warranty when used in a mismatched system. For the best efficiency and lowest risk of breakdowns, it's best to pair a new AC unit with a new furnace from the same manufacturer.
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