The seasons are slowly starting to change in Minneapolis. September and October are our months of fall weather, and the only two months to make sure that we are prepared for winter. For your HVAC systems, it’s time to think about whether or not your furnace can survive these winter months or if it needs to be replaced. A common question if you’re considering replacing your furnace is if you should replace your air conditioner at the same time. Along with many of life’s big questions, this does not have a simple answer. Before you decide to switch out both of your HVAC systems, consider these three things.
In previous articles, we have mentioned when to replace your air conditioner and when to replace your furnace. Both of those articles mentioned their age. We mentioned that typically, air conditioners last between 10 to 15 years. Furnaces, on the other hand, last around 15 to 20 years with regularly scheduled tune-ups. We have even seen some furnaces last up to 30 years before being replaced! That being said, air conditioners will most likely have to be replaced more frequently than furnaces. If your air conditioner is newer than 10 years old, or if your furnace is newer than 15 years old, chances are you don’t need them to be replaced at the same time. However, you should always get your HVAC professional to take a look at your systems to determine the best approach.
Upgrading just your furnace or air conditioner will sometimes make an impact on the other system. Most homes in Minneapolis have central heating and cooling, which is great! On the flipside, there is one part that is shared between both systems. This would be the fan, which is also called the blower. If you upgrade the efficiency of one system to have a variable speed motor but not the other one, your system will not be able to use that boost in efficiency. You can easily check to see if your furnace or air conditioner will cross that line in efficiency by checking the SEER, Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, rating. If your current systems are below 16, they will not have a variable speed motor. If you plan to upgrade one to 16 SEER or higher, you should think about replacing both systems at the same time to keep the efficiency that you are paying for.
New furnace and air conditioner installations are expensive. Even repairs for either system can be expensive. If you’re thinking about retiring within the next few years, you may want to think about replacing both your air conditioner and furnace. Replacing both at the same time will help you save money and not have to worry about maintenance after you have a lower steady income.
If you would like more information about repairing or replacing your furnace before winter, give us a call to set up an appointment. Don’t forget your furnace tune-up even if your furnace doesn’t need repairs! We value your and your family’s safety, so we will take as many safety precautions as possible to bring comfort to your home during the pandemic.