Furnace and Air Conditioning Replacement Service.

19 May, 2020

Your One-Stop Guide To Furnace & AC Replacement

Replacing an AC and a furnace at the same time can be costly. Yet, the only way to ensure that your air conditioner performs at its rated efficiency is by replacing your furnace simultaneously.

There’s just one problem. The average AC lifespan is about 15-20 years, whereas the average furnace lifespan is about 15-30 years. This means your furnace generally lasts longer than your AC.

In this post, we'll explain why simultaneous furnace and air conditioner replacement is perhaps the best choice. We'll also explore a few reasons why it may not be ideal to replace both systems together. Plus, we'll take a look at factors affecting furnace and air conditioner replacement costs, the process of professional services, and so on.

Reasons to Replace Your AC and Furnace

Wondering why simultaneous furnace and air conditioner replacement works best? Here are the three common reasons:

1. Your AC is 10+ and the furnace is 15+ years old

A furnace lasts much longer than an air conditioner. This means, if you installed a new furnace and AC together and the AC is aging, most likely you don’t really need to replace your furnace for another 5 or so years. However, if you only replaced the AC years ago, it is clearly time to replace your furnace as well.

2. You are upgrading your AC efficiency

Think of your furnace and AC as conjoined twins: each of them has their own separate compartment, but they share the indoor unit (i.e. the blower motor). If you spend extra money to upgrade your AC but leave the furnace and blower motor as is, you’re really wasting money. 

This is because the AC is really only half upgraded and won’t work as efficiently as it’s designed to. So, consider upgrading the furnace as well if you’re upgrading to an AC with SEER above 16.

3. You won’t be able to pay for installation later on

If you’re planning to retire soon or have a big investment in waiting, you perhaps won’t be able to afford the cost of a furnace and air conditioner in the next few years. So, it’s best to go ahead and replace both units now. This way, you can be at ease knowing that your new HVAC system will work fine for the next decade or more.

Reasons NOT to Replace Your AC and Furnace

The biggest reason to not replace your furnace together with your AC is because the furnace is less than 10 years old.

Generally, if the furnace is less than a decade old, waiting until your next AC replacement is the best decision. This is because the furnace will probably last for two or three decades, whereas the AC should be replaced every 10 to 15 years or so.

The Cost of a Furnace and AC Replacement 

Wondering what the average cost of furnace and air conditioner replacement is? AC and furnaces can be categorized into three groups depending on their efficiency and performance.

  • Basic: This category includes single-stage furnaces (AFUE 80-93%) and ACs (SEER 13-15). The new furnace and air conditioner cost is usually between $3,600 and $6,000. 
  • Better: This category includes single or two-stage furnaces (AFUE 94-97%) and ACs (SEER 16-20). The new furnace and AC cost varies between $4,500 and $8,250.
  • Best: This category includes variable-capacity systems –high efficiency ACs (SEER 19-26) and best furnaces (AFUE 97-98.5%). Their furnace and AC cost is usually between $6,300 and $11,750. 

Factors that Affect Cost

Here are a few factors that affect the average cost to replace furnace and AC units:

  • Efficiency and performance: The higher the efficiency of your system, the more will be its cost. 
  • Ease of installation: Expect to pay more to get a furnace installed in difficult areas such as a tight crawl space or attic.
  • Features/technology: The more “comfort” features you choose for your furnace and/or AC, the higher the installation cost. These comfort features include variable-speed technology, noise reduction technology, and smart thermostat.
  • Size of the units: The higher the tonnage and BTU output, the more the installation will cost. Too big units can also result in higher-than-necessary energy bills, reduced unit lifespans, and reoccuring furnace repairs.
  • Cost of living in your city: People living in expensive cities may have to pay more to get their system installed.
  • Your HVAC contractor: The higher the quality of your HVAC contractor, the more they will charge to install your system. A slightly higher price means a quality installation backed by a professional company who will provide excellent service.

Get a Quote from a Pro

At the end of the day, the decision is yours, but we highly recommend hiring a professional furnace and AC replacement service to help you make the final choice. 

A heating and cooling specialist can help you find a furnace that matches your new air conditioner, maximizing your system’s efficiency, reducing your energy bills, and extending the life of your new system.

The Fargo HVAC team at Valley Service is here to help. Contact us today at 701-293-5701 or via our online form.