There seems to be a great deal of confusion among homeowners about whether they have to replace furnaces and air conditioners at the same time, largely because of the confusing information out there.

With years of HVAC experience, we can tell you that in most cases, it does make sense to replace the two together, but this isn't always true, and it’s certainly not necessary. If you're looking to replace one or the other or both, then here's some information to guide your decision.

Why Homeowners Choose Dual Replacements

Retirement is on the horizon 
Most people go through an adjustment period when they retire because it takes time to get used to living on a fixed income from pensions and retirement savings, and not many want to worry about having to make large purchases.

If you're still working now but will be retiring down the road, it might make sense to get both upgrades out of the way now.

Upgrading to newer and more efficient units

New furnaces and air conditioners are efficient and effective, and if you have older appliances that are getting up there in age, then you can replace both to increase the energy-efficiency of your home and save money on your power bills.

If installation will be costly

A few factors influence the cost of an HVAC installation, including the distance the technician has to travel and the difficulty of the job. If you live outside the service area, such as in a more rural community around Bohemia, NY, then the cost of installation will be higher than if you lived closer to the service area.

In this case, replacing both units at once makes sense because you'll save money not having to pay for separate service calls. The same is true if the installation will be complicated by access issues, so it’ll be cheaper to pay a technician once to replace them at the same time.

Reasons Not to Replace Both Units at Once

There are a few instances in which it doesn’t make sense to replace both your furnace and air conditioner together, and the chief among them is money.

Replacing your air conditioner will cost you at least $1,000. A furnace will start around $2,000. In these tough times, this simply isn't feasible for a lot of homeowners.

Moreover, if one of your appliances is relatively new, then there's no point buying a new one just because you're replacing the other. For example, a furnace can last between 20 and 30 years, so if you're replacing an air conditioner (which has a lifespan of 15 to 20 years), but your furnace is 15 years old or less, then you can just replace the A/C now and then upgrade both in another 15 to 20 years.

Talk to a Technician for Expert Advice

As you can see, there are lots of factors to consider when replacing a furnace and/or air conditioner, and if you schedule an appointment with a local HVAC technician, you can get an expert diagnosis and recommendation for moving forward. The tech will look at the age of your appliances, accessibility, budget, and other factors to help you make the right choice.

You don’t have to replace your furnace and air conditioner at the same time, but it often makes sense to do so. When you have older appliances, have a budget that can accommodate two large purchases, are retiring soon, or live outside the regular service area, these are all instances when it’s advisable to replace them together rather than separately.