We contacted our Real Estate Agent about whether we should purchase or lease furnace and AC unit. His answer follows and is quite enlightening. Basically you are going to pay for it one way or the other and it is up to you just how you want to do it. Some alternatives are more economic than others. After reading his answer decide for yourself based on your own situation.
Tag: AC Repair
When is it time to upgrade aging air conditioners? Ours is over 28 years old and is still working. Our furnace which is only 14 years old just quit. We are having the furnace replaced and wonder if we should upgrade aging air conditioner at the same time. Perhaps we will get a discount for doing both at the same time and a rebate from the government.
Upgrade Aging Air Conditioners and Furnace
There are several reasons why we decided to replace everything at this time, rather than take a chance on the old AC unit. The following is our list and you can attach importance levels to them based on your own situation:
- If the coil on the old AC unit leaks over the new furnace, the warranty is not valid
- Twenty eight years is a phenomenal life cycle, maybe I would get several more years at most
- Existing AC is very inefficient compared to the new units
- Get the job done once and they do not have to come back other than for annual maintenance
- Replace both and obtain full government rebate
- Energy costs continue to rise, so efficiency is important to control utility bills
- The existing system is noisy, newer units are quieter
- Resale value for our home will increase with new units still under warranty if we sell in next 10 years
Replacing aging air conditioners that are no longer working is a bit of a non decision. However what if it is still working and your furnace quits on you? This is the situation the writer is faced with. We decided to replace the AC at the same time that we are replacing the furnace. We wanted to have a new energy efficient model that will help to control our ongoing utility bills as well as increase the resale value of our home. A real estate friend of ours told us that if the furnace or the AC unit is more than 10 years old, they should set aside money to replace it. If we sell in the next 10 years, the units will still be under warranty!
Replace Aging Air Conditioners – Damage
There is another reason to replace the AC when you replace the furnace. If the coil begins to leak it could damage the new furnace. The coil sits on top of the furnace. Leaking water or coolant would damage the furnace causing it to rust, possibly short circuit the electric motor and other components.
We decided to replace both our furnace and replace our aging air conditioner at the same time. After all it was 28 years old and really does not owe us anything. Because it is so old it is inefficient and so we will gain from some of the savings we will get from the new system.
Everyone is in a different situation. We could have taken a chance and just repaired our furnace. This would have cost $800 with no guarantees that there would not be other problems. Apparently our furnace is known for cracks in the heat ex changer as well which we do not want to deal with.
So a big expense, but hopefully the right one in the long term.
Most AC sales people will ask you how many square feet your home is and whether it is two story or single story. Magically they will come up with the size of air conditioner that you need for your home to be the most efficient and provide adequate cooling at the same time. There is actually a little bit more to the decision that needs to be considered before you decide the AC unit size for my home. Most people would be surprised to find out that two identical sized homes could have different sized AC units. There are a number of reasons for this and we will cover these in the following paragraphs.
AC Unit Size for My Home – Orientation
If your home has windows on two sides of your home, lets say the front and back, the orientation of your home is really going to matter. A north south facing home will need a small AC unit than one that faces east west. That afternoon sun poring heat into your home through the windows will require a great deal more AC than one that is facing south and does not have the afternoon sun to deal with. The heat impact can be mitigated to some degree by having blinds that cover the windows and reduce the amount of infrared heating that takes place! Energy conscious consumers will want to invest in high quality blinds that help control the heat factor.
Sky lights are another major issue re how much AC is required and of course the direction the sky lights face. A south western roof with a sky light will allow a great deal more heat in the home and necessitate a larger AC unit. Again appropriate window shades for a sky light can be installed.
If you have a lot of shade trees on your property that provide shade for the home, your AC could be sized a little smaller as long as there is no plan to cut these tress down. Take these factors into account to not only save yourself some money but also to ensure you are comfortable as well during prime air conditioning periods.