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Can I Replace My Furnace Without Replacing My AC?

Your stove emits a dull sound and groans, although it may sound crazy, you’re certain it’s actually hissing at you! The idea of replacing it is almost as terrifying as the strange sounds it makes, but don’t worry just yet.


Experienced Denver HVAC technicians can assess the situation and help you determine if you need simple repairs or a complete replacement. But, if you do need to replace the furnace, does it mean you also have to replace the air conditioning? Find out everything you need to know below!


Can I repair my stove?

Like any other appliance, furnaces face normal wear and tear. Heating systems are complex, with many factors affecting their overall efficiency. Regular maintenance can help extend the lifespan of the furnace as much as possible.


There are several common issues that can be easily resolved, either on your own or with the help of experienced HVAC technicians. Performing these minor repairs is much easier than replacing the entire unit. So, before you panic, take a look at these common problems:


Do you need a new air filter?

A dirty air filter is one of the most common reasons for furnace issues. When the filter gets clogged, the air doesn’t flow freely, putting greater stress on the fan motor. This can lead to the motor burning out and increased energy costs. Filters should be replaced every two to three months.


Check the thermostat

The furnace might not even be your real problem! Check your thermostat. Some use batteries, and you might not have noticed the low battery warning.


Check the circuit breaker

If your furnace isn’t turning on, check the circuit breaker. Find the circuit dedicated to your furnace and make sure it’s facing the same direction as the other circuits. If not, turn it off completely and then turn it back on.


Check the pilot light

Older furnaces have a pilot light, and if that light goes out, your furnace goes out too. If you’re comfortable, you can relight it yourself, but many people prefer to call a technician for a quick fix.


If these simple repair methods don’t work, it’s time to call the professionals.


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When should I consider replacing the furnace?

When your furnace is over 15 years old
The average lifespan of furnaces in the Denver area is 15 to 30 years. This doesn’t mean it will completely break down before reaching 30 years, but you may notice lower efficiency. If you’re spending more on repairs each year and it’s been over 15 years, replacing it might be more cost-effective. According to Consumer Reports, if your repair costs exceed 50% of the cost of a new unit, it’s time to replace it (a handy tip for any household appliance).


When your energy costs keep rising
As the furnace ages, it has to work harder, resulting in increased energy costs. Similarly, if you find yourself spending more on utility bills than the cost of replacing the furnace, you should consider replacing it.


When your furnace becomes excessively noisy
A little noise from the furnace is normal, but any new, significantly louder noise needs to be checked. Rattling, buzzing, popping, and screeching are all warning signs of a problem.


Do I have to replace the heating and cooling systems at the same time?

Heating and cooling systems have many components that work together. Replacing both systems simultaneously ensures that all components “match,” so both systems will operate as efficiently as possible.


When you replace them one at a time, you might notice performance issues, especially if you buy a high-efficiency air conditioning unit and try to use it with an old furnace.


Another benefit of replacing both systems simultaneously is saving on installation costs. If you get all the work done at once, you’ll save a significant amount on installation fees. While the upfront cost of replacing them together may seem high, you’ll save money in the long run. You’ll also have peace of mind knowing you won’t have to worry about HVAC issues for a while. Several factors affect installation costs, including efficiency ratings, equipment size, and additional features you choose for each unit.


The only situation where it’s not recommended to replace both systems simultaneously is if your furnace or air conditioning unit is less than 10 years old. For example, you’ve just moved into a new house, the furnace has been in use for 10 years and is having problems, but the AC unit was replaced just 2 years ago. In this case, your AC unit is basically brand new and has many years of useful life left. Replacing it just because the furnace needs replacement doesn’t make sense.

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