Rock Talk

Smart Home Maintenance: Furnace and Air Conditioner Replacement

Last updated on July 16, 2018 at 03:21 pm

My wife and I bought our first home a few years ago and we’ve been replacing, upgrading and fixing things inside it ever since. It’s true what everyone says about home ownership: the to-do list never ends, it just changes.

While we do several projects every year, we try to limit the big ones to once a year. This time we went for a furnace and air conditioner replacement.

Opting for Replacement

We knew when we bought the house that the furnace and air conditioner were old. At about 25 years each, they were both past due for replacement. The furnace was OK and might have made it a few more years, but the A/C needed a Freon boost last year. They weren’t efficient. Whenever I turned the system on all I could see was dollar bills streaming out of my vents. An A/C lifespan is about 15 to 25 years, according to Energy.gov.

Choosing an Installer

This is a job for licensed and experienced professionals. If you have someone that you already trust, you’re one step ahead. If you need to find a company, ask your neighbors or consult a review service (we use Angie’s List). If you plan to interview several companies, be sure to ask if they handle permits and inspections for this type of work.

Getting a Quote

I have a company that I use for several things, including electrical, plumbing and heating/cooling. They have done excellent work for me and have treated me very fairly. I only quoted with them for a price. But, a little shopping can uncover deals on installations. I saw a few when we started this process in the spring. Plus, shopping will help you think about all the options you will have to consider for an air conditioner and furnace replacement, including:

  • How efficient you want the units to be
  • Single, dual or variable speed furnaces
  • Single or dual stage air conditioners
  • Humidity control options

I left the size of the air conditioner and furnace to the professional. I quoted both high-efficiency units and more standard ones. I opted to purchase the standard efficiency units, which have still saved me money on my energy bills.

Upkeep

To get the most out of my old units, I had them inspected and tested annually and plan to continue to do this. In the meantime, I replace my furnace filter every month. A 12-month supply of disposable filters at Home Depot is like $50. Tip from my pro: buy filters that allow the most air flow — they will allow your furnace fan to run more efficiently.

Replacing a central air conditioning unit and furnace can be an expensive proposition ($5,000 to $10,000 or more all in). Check with your insurance professional to see if this home improvement changes your homeowners insurance needs. If you’re looking for new homeowners insurance, consider Plymouth Rock Assurance.

Have you replaced your air conditioner or furnace? Share your experience and your tips for keeping your units running well.

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