For example, your new air conditioner will be capable of reaching a certain SEER efficiency rating. Because SEER is determined by a complete system combination, if your existing furnace and indoor coil are older or don’t match in efficiency and capacity, you might not get the efficiency level you paid for or be able to receive accurate information on what your rating actually is. Plus, an older indoor coil may even be dirty and clogged with particles, meaning more energy will be required to push air through the system.
Complete matching systems come with better warranties. Most manufactures offer a 5-year parts warranty on equipment, but will extend the parts warranty on complete systems to 10 years with registration
Changing only one piece of your system, is like changing out only 2 tires on your car because the other two have a little mileage left in them. The ride won’t be as good, the ride won’t be as safe, and you’ll be back in the shop again shortly to replace the others. The newer tires won’t match the wear time of the previous tires, so will never have a matched set of tires.
The overall cost to replace the whole system at one time will be less expensive than a piece at a time.
Just as important, your system’s components should have the highest possible energy efficiency ratings. Make sure your components meet the following minimums:
- Air conditioners: SEER ratings of 14 or higher.
- Furnaces: AFUE ratings of 80 or higher.
- Heat pumps: HSPF ratings of 8 or higher.
Select American Standard Heating & Air Conditioning air conditioners, furnaces and heat pumps have ratings of up to 20.0SEER, 96.7AFUE and 10 HSPF, respectively.
Having a matched system at home will also help. Every component in a matched system is designed to be matched in capacity and efficiency. That way you can enjoy the highest system efficiency possible. Mismatched systems could lose up to 50% in efficiency and capacity.
If you have natural gas available at your home, consider a hybrid system (dual fuel), which can save you an additional 38% on your heating costs over a conventional heating system. A hybrid system uses electricity to collect the free heat that is outside and move it into your home during the winter. The gas furnace operates when the temperature outside doesn’t provide enough heat to keep up with the demand (usually around 35 degrees). It costs less to collect free heat than it does to make heat by burning gas.
Lastly, if you’re shopping for a new heating and air conditioning system, consider a high-efficiency variable-speed system. Variable-speed means your system varies its speed depending on your home’s heating and cooling requirements. It makes sure you get the amount of heating or cooling you need without wasting energy.
*Potential energy savings may vary depending on your personal lifestyle, system settings, equipment maintenance, local climate, actual construction and installation of equipment and duct system.
- The efficiency of the equipment
- The size of your home
- Is the ductwork installed and in good condition?
- Do you need a thermostat, air cleaner, humidifier, or any other climate control?
In most cases, replacing your whole system, including both indoor and outdoor components, will result in a more efficient, comfortable, longer-lasting system but will also cost a little more.