When it’s Time to Replace, Should You Buy the System or Just the Unit?

When it's Time to Replace, Should You Buy the System or Just the Unit?Buying an HVAC system is not only a complicated process, it’s also an expensive purchase. It’s tempting to replace either the air handler or the outdoor condenser to save money. While it’s less expensive, it’s usually not a good idea because you may be compromising your comfort, the warranty and the ultimate lifetime cost of the system.

Most central HVAC systems are split into two major components that include the indoor air handler and the outdoor condenser. Although they’re separate, they’re designed as one system. If the parts inside either aren’t compatible with the other, the entire system can’t perform well. It’s similar to replacing parts in your vehicle with parts designed for a different car. Even if it runs, it may not run dependably. One or more parts within the system may experience premature failure, as well, adding to the ultimate cost of your HVAC system.

The crucial components that have to match when replacing an HVAC system are the indoor evaporator coil and the outdoor condenser coil in terms of their refrigerant, capacity, pressure and refrigerant type. When you’re selecting a system, ask the contractor to verify that the two components are compatible by checking the AHRI (Air Conditioning, Heating, & Refrigeration Institute) registration for both parts.

Problems with Mismatched Components

When you’re buying an HVAC system and the air handler and condenser aren’t compatible, you won’t achieve the same energy efficiency, humidity removal, or air delivery, especially if the existing ductwork is too large or small for the newer component. The manufacturer may not extend the warranty to the new equipment.

Most rebate programs, whether public or private, require the AHRI certificate of compatibility, as well. Tax credits and rebate programs help offset the cost of a new, energy HVAC system. Local utilities and jurisdictions periodically use them to promote energy efficiency at the local level.

The best approach when buying an HVAC system is to replace both the air handler and the condenser as a matched system for maximum durability and efficiency. To learn more, contact Powers Heating & Air, providing trusted HVAC services for Peachtree City homeowners.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree City, Georgia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about buying an HVAC system and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 770-487-2040.

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “valdis torms/Shutterstock”

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