Controlling temperature and humidity levels in your home is the key to maintaining its livability. A functional air conditioner and heater do exactly that. Opting for an air conditioner and heater should be considered a priority, and not a matter of choice. Both your air conditioner and heater work round the clock to maintain a consistent and comfortable house temperature.
They are two of the most important appliances you use in your home.
Furnaces and air conditioners approaching the end of their useful life must be replaced. Most furnaces and ACs have an effective life of 15 years. Consider replacing your AC and furnace at the same time. Look for a matched furnace and air conditioner designed to deliver performance and indoor comfort according to your requirements.
Basic, Better, and Best Systems
AC and furnaces can be classified into three groups – basic, better, and best depending on their efficiency and performance.
Heating and AC Unit Combo Tiers
|Basic||80% to 93%||Single-Stage||13 to 15 SEER||Single-Stage||$3,600 to $6,000|
|Better||94% to 97%||Single or Two-Stage||16 to 20 SEER||Single or Two-Stage||$4,500 to $8,250|
|Best||97% to 98.5%||Variable-Capacity||19 to 26 SEER||Variable-Capacity||$6,300 to $11,750|
The category consists of single-stage furnaces and ACs. The AFUE of basic furnaces is usually between 80 and 93 percent, whereas basic ACs provide 13-15 SEER. The installed cost of a basic system is usually between $3,600 and $6,000. Though the initial cost of a basic system is less, their operating cost is quite high (due to their low efficiency). Basic systems offer very few performance features. While many basic furnaces have a single-speed blower motor that runs at maximum speed when on, some come equipped with a multi-speed motor that speeds up and down in multiple steps.
Furnaces in this category offer 94-97 percent AFUE. Better AC’s and furnaces can be single or two-stage systems. AC’s offer 16-20 SEER. Thinking of getting your better system replaced? Expect to spend between $4,500 and $8,250 (installed cost). Basic systems combine affordability with better performance. They are designed to run on low for better efficiency. Two-stage systems, however, run on high when they detect that a significant boost in heating/cooling is required.
Best furnaces and ACs are variable-capacity systems. Best ACs provide 19-26 SEER. Known for their high efficiency, best furnaces provide 97-98.5percent AFUE. Their installed cost is usually between $6,300 and $11,750. Though their initial cost is the highest, expect to save more in the long run. These systems are famed for their superior efficiency and are designed to deliver the best climate control.
Furnace and AC Combination Cost Factors
These are some factors that will impact your furnace and AC combination cost.
- Efficiency and performance: The higher the efficiency of your system, the more its cost.
- Ease of installation: Expect to pay more to get a furnace installed in difficult areas such as a tight crawlspace or attic.
- The cost of living in your city: People living in expensive cities may have to pay more to get their system installed.
Furnace & AC
|Basic||$3,600 to $6,000||$3,850 to $6,400||$4,150 to $6,825|
|Better||$4,500 to $8,250||$4,925 to $8,785||$5,250 to $9,100|
|Best||$6,300 to $11,750||$6,775 to $12,100||$7,150 to $12,450|
Sizing Your Furnace and Air Conditioner
The benefits of having a perfectly sized furnace and AC cannot be emphasized enough. A perfectly sized furnace and AC will work the way you expect it to. An undersized AC and furnace, on the other hand, will fail to deliver optimum comfort. Additionally, undersized furnaces and air conditioners have to put in a lot of work, which means high heating and cooling costs for you. And if you think bigger is better, think again!
Some common problems caused by an oversized furnace or AC include:
- Improper cooling/heat distribution
- Heat exchanger problems
- Reduced efficiency and system lifespan
How to Correctly Size Your Furnace and AC
Calculate the Square Footage Area of Your Home
Measure the length and width of your rooms (exclude the ones that do not have vents or the rooms that you do not intend to heat or cool). Multiply these measurements (length X width). To get the total square footage of your home, add up all measurements.
Calculate a Rough Estimate
Most AC’s and furnaces have their capacity rated in BTUs (British Thermal Units). To find out what capacity furnace you need, multiply the total square footage of your home with BTUs per square foot. If, for instance, you decide to allow 30-45BTUs per square foot (for say a 2,000 square feet home), your furnace size would be 2,000X30/45 BTU =60,000-90,000 BTU.
Consult an Installation Expert
Remember that this is a rough estimate. Even if your calculations are accurate, there are several factors such as your local climate, your home’s layout, and the amount of insulation that must be considered. An HVAC expert can help you account for these and other factors.
Types of AC and Furnace Combos and Their Costs
Apart from furnace and AC combo, you have two other central HVAC choices– heat pump and air handler, and heat pump and gas furnace.
Heat pumps and dual fuel systems (heat pump and gas furnace) like furnaces and AC’s can be classified into three categories – basic, better, and best.
The cost of replacing a basic heat pump is between $3,850 and $6,400, whereas dual fuel system replacement can cost you between $4,150 and $6,825.
Expect to pay between $4,925 and $8,785 to get a better heat pump replaced. Getting your better dual fuel system replaced can cost you between $5,250 and $9,100.
If you want to get a high-performance heat pump replaced, expect to pay between $6,775 and $12,100. Best dual fuel system replacement usually costs between $7,150 and $12,450.
Tips to Save on Replacement Costs
- Use tax credits and rebates
- Get at least three quotes
Never settle for an amateur. A self-proclaimed know-all expert will charge you less, however, it’s highly likely that they will commit a mistake, and you will end up spending more on maintenance. No matter how complex your HVAC replacement project, our team at AVS Heating & Air Conditioning will come up with a tailor-made solution. To talk to an HVAC expert, call at VA 703-457-9028 and MD 301-686-7129.