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When Is the Best Time to Replace?

When is the best time to replace my furnace or air conditioner?

Last year, we posted an “Ask an Expert” post answering the question, “How Long Does a Residential Furnace Last?” While most furnaces last about 15 years, it can be difficult to tell when is the best time to replace a furnace or air conditioning system. In fact, most customers end up waiting until the system completely dies, which often leaves them with the hassle, discomfort, and unplanned expense of an emergency replacement. So, when is the best time to replace your furnace or air conditioner?

To start off, you’ll want to make sure that both your furnace and air conditioner receive annual maintenance and cleaning, which can help them to last far beyond that 15-year mark. You’ll also want to replace worn-out parts when needed, and ensure that all filters are cleaned or replaced on a regular basis. This will not only extend the life of your system, but will also increase the energy efficiency of your home and will save on energy costs.

We know that many customers are concerned about the cost of HVAC system replacement, and would rather put off the expense as long as possible. However, if you consider the added energy costs, it can easily become more costly to keep the old furnace or air conditioner limping along for additional months, even years. Furnaces can use up to 30% more gas and air conditioners can use 40% more electricity as they age. Over the course of several years, these costs add up quickly. If you also factor in the costs of replacing worn-out parts, it is often more costly to keep the old furnace running than to replace it when it’s ready.

Once you know it’s time to replace, there really is no bad time of year to schedule your system upgrade. Ideally, you’ll want to avoid periods of severe weather, including extreme heat, extreme cold, or heavy snow, to assure a reasonable level of indoor comfort during the installation. This is why we encourage our customers to plan their replacements ahead of time, if possible. Heating and air conditioning replacement usually takes about six hours or more; however, our technicians are able to move a new furnace or air conditioner in and out rather quickly. If necessary, we can even provide temporary heat sources to prevent pipes freezing and other concerns.

My recommendations come from years of interacting with customers during the decision-making process. I can assure you that our happiest customers are the ones who allow themselves time to do research, plan ahead, and do not depend on a quick fix in the event of an emergency. Replacing your indoor comfort products can be very rewarding because you’ll reduce energy costs, improve air quality, balance room temperatures, and decrease noise from worn-out systems, so plan ahead!

RCM Heating & Cooling is located in New Lenox and serves the Lincoln-Way area. If you have any additional questions about when to replace your furnace or air conditioner, or would like to receive a quote on a system upgrade, feel free to give us a call at 815-458-5425