Can I Replace My Air Conditioner and Heater Separately from Each Other?

April 21, 2024by Larry Wilson

When it comes to the comfort of your home, your HVAC system plays a pivotal role, and when it starts to break, the financial strain it can cause is the elephant in the room that needs to be addressed. It’s no wonder that the decision to replace any part of this system can feel daunting. We often encounter homeowners who are curious whether they can replace their air conditioner and heater separately. The short answer is yes, you can—but there are several factors to consider before making this decision.

Understanding Your HVAC System

First, it’s crucial to understand that your HVAC system is composed of several interconnected components. The most common setup includes an air conditioner that cools your home in the summer and a furnace that warms it in the winter. These systems often share a blower motor housed within the furnace that circulates air throughout your home.

Why Consider Replacing Separately?

Cost Efficiency: Replacing only one component—either the air conditioner or the furnace—can be less expensive in the short term. This is particularly appealing if one part fails or becomes less efficient long before the other.

Age and Wear: Sometimes, parts of your HVAC system wear out at different rates. Air conditioners typically have a shorter lifespan than furnaces. So, if your AC gives out after 10 years but your furnace is still going strong, it might make sense to replace just the air conditioner.

Seasonal Promotions: Manufacturers often offer seasonal promotions that can make replacing one component at a time more economically viable. For instance, air conditioners may be discounted in the early spring, while furnaces could be cheaper in the fall.

Considerations Before Replacing Separately

While there are advantages to replacing components separately, several factors need careful consideration:


Modern HVAC systems are designed with efficiency in mind. Replacing just one part of the system without considering how it interacts with the rest can lead to inefficiencies and increased wear and tear. It’s important to consult with professionals like those at LM Wilson to ensure any new component is compatible with your existing system.

Overall Efficiency:

Replacing only one component might not give you the efficiency boost you expect if the other part of the system is old or outdated. The newer unit’s performance could be bottlenecked by the older unit’s limited capabilities.

Warranty Concerns:

Sometimes, installing a new component separately can affect the warranty of the existing system. It’s essential to review warranty terms with your HVAC provider to ensure that replacing one part does not inadvertently void a warranty.

Potential for Frequent Repairs:

If you replace only one part of the system, the older component may soon require repairs or replacement, potentially costing more in the long run.

Pros of Replacing HVAC Components Separately

Cost Savings: Immediate out-of-pocket expense is typically lower when replacing just one component.

Improved Comfort: Even if only one part is new, it can significantly improve the overall comfort level in your home.

Flexibility: You can prioritize which component to replace based on your current financial situation and the season.

Cons of Replacing HVAC Components Separately

Mismatched System: Different ages and models might not work together optimally, potentially reducing system efficiency and lifespan.

Higher Long-Term Costs: Initial savings may be offset by the increased costs of operating an inefficient system and potential future repairs.

Warranty Issues: New components might not be covered under the existing system’s warranty, or worse, could invalidate existing warranties.

Double Labor: A huge con would be that you would essentially need to pay labor twice if you need to replace the other unit later on. Some people find it better to just replace everything all at once.

Making the Right Decision

At LM Wilson, we recommend having one of our professionals evaluate your current system. This evaluation can help determine the best course of action based on the age, condition, and performance of your existing units. During a consultation, we can provide detailed insights into the costs and benefits of complete versus partial replacement.

As experts in HVAC systems with years of experience serving the Burlington, NC area, LM Wilson is here to provide you with reliable, trustworthy service. Whether you decide to replace just one part of your HVAC system or opt for a complete overhaul, our team is ready to ensure that your home remains comfortable and your system runs efficiently.

If you’re considering replacing your air conditioner or heater, or if you have any questions about your HVAC system, don’t hesitate to contact us. We offer comprehensive estimates and are happy to guide you through every step of the process, ensuring you make the best decision for your home and family.

Call LM Wilson today at (336) 663-1370  to schedule your appointment. Let us help you keep your home comfortable in every season!

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