Jun 06

Can You Replace Just The Outside AC Unit?

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The US Department of Energy states that HVAC system replacement should be done every 10 to 15 years. Your system can last over 15 years, depending on its quality and maintenance schedule. Therefore, you should book professional maintenance at least every six months to help extend the service life of your air conditioner or heater. It is recommended that you do this before the start of the summer and winter seasons. However, at some point towards the end of your AC unit’s lifespan, you will need an air conditioner replacement. For your air conditioning system, you might be wondering “Can you replace just the outside AC unit?”. This article answers this question in further detail.

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Can You Just Replace The Outside Air Conditioning Unit?

No, you can’t just replace the outside air conditioning unit in your home. All HVAC experts will always recommend replacing both indoor and outdoor units. It is entirely up to you, but issues can crop up when you don’t replace both units. Some problems you may encounter are frequent failures, increased cooling bills, and reduced efficiency. Other reasons you should replace both indoor and outside units at the same time include the following:

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Indoor & Outdoor AC Coils Need To Match

The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) states that outdoor air conditioning units usually need specific indoor air handlers to operate. Therefore, the outdoor and indoor units should match to ensure compatibility and peak efficiency. Replacing only the outdoor unit can result in a mismatched cooling system that might not be able to meet your home’s air conditioning demands. Incompatible cooling systems are likely inefficient, resulting in many problems, such as high operating costs, reduced indoor comfort, and premature system failure.

Air Conditioner SEER Ratings

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The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) is the cooling unit’s cooling output over a cooling season in comparison with its energy consumption per year. The HVAC system’s SEER determines how efficient it is. Per the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), the United States’s minimum SEER rating is 13. The SEER rating for indoor and outdoor AC units should be the same to ensure maximum efficiency. Replacing the outside unit only will likely mean that you’ll have a mismatched system and all of its associated problems.

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R-22 Phaseout

More people are joining the sustainability journey, and HVAC manufacturers are also creating and using eco-friendly designs and materials to help save the environment. For instance, the US Environmental Protection Agency reported that the R-22 refrigerant that old HVAC models use is a harmful substance that contributes to the ozone layer’s depletion. Today, federal energy laws require manufacturers to use a safer alternative, which is the R-410A refrigerant. Therefore, consider upgrading to a new refrigerant if your system still uses R-22. This will help improve your system’s efficiency and promote home safety. If you only replace the outdoor unit, this means it will be incompatible with the indoor one.


Air Conditioner Manufacturer Warranty

A new HVAC system has a factory or manufacturer’s warranty that covers breakdowns caused by flaws or defects in factory-installed parts. However, if the indoor and outdoor units are mismatched, the dealer or manufacturer may void the warranty or deny warranty repairs.

Premature Air Conditioner Failure & HVAC Repairs

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A well-maintained and compatible HVAC system can last for 10 years or more. In contrast, a mismatched system will likely overwork to make up for its inefficiency. This results in a considerably shortened lifespan of your HVAC system. Replacing only one unit will result in an inefficient system which, in turn, causes frequent repairs and early system failure. Avoid this from happening by replacing both outdoor and indoor AC units at the same time.

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Benefits Of Replacing Indoor And Outdoor Air Conditioning Units

Some of the advantages you get when you replace indoor and outdoor AC units are:

  • Save Money On Cooling Costs: A mismatched system will have low efficiency no matter what its SEER rating is. As a result, the system tends to work harder to achieve the set cooling temperature. This spikes up the energy consumption and your energy bills. The converse is true. A matched system ensures efficient operation, costing you less on your cooling bills.
  • Better Home Comfort: A well-matched air conditioner will cool your home correctly and provide you with the comfort you need because it is highly efficient.
  • HVAC Warranty: The manufacturer’s warranty won’t become void if the outdoor AC unit is compatible with the indoor one. Therefore, replacing both units will ensure that the warranty on your new AC units remains valid.

Tips To Maintain Your Air Conditioner

Here are several tips you can use to maintain your air conditioning system and prevent cooling unit failure and premature air conditioner replacement:

  • Clean and/or change the HVAC air filter regularly.
  • Ensure that the fan is operating correctly.
  • Install a programmable thermostat.
  • Have an HVAC professional check the condensate drain and unclog it when needed.
  • Ensure that the air conditioning system matches.
  • Adjust the temperature settings and reduce the cooling unit’s operation when not in use.
  • Conduct HVAC inspections regularly.
  • Book yearly air conditioner maintenance before the summer season begins.

Doing these tasks may not keep your system from failing, but they can help increase your HVAC unit’s longevity and efficiency while lowering your energy bills. Contact a licensed HVAC contractor to ensure proper HVAC maintenance and repairs. They are knowledgeable on every detail regarding your air conditioner’s maintenance.

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This article lists a few reasons you should replace your outdoor and indoor AC units simultaneously. Keep in mind that units made by different manufacturers are considered mismatched, although they have the same SEER rating. Hire a certified HVAC technician to ensure that your outdoor and indoor units properly match.

Call Skylands Energy Service For All Of Your HVAC Requirements

image of skylands energy service logoFor all your heating and cooling needs, make sure to call Skylands Energy Service. We have only the best highly trained and professionally certified technicians in Central New Jersey. All our techs are knowledgeable, skilled, and experienced in conducting superior HVAC maintenance, replacements, repairs, and installations on your system.

Our company offers the most competitive HVAC service rates in the locality. Our tune-up services can increase your energy efficiency, enhance home comfort, and improve indoor air quality while reducing energy costs. If you need an HVAC repair or replacement system, we can recommend the most suitable one for your home that’s within your budget. All our work comes with a guarantee to ensure your satisfaction. Book a service appointment and call Skylands Energy Service today. We offer free, in-home estimates.

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