Should You Buy the Unit or the Whole System?

Should You Buy the Unit or the Whole System?Maybe it’s time to think about buying an HVAC system to improve efficiency and performance, as well as lower operating costs. Or, maybe your existing A/C needs expensive repairs that just don’t seem worth it, given the age of the unit.

Whatever the case, when you’re buying an HVAC system you rightfully expect an upgrade to improved indoor comfort and better economy. The way to make sure your expectations are met is by replacing the entire system—not just the indoor or outdoor half. While it may seem like a money-saver to upgrade just one half or the other, particularly when the problem’s limited to a single component, it actually ensures you won’t get the improvements you want and deserve.

The indoor and outdoor components of a central air conditioner perform different functions yet interact intimately. Today, critical components in each half — namely the indoor evaporator coil and outdoor condenser coil — are literally made for each other and should not be mated with other components they weren’t designed for. Here’s what wrong with upgrading only half the system:

  • Lower energy efficiency. The SEER rating that expresses A/C energy efficiency is based on the entire system as a unit. Mixing old and new system components means you won’t receive the promised efficiency improvements and lower operating costs of an all-new unit. Moreover, you’ll probably get worse performance than the old system you’re replacing.
  • Less cool comfort. Cooling effectiveness is directly related to indoor and outdoor coil function. When these two halves aren’t meant for each other, temperature control is unreliable and humidity extraction, a vital part of the cooling process, is less efficient.
  • Shorter service life. Unmatched components cause system dysfunctions such as extended cycles that greatly accelerate wear and tear and lead to early failure of expensive components like the compressor.
  • Warranty issues. Mixing unmatched system components typically voids the warranty on both the new and old halves of the system.

For reliable advice about buying an HVAC system, contact the pros at Paitson Bros., the trusted source for HVAC sales and service since 1922.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Terre Haute, Indiana 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 812-645-6859.

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Christian Delbert/Shutterstock”

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