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  • Replace Your Indoor and Outdoor Units Together


  • January 1, 2021

    Your heating system is essential to the comfort and indoor air quality of your home. However, as the years go on, it’s very common for components to wear out, systems begin to run less efficiently, and even fail. At this point, it’s time to explore your options for replacing your unit.

    Sometimes your outdoor unit will need repairs and replacements before your indoor unit. This happens for a variety of reasons. For example, debris like grass clippings, dust, leaves, and more tends to accumulate on the outdoor system. If not cleaned off regularly, that debris can get into the system. 

    That being said, it’s not always as simple as replacing the outside unit and keeping the indoor unit. In fact, if you replace your outdoor unit, you should almost always replace your indoor unit. Here’s why:

    Indoor and Outdoor HVAC Units Are Often a Pair

    In most cases, the outdoor unit and indoor unit are sold as a pair. They’re often optimized for each other’s systems, components, and settings. The coils in your units especially need to match. When you don’t buy matching units with matching coils, you run the risk of them not working together. It would be like wearing shoes with different heel heights to a marathon.

    Mismatched coils, in the long run, could lead to less efficiency and higher operating costs. It might take longer for your home to reach a comfortable temperature and your units may even wear out quicker.

    HVAC Unit Efficiency Ratings and Technology

    Every year, there are upgrades and changes in technology. Over a few years, previous technology may become less efficient or even obsolete when paired with new systems. If you only replace your outdoor unit, you will likely miss out on the technological advantages you’re paying for. 

    Additionally, HVAC units are rated on the SEER system or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. Manufacturers and retailers make and sell HVAC units based on the required minimum SEER. The required minimum often changes every few years as technology innovates and improves. When a component of your HVAC system fails, such as your outdoor unit, you have to replace it with one that has the same minimum SEER requirements as your other units. Otherwise, your new unit won’t be compatible with the rest of your system.


    So much of HVAC technology has changed over the last few decades. A major change was the banning of Freon in new HVAC systems. If your HVAC system is older than 2010, your outdoor unit and indoor unit likely used Freon or R-22. Today’s units are required to use R-410A, a more efficient, ozone-friendly refrigerant. If you replace one component that used R-22, you’ll have to upgrade all of them otherwise the units won’t be compatible.

    New Warranties

    Whenever you buy a unit, it is likely that you will purchase a manufacturer’s warranty with it. This will protect your investment in the long term if there’s damage. If you don’t replace both, you risk your indoor unit breaking down before the new outdoor unit does and the old warranty not covering the indoor unit. You also risk not qualifying for the new warranty if you’re using two systems that aren’t paired together. 

    When you replace both the indoor unit and the outdoor unit, you’ll know both are covered under the same warranty for the same length of time. 

    When Should You Update Both HVAC Units

    In most cases, you should replace both the indoor unit and outdoor units. However, there is an exception to this rule. If your outdoor unit is still fairly new, still covered under warranty, and you can find an outdoor unit that matches your indoor unit, you can safely replace your outdoor unit without changing your indoor unit. We recommend consulting an HVAC professional to discuss your options.

    Trusted HVAC Repair, Installation, and Service for North Idaho

    When it’s time for a new system, it’s important that the project is handled by a skilled HVAC technician. Our professionally licensed HVAC contractors can assist with every step of the installation and maintenance process to keep your home comfortable. Our experts can help you choose the most efficient unit for your needs. We will even remove and recycle your old unit when necessary. When you need complete installation services, you can trust the experts at J.A. Bertsch. Call us at 1-800-Furnace to schedule an appointment.