Can You Add AC To An Existing Furnace? Vital Tips And Guide


Rima Chatterjee

Key Takeaways


  • Adding an AC has many benefits, but remember these factors to ensure safety and performance.
  • Factors like indoor and outdoor space dimensions, insulation levels, and heat-generating appliances must be taken into account.
  • Get an HVAC contractor to select the appropriately sized air conditioner for your needs and get the maximum effectiveness!
  • Don’t forget to get the ductwork cleaned and sealed too. Dust buildup and leaks can lead to health problems.
  • Adding AC to your furnace is a big decision. It can bring benefits like better air quality, energy efficiency, and increased home value.
Can You Add AC To An Existing Furnace

Adding AC To An Existing Furnace


Can you add AC to an existing furnace? Yes! Here’s how:

  1. Check out your current HVAC system: Size, type of ductwork, and age of the furnace.
  2. Calculate BTUs needed: This is based on square footage and insulation level.
  3. Choose an AC unit: A ductless system or a traditional central air conditioner.
  4. Call an HVAC technician: For measurements, options, and quotes.
  5. Installation day: Make sure the blower, compressor, evaporator coil, and condenser are properly installed.
  6. Maintenance: To avoid high costs and keep your AC unit running smoothly.

Before adding AC to the furnace, think of cost, efficiency ratings, and humidity control. Adding central air conditioning also improves air quality by removing dust, pollutants, and allergens.

A friend recently added geothermal AC when their new furnace was installed. The contractor provided options that included a geothermal system with central air conditioning. After installation, they saw operating cost savings due to the system’s inefficiency ratings.

Installing an AC unit? Just like Tetris with ductwork and electrical components.

Installing an AC Unit to Existing Furnace


To prepare for installing an AC unit in your home, you need to consider a few things in order to make the right decision. In this section, we will discuss the key factors to consider before adding AC to your existing furnace, followed by a closer look at sizing your central air conditioning system. By understanding these sub-sections well, you can make an informed decision about getting the right AC unit for your home.

Factors to Consider Before Adding AC to Your Furnace

Adding an AC unit is a big decision that needs careful thought. Consider these factors first:

  1. Age of the Furnace: Check if it’s close to the end of its life. It may not be able to take more pressure.
  2. Size of the AC: Choose the right size, based on your home’s size. Too big or too small won’t cool properly.
  3. Ductwork System: See if there are any leaks or damage. Leaks can cause cool air to escape and energy bills to rise.
  4. Home’s Electrical Capacity: Make sure your house can handle the AC without blackouts or short circuits.
  5. Budget: Set a budget and compare prices. Consider performance, efficiency, warranty, installation, and after-sales services.

Have a professional inspect the HVAC system and make sure to seal up ducts before installation. Hire only licensed professionals or certified technicians. 

Maintenance is key, so get an annual service and tune-up by experts. Adding an AC has many benefits, but remember these factors to ensure safety and performance. 

Bigger isn’t always better unless you want an icy living room!

Sizing Your Central Air Conditioning System

For optimal comfort and savings, it’s important to size your Central Air Conditioning System correctly. Factors like indoor and outdoor space dimensions, insulation levels, and heat-generating appliances must be taken into account.

The table below shows how square footage, insulation levels, location, orientation, and sun exposure affect the right unit size in BTUs. Location includes hot or cold regions or near the coast. Orientation is which direction most windows face.

Square FootageInsulation LevelLocationOrientationSun ExposureRecommended Unit Size
1,000-1,200 sq. ft.AverageHot/Humid / Coastal RegionsAnyAny21,000-24,000 BTUs
2,500-3,000 sq. ft.Poorly insulated with high ceilings & large windowsCold regions (Winter Season: 32°F)North/South facing with Few/no windows on east/west sides. Little Trees/Shade.Low Exposure from Sunrise & Sunset.40,000-48,000 BTUs

Moreover, improper duct installation or inadequate refrigerant levels can reduce performance and increase bills. So it’s essential to size your central AC system correctly. Get an HVAC contractor to select the appropriately sized air conditioner for your needs and get the maximum effectiveness! 

Time to slim down those air ducts and make room for the new AC unit!

Ductwork Considerations for AC Installation


To ensure a seamless and cost-effective air conditioning installation, you must consider your ductwork options. With the topic of ductwork considerations for AC installation, the sub-sections which are ‘using existing ductwork with new AC unit’ will be discussed. This will give you a better idea of whether your current duct system can accommodate your new air conditioning needs, or if you need to invest in additional ductwork or modifications.

Using Existing Ductwork with New AC Unit

Installing a New AC Unit? Consider using existing ductwork – it’ll save you money and time! But make sure it’s in good condition: check for cracks, leaks, and damages. Also, the size of the new AC unit should match the size of the ducts for proper airflow.

Don’t forget to get the ductwork cleaned and sealed too. Dust buildup and leaks can lead to health problems. Get a pro to do it to ensure a safe and efficient installation.

If you’re considering existing ductwork for your new AC unit, don’t forget these important steps. Neglecting repairs could lead to costly damages later. Trust experts for a smooth installation with clean air and maximum efficiency.

Cost of Adding AC to Your Furnace


To find a solution to the cost of adding AC to your furnace, let me introduce you to the benefits of adding AC to your existing furnace and the pros and cons of using window units versus central air conditioning. By exploring these two sub-sections, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of each option, so that you can make an informed decision on how to best cool your home while keeping your energy costs in mind.

Benefits of Adding AC to Your Existing Furnace

Adding AC to your furnace is a big decision. It can bring benefits like better air quality, energy efficiency, and increased home value.

  • Comfort: With an AC system, you can keep your home at the temperature you want, even in hot weather.
  • Air Quality: An AC system can filter out allergens, dust, and pollutants, creating a healthier environment.
  • Energy Efficiency: Upgrading your HVAC system can help you save on energy bills.
  • Cost Effective: Adding an AC unit to an existing furnace is cheaper than getting a new HVAC system.
  • Increased Home Value: Upgrading to an AC unit can make your home more attractive to potential buyers.
  • Flexible Options: You can choose from many options based on space, budget, and how often you use AC.

You may get rebates and incentives for newer systems, so consult an expert in heating installation. Don’t miss out on the advantages of having an upgraded heating and cooling system.

Pros and Cons of Using Window Units versus Central Air Conditioning

Window units and central air conditioning are two popular ways to cool your home. Let’s compare their benefits and drawbacks. 

TypesProsCons
Window unitsInexpensive to buy and easy to install.But taking them out, storing them away for colder seasons, and cleaning them can be challenging in large houses.
Central air conditioningIt’s fixed within the property.It usually has a longer lifespan.It’s highly recommended for larger spaces or multiple rooms.More costly, both for installation and energy consumption.Requires professional maintenance.

Did you know that 87% of new homes in America come with AC installed already? (Source: U.S Energy Information Administration)

When hiring a contractor for AC installation, make sure there’s a written contract in place. Lastly, consider using a digital thermostat for precise temperature control.

Hiring a Contractor or HVAC Technician for AC Installation


To get central AC installed in your home, you may need to hire an HVAC contractor or technician. Get quotes and schedule a site survey to evaluate your home’s cooling needs before deciding on a contractor. The HVAC technician’s role will be crucial in the central air conditioning installation process, so it’s important to choose a qualified, experienced technician for the job.

Getting Quotes and Site Survey for AC Installation

Get the best AC installation by following this 4-step guide:

  1. Find qualified and experienced contractors or technicians.
  2. Schedule an appointment for a site survey. They’ll assess your space, ventilation, insulation, and electrical capacity.
  3. Ask for a quote that includes materials, labor fees, warranties, and additional services.
  4. Compare quotes and pick the most suitable contractor or technician.

The final cost may vary due to layout complexity, existing wiring issues, or modifications needed. For accurate quotes, provide information about your space: square footage, age of the property, insulation type, and any past heating/cooling issues.

Hiring professionals will save time and reduce the risks of improper installations. Choose an experienced technician who can provide solutions tailored to your needs.

HVAC Technician’s Role in Central Air Conditioning Installation

An HVAC technician’s role in central air conditioning installation is essential. 

  • They are in charge of setting up, fixing, and keeping up heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems. 
  • During AC installation, a technician will assess your home’s cooling needs and suggest the right system size. 
  • They will then install it following safety rules and manufacturer directions.
  • Moreover, an HVAC technician can do the required tests on your new AC to guarantee it works well. 
  • They will also check your ductwork to make sure there are no leaks or clogs that could affect your new AC system.

When hiring an HVAC technician for AC installation, make sure they have the necessary licensing and certification. Don’t choose cost over quality as a poorly installed AC system can result in higher energy bills and lack of cooling in your house.

Adding AC to an existing furnace is like giving a car a turbocharger, it’s all about efficiency, comfort, and getting that breeze.

Conclusion:


As an HVAC technician, I’m often asked if it’s possible to attach AC to an existing furnace. Yes, but it’s not easy. Factors like house size, system capacity, and ductwork state must be considered. Installing AC with or without replacing the furnace is possible. Upgrading one only could lead to bad performance and more cost. A site survey is essential to decide on the correct AC size for your home. HVAC contractors will check things like the amount of hot/cold air in each room and evaluate ducts. Ductless systems or geothermal AC are other options. Expert advice tailored to your home’s construction style is needed to suggest AC options. With knowledgeable technicians, comfort & efficiency can be increased while minimizing costs!

About the author

Debarghya Roy: A heating systems author, Passionate about energy efficiency and sustainability, Sharing insights and empowering readers through informative blog articles.