Can You Replace Just The Outside AC Unit?

image of an air conditioner installation

The U.S. Department of Energy suggests that you plan an HVAC system replacement every 10 to 15 years. However, your system might last more than 15 years, depending on your HVAC unit’s quality and your tune-up schedule. Therefore, ensure that your air conditioner or heater receives professional HVAC check-ups and maintenance at least annually to help extend its lifespan. Remember to do this before the cooling or heating season begins.

When a homeowner faces an air conditioning replacement, many usually ask “Can you replace just the outside AC unit?”. Naturally, AC replacements are costly, and saving money always sounds like a great idea. However, taking this approach usually ends up costing more than replacing both the indoor and outdoor units together. Read on to find all you need to know about this topic.

Explore Our HVAC Services Call To Schedule An In-Home Estimate

Can You Replace Just The Outside Air Conditioning Unit?

The answer is no. HVAC experts recommend that when you replace the outside air conditioning unit, you should also replace the indoor unit. It is still entirely up to you if you will follow this. However, keep in mind that not replacing both can cause problems like frequent failures, reduced efficiency, and a spike in your cooling costs. Here are some of the reasons you should replace both at the same time:

Call Today: (732) 349-5059

Indoor And Outdoor Air Conditioner Coils Need To Match

The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) states that outdoor air conditioning units work with specific indoor air handlers. Therefore, the outdoor unit should match the indoor unit to ensure optimal compatibility and efficiency. Replacing only the outside unit will mean you’ll have a mismatched system that provides insufficient heating and cooling. They also tend to be inefficient, which leads to issues like early system failure, reduced comfort, and high utility costs.

SEER Ratings

image of efficiency vs cost depicting air conditioner with high seer rating

The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, or SEER, refers to an air conditioner’s cooling output over a cooling season compared to its annual energy consumption. An HVAC system’s SEER rating determines how efficient it is. The US Energy Information Administration states that a SEER rating of 13 is the minimum in the United States. Outdoor and indoor air conditioning units should have the same SEER rating to achieve maximum efficiency. If you do not replace them simultaneously, there is a high chance that the indoor and outdoor units will have different SEER ratings. Therefore, you will have a mismatched system and the problems attached to it.

Call To Schedule A Consultation: (732) 349-5059

The Phaseout Of R-22

air conditioner refrigerant

Many homeowners want to have more sustainable homes. Therefore, HVAC manufacturers are switching to eco-friendly designs and materials. Old HVAC systems use the harmful R-22 refrigerant. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, this coolant causes the depletion of the ozone layer. As a result, federal energy laws require that HVAC manufacturers use R-410A instead because it is safer. If you still have a model that uses R-22, consider replacing it to have improved efficiency and safety. Therefore, if you are replacing the outdoor unit with a new model, the old indoor unit will be incompatible.

Air Conditioner Manufacturer Warranty

New HVAC systems have a manufacturer’s or factory warranty. It will be helpful if your system experiences breakdowns from defective factory-installed components. However, if you have mismatched indoor and outdoor units, the warranty might become void, and your warranty may not cover any necessary repairs.

Learn More About Our Air Conditioner Installation Services Call To Schedule A Consultation

Premature Cooling System Failure & HVAC Repairs

An HVAC system with matching outdoor and indoor units that receive regular maintenance will have a lifespan of 10 years or more. A mismatched HVAC system will strain to operate as expected because of its reduced efficiency. This leads to faster wear and tear that significantly shortens your system’s lifespan. Replacing one unit will cause the system to be inefficient. The unit will end up needing frequent HVAC repairs or experience early system failure. Prevent this from happening by replacing the outdoor and indoor AC units at the same time.

Pros Of Replacing Indoor And Outdoor Air Conditioning Units

benefits of replacing both air conditioner units

Some of the benefits that come with an indoor and outdoor air conditioner replacement include:

  • Save Money On Cooling Costs: A mismatched system will not work efficiently even though it has a high SEER rating. It will likely overwork to ensure that the home’s cooling needs are met. As a result, the system will consume a lot of energy, and there will be a spike in your energy bills. Therefore, a system that is matched will work efficiently and reduce your cooling costs.
  • Enhanced Home Comfort: Having a well-matched air conditioner means it will be highly efficient. It can cool your home immediately, and you will receive better home comfort.
  • HVAC Warranty: The manufacturer’s warranty will be void if the indoor unit does not match the outdoor one. If you do not want to void the warranty, replace both units at the same time.
Click Here To Call & Schedule A Consultation

Tips To Maintain Your Air Conditioner

Prevent early air conditioner failure and replacement by using these tips to ensure system maintenance:

  • Clean or replace the air filter as needed.
  • Ensure that the fan is operating as it should.
  • Consider installing a programmable thermostat.
  • Seek professional assistance to inspect and unclog the condensate drain if needed.
  • Make sure that the air conditioning system matches.
  • Adjust the temperature of your HVAC system when not in use.
  • Check your HVAC system regularly.
  • Schedule yearly air conditioner maintenance before summer begins.

Doing these will help increase your HVAC unit’s lifespan, improve its efficiency, and lower your cooling bills. Contact a professional HVAC technician to help you with all your HVAC repair and maintenance needs.

Call To Make An Appointment: (732) 349-5059



Some of the reasons you should replace outdoor and indoor air conditioner units at the same time are listed above. Remember that units that have different manufacturers do not match even though they might have the same SEER rating. Hire an expert HVAC contractor to help you purchase a matching HVAC system and replace your indoor and outdoor units.

Call Point Bay Fuel For All Of Your HVAC Requirements

Point Bay Fuel provides high-quality heating and cooling services in Ocean and Monmouth County, New Jersey. We have highly skilled and professionally certified technicians for all your excellent HVAC needs, including boiler tune-ups, mini-split repairs, furnace installations, and air conditioner replacements. Rest assured, all our friendly techs are trained, experienced, and knowledgeable to service any HVAC system accurately.

Our company offers highly affordable and competitive HVAC service prices in the area. We can improve your home’s energy efficiency, indoor air quality, and comfort with our maintenance services. When you need to replace or repair your HVAC system, we can recommend the best one that fits your needs and budget. Your satisfaction is important to us, so all our work comes with a guarantee. Book a service appointment with Point Bay Fuel by calling us today.

Call Now: (732) 349-5059 Read Our Testimonials

Contact us now by calling (732) 349-5059 to speak to one of our home comfort specialists!