How Does a Furnace Work With an AC?

how does a furnace work with ac

Your home’s HVAC system is responsible for helping your property reach comfortable temperatures throughout the year. During the colder months, you use a furnace to stay warm, and in the summer, an air conditioner is best. 

How does a furnace work with AC systems? In this guide, we’ll go over the relationships these two systems have, along with other heating and cooling alternatives you could utilize for your property. Overall, maintaining your entire HVAC system will help all heating and cooling appliances.

After discovering more about the connection between furnaces and air conditioners, you can contact JC Heating & Cooling for top-rated and affordable furnace installation in La Grange, IL. We also provide stellar air conditioning system services, including ductless mini-splits.

How Do Air Conditioners and Furnaces Work?

An air conditioning system delivers cool air to your property when you’re dealing with heat and humidity. It cools your indoor air with refrigerant, an outdoor unit, evaporator coils, condenser coils, and an exhaust fan. Central air conditioning systems provide complete home comfort and distribute cool air to every area in the home, while window and wall units or portable air conditioners typically help cool one room or area.

Furnaces work the most in the winter months when temperatures are extremely cold. They draw in air and heat it using a fuel source, sending warm, comfortable air through the vents and achieving the desired temperature from the thermostat. Both systems may connect through the HVAC system’s vents and ducts but do not operate with each other or at the same time.

Furnaces and boilers sometimes confuse property owners as they both are heating appliances but function differently. Furnaces heat air in your home and help you experience warmer temperatures. Boilers heat water in your home and provide hot water for showering, cooking, and more.

Some key types of HVAC appliances include the following:

  • Air conditioners
  • Boilers
  • Central heating
  • Central air conditioner
  • Ductless mini splits
  • Heat pumps
  • Furnaces

Working with a professional HVAC technician can help you determine what type of system is best for your property and needs.

Do You Need To Operate Your Air Conditioner and Furnace Together?

No, it doesn’t make sense to run your air conditioner and furnace simultaneously since they have opposite jobs. You only need one of the two systems at a time to reach your desired indoor conditions (warm or cool). Operating both will put unnecessary wear on each system, leading to the need for repair and premature replacement services, so there is never a situation where running them together makes sense.

The transition between seasons is also when you might switch to the opposite HVAC unit. As the weather gets cooler in the fall, you’ll use your air conditioner less and begin furnace use. In the spring, the opposite might happen.

Do Furnaces and Air Conditioners Require Simultaneous Replacement?

You don’t necessarily need to replace your furnace and air conditioning system at the same time, as they both may not expire together. Many furnaces last five to ten years longer than air conditioners, but how long your appliances last depends on several factors. The type of appliance you have, how often you use it, and how much maintenance you put into your air conditioner or furnace contributes to its expected lifespan.

Combo HVAC Options To Consider

How does a furnace work with AC systems? You know the answer, but what other HVAC options are available for your property? Consider the main appliances to make heating and cooling easier.

Heat Pumps

You might consider using a heat pump for your home as your heating and cooling method. Not only are heat pumps more energy-efficient than many air conditioners and furnaces, but they do the job of both appliances in one convenient unit. Since heat pumps use less electricity, you can save more on your energy bills each month and decrease your chances of needing repair or replacement services.

Talking to your local HVAC technician can reveal whether a heat pump or air conditioner and furnace is a better fit.

Other HVAC Combo Systems

Although heat pumps are perhaps the most common type of combined system, other HVAC systems that heat and cool include:

  • Air conditioner packaged units (an air conditioner with heat strips)
  • Duel fuel package units
  • Gas pack units

The Importance of Maintaining HVAC Systems

No matter what type of heating and cooling systems you prefer for your home, keeping up with maintenance is key to protecting your investment. Systems will not function at their best without replacing broken or faulty parts, cleanings, and filter replacements. HVAC systems are reliable, but you’re unlikely to get the results you want by taking a “set-it-and-forget-it” approach, as your air conditioner and furnace need proper maintenance.

Each year, you should schedule an inspection service appointment for your HVAC system, letting you know if any major problems are present and assessing its condition. Checking your furnace before the heating season and your air conditioner before the cooling season is a great way to prepare and avoid a breakdown when you rely on your appliances the most. Remember to remove obstructions around your ducts and vents!

A good rule of thumb is to look at your furnace and AC filters each month and replace them every 90 days. The larger the filter size, the longer you can wait between replacements. Filter sizes can range from 1 inch to about 6 inches for furnaces and air conditioners.

Contact JC Heating & Cooling for Five-Star Heating and Air Conditioning Services in Hodgkins, Illinois

If you still have more questions about “How does a furnace work with AC systems?” or want to install a new HVAC unit, our JC Heating & Cooling team is here to help. We offer installation, maintenance, and repair services for all types and models of air conditioning and heating systems. Whether you want us to address what causes a furnace circuit board to burn or need some routine maintenance, give us a call.

Contact us at J C Heating & Cooling today in Hodgkins, IL, and the surrounding areas for HVAC work by calling (708) 367-3199!