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I live in a northern climate and presently have a forced air heating system. I am interested in adding A/C. I was wondering if I should leave the heating system and add a seperate A/C or new heat and air combined unit? :rolleyes:
They are separate units new or old. An "A" coil is installed on top of the furnace where part of the plenum is now located, a condensing unit is installed out side and the refrigerant lines are installed between the condenser and the "A" coil. Usually the only modification to the furnace is the wiring for the thermostat and connection the the high speed wires to the motor.
thumper... since you have an existing central forced hot air heating system with ducting in place it's an effective way of incorporating A/C as well.
Jack has described the A/C is incorporated into using the heating system ... this is a cost effective and common way of doing it. What Jack listed are generally the basic components to add to your heating system.
When you mention a separate system it suggests having a separate air handler , ducting , etc. dedicated to the A/C. If you think about all of that then the costs would be expensive. Then you would have to consider the modifications inside the home to accommodate things like added ducting that may be required.
You ask whether you should install new heat and air combined. That depends .... how old and how efficient is the existing heating system. If it's time to change it out this is the time to have both installed .... generally it's more cost effective.
If the heating system is fine then the addition of the A/C components are relatively simple to have installed.