The answer is most likely yes, and here are the reasons why.
Matched System Design: All air conditioner and heat pump outdoor units are specifically designed to work with matched indoor units for optimum efficiency and performance. The result of this matched system is a coordinated, top-performance team that ensures dependability and efficiency. Air conditioner and heat pump outdoor units may "work" with indoor units other than those for which they have been specifically designed; however, the result is a definite compromise in system performance.
Design Advances: Through the years, indoor blower coil units have undergone numerous design advances — especially in the areas of air handling performance, filtering efficiency and operating sound levels. A new outdoor unit will also include the latest design advances.
Higher Cooling and Heating Efficiency: The cooling and/or heating efficiency ratings that are advertised for an air conditioner or heat pump are based on their performance as matched systems. While changing only the outdoor unit may result in improved efficiency compared to the old system, it will not be as efficient as it was designed to be and your savings will be lower than with a matched system.
Equipment Age: If an air conditioner or heat pump outdoor unit is 10 years old and needs to be replaced, the indoor unit is just as old and has been subjected to the same amount of wear and tear. Replacing both units means you won't have to replace the indoor unit in a short time...you'll have years of service from both units.
New Warranty: A new unit also gives you a new product warranty. Replacing the indoor unit at the same time as the outdoor unit results in peace of mind, knowing the new warranty covers the entire system.
A Bargain: At first glance, replacing only an air conditioner or heat pump outdoor unit may appear to be a bargain. But when you consider the lower cooling and heating efficiencies, decreased reliability and high cost of ownership that results, it's not such a bargain. Replacing an entire system costs more, but you get more efficiency, reliability and comfort.
Zoning divides your home into separate comfort areas and makes your comfort equipment cool or heat only areas that need conditioning. For example, a living room with large windows may stay too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter. A zoning system will send more conditioned air to the living room to make up for the heat gained or lost through the windows.
Why zone? Today's families have different lifestyles and comfort needs. Maybe you have a home office that needs extra conditioning during the day and none at night. Or you only use the upstairs or back bedrooms when guests visit. Whatever your needs, zoning can keep each area of your house at the perfect temperature for you and each family member.
When should I install zoning? If you are replacing your air conditioner or heat pump, it is an excellent time to install a zoning system. When you new comfort equipment is matched with a zoning system, you will have precise control in each zone. Houses that had been nearly impossible to keep comfortable are a thing of the past. Zoning is also excellent for new homes since it is installed during construction. If you are buying a new home, check with your builder about a zoning system. It could make the difference between just enjoying your new house and being truly comfortable in it.