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How Much Do Heat Pumps Cost?

Heat pump outside a home in winter - Jarboe's Plumbing, Heating, and Cooling

Louisville homeowners know buying new heating and cooling equipment is an investment into their comfort and home values, so it’s natural to wonder, “How much do heat pumps cost?” Price certainly plays a role in purchasing decisions, so we explain the various factors that impact the price tag of your new heat pump installation. Learn how much do heat pumps cost and some helpful information to help you find quality equipment that meets your budget.

What’s Included in a Heat Pump Quote?

When our Louisville HVAC pros visit your home to give you a quote on how much do heat pumps cost, that quote represents not only the cost of equipment, but the cost to install it. Homeowners purchase genuine new HVAC equipment through their contractor and hire the contractor to perform all the skilled labor required to get the new system up and running. This is a job you don’t want to risk DIYing.

Your estimate for how much do heat pumps cost isn’t going to be the same as your neighbor’s, because all homes have different factors that impact what is needed to accommodate the heat pump’s installation. Even if you buy the same heat pump as someone else, the specific installation needs of each home make the final price different for each home. To install a heat pump to work in a house requires more than simply setting up the new heat pump.

Air Handlers

While most use the term “heat pump” as a blanket term for their entire HVAC system, the actual heat pump is just the outdoor unit. Inside is the air handler, which houses the system’s blower motor and evaporator coils. Both pieces of equipment are required in a forced air HVAC system that pushes heated and cooled air into the home’s living spaces.

When you install a new heat pump, you want to install a new air handler at the same time. This allows the new system to be matched, which means the two units air perfectly paired together. You want a system that is matched because air handlers and heat pumps that are designed to work together offer greater comfort and performance, better energy efficiency, and longer system service life.

If you choose to buy a new heat pump without replacing your air handler, it is unlikely that the home’s HVAC system will be matched. In the HVAC world, technology evolves at a rapid pace – older air handlers just aren’t as efficient as new models, nor do they come with the great features that improve user experience included on new units. Installing a new heat pump in an unmatched system means it will not be able to perform at its best, nor will it deliver heating and cooling at optimal energy efficiency levels.

Ductwork

How much do heat pumps cost can also include a price for ductwork improvements your home also needs to accommodate the new system. In a forced air system, the air that is heated and cooled by the heat pump and air handler moves through ducts into your living areas. If you want to install a new heat pump but your home hasn’t had a previous forced air system, it’s unlikely there are already ducts in place, so an entire new duct system may be necessary.

If you have ducts in place, they may not be up to par to allow your new heat pump system to operate at its best efficiency. In some cases, homes may require some renovations to the duct system, or duct sealing to close air leaks and improve efficiency. These improvements aid the heat pump’s performance, so it delivers the optimal comfort your family desires.

How Much Do Heat Pumps Cost?

It’s no secret – how much do heat pumps cost is an investment. For many homeowners, price is a significant factor in their purchase decisions. Buying heat pump equipment varies in price, anywhere from the upper hundreds to a few thousand dollars. As we’ve mentioned, many factors make up the total price of a new heat pump.

Also, buying a new heat pump doesn’t just mean equipment, you also buy the installation service. How much do heat pumps cost to be installed? When it’s all said and done and your new heat pump is up and running, the cost of the project can be anywhere from a few thousand to several thousand dollars. On average, heat pump systems cost approximately $5,000.00 to install.

Factors Affecting Heat Pump Price

Different models of heat pumps all have different prices, due to the unique attributes they offer. Each of the following factors plays a big role in how much do heat pumps cost. Luckily, there are a wide range of heat pumps available on the market and units available to fit any budget, no matter how great or small. As you begin to investigate how much do heat pumps cost, tell your HVAC contractor your budget so he or she is able to help you find equipment solutions that offer the best performance and value for your money.

These are important factors when it comes to how much do heat pumps cost:

  • Heat pump type
  • Capacity
  • Energy efficiency
  • Brand

Type

When you install a new heat pump system, you have the choice between two different types: air-source or geothermal.

  • Air-source heat pumps transfer heat from the air inside your home to the air outdoors, and vice versa.
  • Geothermal heat pumps transfer heat between indoor air and a natural source, either the ground below the property (ground-source heat pumps) or a nearby body of water (water-source heat pumps).

Which heat pump system you choose greatly impacts how much do heat pumps cost. Geothermal heat pump systems cost much more to install than air source heat pumps. The equipment itself is a little more expensive, but there is also the expense of ground loop installation, which is the buried pipe system that facilitates geothermal heat exchange. A geothermal heat pump system can cost $10,000 or more in total.

Because the equipment is slightly cheaper and there is no ground loop to install, the price of an air-source heat pump is more affordable for many Louisville homeowners. Typically, an air-source heat pump costs half the price of a geothermal system, or even less.

Capacity

Heat pump sizing is based off how many BTUs (British Thermal Units) of heat are required to condition the air inside your home. This is your home’s heating load, which is configured based on aspects of the home like space, square footage, windows, doors, the home’s exposure, and even how many people live there.

A heat pump’s capacity is expressed in tons, with one ton representing 12,000 BTUs. It’s a misconception that tons reflect the weight of a unit! For example, a 2-ton heat pump produces 24,000 BTUs of heating or cooling.

Capacity affects how much do heat pumps cost. Greater capacity heat pumps typically cost more than lower capacity models. Sizing is specific to your home – this is not something you have options on.

Do not purposefully undersize your new heat pump in attempts to save money, because this mistake will cost you greatly. Undersized heat pumps struggle to produce enough heating and cooling, waste energy, and experience more wear and tear. They break down more because of the constant use in attempts to stay comfortable, and need to be replaced sooner. Consider making concessions in other areas to conserve your budget, not with capacity.

Energy Efficiency

A heat pump’s cooling efficiency is reflected with a SEER number, which stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. Air conditioners also use this measure. The minimum SEER allowable for new heat pumps here in the Midwest is 13. Heating efficiency for heat pumps is expressed in HSPF, which stands for Heating Seasonal Performance Factor. The minimum required in the United States is 7.7 HSPF.

The energy efficiency of a unit affects how much do heat pumps cost. The greater the energy efficiency, the greater the price tag in most cases. Though higher efficiency units cost more upfront, they also help you save as time goes on because they cost less to operate with more efficient energy consumption.

Brand

It’s no strange concept that brand affects pricing – look at all the other products we use, from food to clothing. How much do heat pumps cost are slightly impacted by brand. Some of the great HVAC product manufacturers stick to the production of more budget-friendly systems, while others deliver more elite solutions.

Even within a single brand’s product line, there are typically multiple heat pump options. On one end, there are more basic models and at the other are the more “loaded” models. It’s just like a car, one is more standard while the other has more features. On heat pumps, these features improve efficiency and add user convenience.

Call Jarboe’s for Heat Pump Installation

Jarboe’s offers quality heat pump installation for homeowners throughout the Louisville area. If you wonder how much do heat pumps cost, contact us today to receive a quote for new heat pump equipment and quality installation.

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