Heat Pump Prices: Pros, Cons & Free Local Estimates
Total Heat Pump Resource - Heat Pump Prices, Advantages, Disadvantages, How it Works, and How to Find a Heat Pump Contractor
The neglected stepchild in the heating family just decades ago, heat pumps have experienced a recent surge in popularity courtesy of technical advancements and plummeting heat pump prices.
When introduced in the 1970s, heat pumps were noisy, unreliable machines that garnered little more than passing curiosity from homeowners. Now, as heat pump estimates continue to drop, this alternative heating system is quiet, reliable, and usually costs less to heat a home than other traditional options, such as gas, oil, and electric furnaces.
If your heating bills are warming up faster than your home, it might be time to invest in a heat pump. Heat pump prices may appear high due to the expensive initial investment, but in the long-term heat pumps will usually lead to savings courtesy of some of the best energy efficiency of all heating and cooling options.
Heat Pump Prices & Heat Pump Estimates
Depending on the heat pump brand, energy efficiency rating, home location/size/orientation, and more, prices usually range from $1,500 to $7,500 for the purchase and installation of air source heat pumps (which pull heat from the outside atmosphere). Geothermal heat pumps, which pull heat from the ground and are therefore more reliable and more efficient, usually cost somewhere between $9,000 and $23,000, including installation.
Heat Pump Brands
Popular brands include Trane, Carrier, Bryant, Goodman, Amana, Rheem and more.
For specific pricing for the complete heat pump lines offered by these brands, see our dedicated guides to:
- Trane heat pump prices
- Carrier heat pump prices
- Bryant heat pump prices
- Amana heat pump prices
- Goodman heat pump prices
- Rheem heat pump prices
You can also get an expert analysis of the best brand for you and your bank account, as well as the correct system size based on air volume with a local QualitySmith professional. They know which size and SEER you'll need to run efficiently and ensure maximum unit life. Heat pump cost quotes are written estimates with everything clearly spelled out for easy comparisons. Your professional can also help you understand what weatherization and energy efficiency stimulus programs you qualify for. Click here for four free estimates in 20 seconds.
Calculate Heat Pump Cost
Cost to operate is difficult to calculate because it fluctuates as outside temperatures change and depends on a wide variety of factors. If you live in a warm climate, it’s a near certainty your energy costs to heat your home will be well below heating systems that rely on fuel combustion because the energy needed to create heat is low in higher temperatures. The amount of energy it takes to create heat rises, however, as the outside temperature falls. This can make heat pumps more expensive heating options than traditional systems in climates where the temperature frequently drops below 40 degrees. Be sure to consider operation costs when seeking heat pump estimates.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration offers a calculator, in Excel format, that can help you determine your savings from heat pumps compared to other heating options.
How A Heat Pump Works
Heat pumps are unique units, acting potentially as both heater and air conditioner. Heat pumps are designed to move heat from one room to another, which also includes moving heat out of a room as well as into one. Optimized for moderate climates, heat pumps can save on heating and cooling bills from month to month if used properly. Choosing the right system for your home is key in finding low heat pump prices.
A heat pump is a 2-in-1-furnace/air conditioner and therefore serves as an excellent choice when taking into account furnace efficiency. A heat pump will operate as a furnace when it is cold, and an air conditioner in the summer when it is warmer. This is possible by a valve that can be switched to the proper mode based on the temperature outside. In the summer, the heat pump will remove excess heat from within the house. This process is simply reversed during the winter. Heat is taken from the outside air and transferred into the house—creating a consistently comfortable temperature. Because of the manner in which heat pumps work, they are generally recommended for temperate climates that rarely drop below freezing.
Absorption heat pumps may be powered by gas, geothermal heating or solar resources. Where air conditioners compress refrigerant, absorption pumps add ammonia into water, which is then pressurized and boiled.
Ground-source heat pumps take heat from the ground or from water beneath the ground and transfer it indoors, most commonly via buried pipes. Water or refrigerant is run through these pipes in either closed or open-loop systems; open-loop systems pump water out of a source (like a well or reservoir), while closed-loop systems reuse the same water continually.
Split heat pumps connect an outdoor source to an indoor source with the capability of controlling each room’s temperature separately. These systems do not need complicated ductwork, if any at all, and are therefore a prime choice for older homes that might alternatively need to be retrofitted for a ducted system, like central air.
Heat Pump Advantages
Heat pumps are one of the most efficient systems you can buy to heat your home. This means saving energy and paying lower bills compared to other heating options. Electric heat pumps also eliminate the need for a humidifier to fight the "dry air feel" produced by furnaces. Most heat pumps are quieter than their counterpart heating systems because a heat pump's air compressor is located outside the building, reducing the noise levels.
- Because a heat pump creates heat by pulling warmth from the outside air or ground rather than burn fuel, it usually costs less to operate than gas, oil, and electric furnaces.
- Air source heat pump prices are relatively low. It costs about $1,500 to $7,500 to buy and install a unit for the average home.
- The amount of energy needed to create heat drops as the outside temperature rises.
- Heat pumps double as cooling systems.
Heat Pump Disadvantages
One disadvantage to purchasing a heat pump is the possible need for a backup system. If you live in an area that is frequently below freezing in winter, a back up system may be required to provide enough heat for the entire home. Also, the initial price of a heat pump can be a deterrent when purchasing a heating unit, but the savings on energy bills usually offsets this.
- Air source heat pumps can become unworkable when temperatures plummet to freezing, necessitating a back-up heating option such as an electric furnace.
- Geothermal heat pump prices are relatively high. It costs about $11,000 to $26,000 for an average home, including installation.
- Heating energy costs increase as the outside temperature falls.
- Heat pumps are not efficient as cooling systems and generally cost more to operate than air conditioning units.
Heat Pump Efficiency
Heat pumps are more efficient than other heating systems because instead of converting electricity or fuel into heat, heat pumps transfers the warmth stored in the air or ground to heat the home. However as mentioned earlier this efficiency is lost in colder climates as the temperature goes below freezing.
One of the most valuable aspects of including a heat pump in your heating system estimate is the potential for federal tax credits. When you’re looking for low heat pump prices, consider the fact that the more efficient for heat pump is, the lower you prices will be from month-to-month. If you use your heating or cooling system every day, it’s an extremely beneficial idea to invest in a pump with a high SEER (seasonal energy efficiency rating). Also consider the HSPF (heating seasonal performance factor). Energy Star certified heat pumps may qualify you for a 10-30% federal tax credit.
How to find a Heat Pump Contractor
Finding a quality contractor to install a heat pump is crucial. If too large a system is installed, the heat pump will cycle on and off too often decreasing efficiency and producing unnecessary deterioration on the equipment. Too small a system and the heat pump will not be capable of keeping your home at a comfortable temperature. The Better Business Bureau recommends meeting with at least three different contractors before hiring a contractor for your projects, which you can do in minutes here at QualitySmith.com. After you fill out one of our forms, you'll receive four estimates from the four top-rated heat pump contractors in your area. Our network of HVAC contractors is highly selective and we verify required licensing and insurance information.