Ashburn, VA

How Much Does A Heat Pump Cost?

$3,800 – $8,200 Average Total Cost

A new heat pump costs $3,800 to $8,200 to install on average, depending on the size, efficiency rating, brand, and type. An air-source heat pump costs $4,000 to $8,000, a geothermal heat pump is $15,000 to $35,000, and a ductless mini-split heat pump runs $1,500 to $3,500 per zone.

Get free estimates from heat pump installers near you or view our cost guide below.

Reviewed and approved on July 19, 2021, by Tom Grupa and 9 expert heat pump installers on HomeGuide.

Heat Pump Installation Cost

Heat pump installation costs $3,800 to $8,200 on average, depending on the size, type, efficiency, and brand. Additional costs apply for a hybrid furnace (+ $2,000 – $6,000), installing ducts (+ $2,400 – $6,600), or replacing an air handler (+ $2,000 – $3,500).

Heat pump prices are $800 to $4,500 for the equipment and $1,200 to $3,500 for installation labor on average.

Heat Pump Prices Installed By Ton Chart

Heat Pump Prices
Size Home Size (SF) Average Installation Cost
1.5 ton 600 – 1,100 $2,000 – $3,500
2.0 ton 900 – 1,400 $3,000 – $5,500
2.5 ton 1,200 – 1,650 $3,200 – $6,000
3.0 ton 1,500 – 2,100 $3,500 – $6,500
3.5 ton 1,800 – 2,300 $3,800 – $7,000
4.0 ton 2,100 – 2,700 $4,000 – $8,500
5.0 ton 2,400 – 3,300 $4,500 – $10,000

*Average home uses a 3 to 4 ton unit. Heat pump size needed also depends on climate zone.

Average Heat Pump Installation Cost

Average Heat Pump Installation Cost
National Average Cost $5,819
Minimum Cost $1,200
Maximum Cost $25,000
Average Range $3,749 to $8,162
  • Provides both heating and cooling and can replace traditional HVAC systems or be installed as a hybrid with a furnace.
  • Lowers electricity bills by $300 to $1,500 annually, saving 30% to 70% on energy costs.
  • Heat pumps are 2 to 3 times more efficient than furnaces, and pay themselves back in energy savings within 5 to 12 years.
  • Uses electricity and doesn't produce carbon monoxide. Doesn't require gas lines or ductwork.
  • Best suited for modern climates in the Northeast and Midwest regions.

New Heat Pump Cost

A new heat pump costs $800 to $4,500 without labor and between $3,000 to $10,000 on average for a complete installation. Heat pump prices depend on the size, system efficiency, brand, and sources (air-to-air, water-to-air, geothermal, dual fuel, mini-split).

New Heat Pump Cost Chart

Heat Pump Cost Comparison
Type Total Installation Cost
Air-Source $4,000 – $12,000
Geothermal $15,000 – $35,000
Ductless Mini-Split $2,000 – $10,000
Cold Climate $3,000 – $7,000
Dual Fuel or Hybrid $2,500 – $10,000
Solar $15,000 – $30,000

*Average price for equipment and installation labor. No add-ons or ductwork.

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Air-Source Heat Pump Cost

Air-source heat pumps cost $4,000 to $8,000 on average to install, depending on the size and brand. High-end brands like Trane or Lennox cost $6,000 to $12,000 to install. Air-source heat pumps (ASHP) absorb heat from the air and release it inside a home as hot air or water. Two-way systems operate in reverse, cooling during the summer.

Air-Source Heat Pump Cost Chart

Air-Source Heat Pump Cost
Component Average Cost Installed
Standard $4,000 – $8,000
High-End $6,000 – $12,000
  • ASHP or aerothermal heating systems are the most common option for homes that currently have vents and ductwork in place.
  • Can last for over 20 years and have low maintenance requirements.
  • Can be ducted, short-run ducted, or ductless.
  • Reduces energy consumption by up to 50%.

Geothermal Heat Pump Cost

A geothermal heat pump costs $15,000 to $35,000 to install, depending on the size, system type, excavation, drilling, and labor. The ground loop and heat pump cost $4,000 to $8,000 per ton to install. A geothermal heat pump (GHP) or ground source heat pump (GSHP) transfers heat to or from the ground.

Geothermal heat pump cost
System type Average cost
Horizontal $15,000 – $34,000
Vertical $20,000 – $38,000
Pond / Lake $10,000 – $32,000
Open loop $10,000 – $28,000

Geothermal Heat Pump configurations

*Average home uses a 4-ton system. Prices increase for ductwork modifications, electrical upgrades, bedrock removal, zoning, or if multiple heat pumps are required.

  • Saves up to 70% on heating and 20% to 50% on cooling costs over conventional HVAC systems.
  • The heat pump lasts 15 to 25 years, and the ground loop components last 50+ years.
  • Although the upfront cost is high, GSHP systems pay themselves back in energy savings within 5 to 10 years.
  • Qualifies for a federal tax credit of 22% to 26% for both labor and equipment.
  • Emits 60% less greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Requires less maintenance and repair costs.

Ductless Mini-Split Heat Pump Cost

A ductless mini-split heat pump costs $2,000 to $10,000 on average for installation, depending on the system size, number of zones, and brand quality. The average single-zone unit costs $1,500 to $3,500 to install, while 5-zone systems cost $10,000 or more.

Ductless Mini-Split Heat Pump Cost
Zones Average Cost
1 $1,200 – $4,000
2 $2,200 – $6,000
3 $3,000 – $8,000
4 $4,500 – $10,000
5 $6,000 – $12,000

Mini-split systems are similar to a regular air source heat pump with an outside compressor or condenser and one or more indoor air handlers.

  • Zoned heating and cooling system for up to eight zones without ductwork.
  • 30% less heat loss from having no leaky ducts.
  • New units can operate in temperatures down to -22°F.
  • Ductless heat pumps reduce dust and airborne allergens.

Cold Climate Heat Pump Cost

Cold climate heat pumps cost $3,000 to $7,000 on average for a basic replacement. Cold climate air source heat pumps (ccASHP) are ductless mini-split systems with high energy-efficiency. To qualify, a ccASHP must have an HSPF rating of 10 and a COP of 1.75 or higher at 5°F.

Cold climate heat pumps are also compatible with dual fuel systems to reduce heating costs further. ccASHP systems save 30% to 50% annually on utility bills compared to a traditional furnace.

Dual Fuel or Hybrid Heat Pump Cost

A hybrid or dual fuel heat pump costs $2,500 to $6,000 to install to an existing furnace. The average cost of a new heat pump and furnace is $4,500 to $10,000. Hybrid systems use a gas or oil furnace as supplemental heating when the heat pump's balance point reaches 32°F.

Dual Fuel or Hybrid Heat Pump Cost
Install Type Average Cost
New Heat Pump Connected to Existing Furnace $2,500 – $6,000
New Heat Pump and Furnace $4,500 – $10,000

Is A Dual Fuel Heat Pump Worth It?

  • Ideal for homes in cold climates where ductwork is already installed.
  • Dual fuel systems save $200 to $400 per year in operating costs compared to an AC unit and furnace combo.
  • Operates more efficiently in cold climates than a heat pump and air handler with electric resistance heating strips built-in.
  • Less efficient than geothermal heat pumps, but cost half as much.

Solar Heat Pumps

Solar heat pumps cost $15,000 to $30,000 to install on average. Solar-assisted heat pumps (SAHP) use thermal solar panels to cover part of the electricity demand or to capture energy by heating an intermediate fluid to feed the heat pump's evaporator.

A SAHP is typically a single integrated system, but the solar panels can be installed separately. Solar panel installation costs $10,600 to $26,500 for a 6 kW to 12 kW system. A solar water heater costs $2,000 to $5,500 to install and can also be configured to work with a heat pump.

  • Solar heat pumps are compact and easy to install, but are expensive upfront.
  • Costs 40% less to run than a heat pump powered by the electrical grid.
  • Costs 70% less to run than natural gas, oil, or propane for heating.
  • A geothermal-solar (geosolar) configuration reduces the upfront investment and reduces the size of the piping field required.

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Heat Pump Replacement Costs

Heat pump replacement costs $2,500 to $7,000 on average, if you already have an air handler and ducts, and just need the heat pump swapped out. Extra costs apply when converting from an old furnace to a new heat pump, or if a new air handler is needed.

Heat Pump Replacement Costs
Item Average Cost
Install Air Handler $2,000 – $3,500
Remove Old AC Unit $300 – $500
Remove Old Furnace $150 – $400
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Cost To Replace Heat Pump And Air Handler

The average cost to replace a heat pump and air handler is $5,000 to $12,000. Installing new ductwork costs $2,400 to $6,600 more. Installing a new air handler costs $1,500 to $3,400 alone, depending on the capacity and efficiency rating.

Air handlers circulate conditioned air throughout the home, with either a single, multi, or variable-speed motor. The air handler houses an inside coil, blower fan, control board, and an auxiliary electric strip heater. The coils are sized to match the capacity and efficiency rating of the heat pump.

Central Air Conditioner and Heat Pump Prices

Replacing a one-way central air conditioner with a two-way heat pump costs $4,000 to $8,000 on average. A heat pump both heats and cools a home, so an AC unit is not needed. Removing the AC unit costs $300 to $500. However, a heat pump costs more to install than air conditioning.

Cost To Replace Oil or Gas Furnace With Heat Pump

The average cost to replace an oil or gas furnace with a heat pump is $4,000 to $12,000. This price includes removing the oil or gas furnace for $150 to $400 or removing underground oil tanks for $400 to $3,500. A cheaper option is converting the furnace to a backup heating source.

Replacing the oil hot water tank, installing a new air handler, making ductwork modifications, and upgrading the electrical panel to support the heat pump can add $500 to $5,000 to the final cost.

Heat Pump For Mobile Home Pricing

Heat pumps for mobile homes cost $3,000 to $6,000 on average for the equipment and installation. Mobile homes have small ducts and less insulation that interferes with the heat pump’s efficiency, SEER ratio, and the size needed. Look for heat pumps specifically designed and rated for mobile homes.

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Heat Pump Installation Cost Factors

Heat pump installation costs depend on the size of your home, local labor costs, if the house has a duct system, existing HVAC type, auxiliary heating, permits, and other materials required.

Heat Pump Installation Costs
Item Average Cost
Permits $250 – $400
Thermostat prices $140 – $350
HVAC Zoning System Cost $1,700 – $4,500
Electric Heat Strips $150 – $600
New Ductwork $2,400 – $6,600
Labor $1,200 – $3,500
Remove Old Unit $500 – $1,000

*Install costs increase 20% to 30% in locations with a higher cost of living or demand.

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Labor Cost To Install Heat Pump

The average labor cost to install a heat pump is $1,200 to $3,500, depending on the size and type. HVAC labor rates are $75 to $150 per hour, with the average heat pump installation taking 15 to 25 hours.

Labor costs increase for replacing ductwork or vents, installing a concrete base to support the system, adding heating strips, cutting holes in exterior walls, running new electrical lines, or removing an old heat pump or furnace.

Ductless Heat pump system installed on residential House

Cost To Install Heat Pump And Ducts

The average cost to install a heat pump and ducts is $5,000 to $15,000, depending on the size of the home, number of stories, and ducting quality. Replacing or installing new ductwork costs $1,400 to $6,600 alone on average.

Installing a ducted central air system costs less with new construction or additions. Short-run ducted systems are cheaper, but only run through one part of the house.

Backup Electric Heat Pump Cost

Electric heat strips cost $150 to $600 each to install and provide backup and emergency heating when temperatures drop below freezing. Electric resistance heaters should provide at least 70% of the heat that the heat pump delivers. Many heat pumps have heat strips built-in, providing 10,000 to 70,000 watts of supplemental heat.

High-Efficiency Heat Pump Costs

High-efficiency heat pumps cost $6,000 to $12,000 to install for ratings above 18 SEER and 10 HSPF. ENERGY STAR recommends a minimum efficiency of 15 SEER and 8.5 HSPF for heat pumps.

Heat Pump Cost By Efficiency Chart

High-Efficiency Heat Pump Costs
Efficiency Rating Average Cost Installed
13 – 14 SEER / 7 – 8 HSPF $3,000 – $6,000
15 – 16 SEER / 8 – 9 HSPF $4,500 – $7,500
17 – 18 SEER / 9 – 10 HSPF $6,000 – $9,000
19+ SEER / 10+ HSPF $8,000 – $12,000

Heat Pump Efficiency Rating

SEER, HSPF, and COP ratings describe a heat pumps efficiency. The higher the number, the higher the efficiency and cost.

Heat Pump Efficiency Rating
Efficiency Ratings Climate Zones
Basic 13 – 15 SEER / 8.5 HSPF Central / Midwest. Dry, temperate climates without extremes.
Moderate 15 – 17 SEER / 8.5 – 9.5 HSPF Central / Midwest. Some temperature fluctuations.
High 18 – 25+ SEER / 10+ HSPF South / North. Temperatures extremes, freezing, or high humidity.
  • SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) – measures the cooling output divided by the electric energy input.
  • HSPF (Heating Season Performance Factor) – measures the heat output to electricity use over an average heating season.
  • COP (Coefficient of Performance) – measures how many times more efficient a heat pump is than electric resistance heat. Most air-source heat pumps have a COP of 2.4 to 4.0, and geothermal pumps average 3.1 to 4.1 COP, depending on outdoor temperatures.
  • Sound Rating – measures how loud a heat pump sounds in decibels. A lower rating is quieter.

Heat Pump Type & Performance

Heat pumps are available in split or packaged systems with various performance levels. The most efficient heat pumps use variable-speed blowers and two-stage compressors.

  • Split – Ideal for small homes without ductwork. Requires an indoor air handler for every zone.
  • Packaged – Ideal for homes with ductwork. Requires less space. Easier to install. The pre-packaged system is installed outdoors, and the air is ducted into the house.
Heat Pump Performance
Type Performance Description
Single Stage Basic Either on operating at 100% capacity, or off.
Two-Stage Standard Runs either at 65% capacity to boost efficiency or 100% capacity.
Variable / Modulating High-end Adjusts output from 40% to 100% capacity to maintain the desired temperature.

Air-source heat pump installed to ducted home

Heat Pump Costs By Location

Average installation costs vary slightly by location:

Heat Pump Costs By Location
City, State Average Cost Installed
Atlanta, GA $4,000 – $6,900
Chicago, IL $4,600 – $7,500
Denver, CO $4,000 – $7,000
Houston, TX $3,800 – $6,900
Los Angeles, CA $4,400 – $7,500
Miami, Florida $3,500 – $6,800
Minneapolis, MN $4,500 – $7,400
New York, NY $5,000 – $8,500
Phoenix, AZ $4,000 – $7,000
Portland, ME $3,500 – $7,200
St. Louis, MI $4,500 – $7,500
Seattle, WA $4,500 – $8,000

*Average cost for 2.5 Ton 14 SEER heat pump system with installation.

Additional Installation Costs

Additional heat pump features may be required to complete the installation.

Additional Costs
Item Average Cost
Condensing Unit Pad $30 – $200
Refrigerant Line Set $125 – $400
Refrigerant Line Set Covers $50 – $150
Outdoor Mounting Wall Bracket $60 – $225
Coil UV Lights $85 – $500

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Heat Pump Prices By Brand

The brand quality determines the unit price, but doesn't affect labor costs. Brands range in price from budget to premium, depending on their reliability, features, efficiency, performance, and longevity.

Heat Pump Prices by Brand
Brand SEER Rating Unit Price
Aire-Flo 13 – 14 $950 – $2,200
Airtemp 14 – 16 $1,100 – $2,600
Amana 15 – 18 $1,000 – $4,800
American Standard 14 – 21 $1,500 – $4,500
Ameristar 13 – 16 $950 – $3,500
Armstrong and Ducane 14 – 24 $1,100 – $3,700
Bryant 14 – 20 $1,600 – $4,500
Carrier 14 – 20 $2,100 – $4,900
Coleman 14 – 20 $1,300 – $4,700
Daikin 15 – 21 $1,200 – $4,800
Day & Night 13 – 19 $1,200 – $3,900
DiamondAir 14 – 16 $900 – $2,000
Ducane 14 – 20 $1,200 – $4,700
Goodman 14 – 18 $1,100 – $3,900
Heil 14 – 19 $1,200 – $4,700
Lennox 16 – 23 $2,200 – $5,500
Luxaire 13 – 20 $1,300 – $3,600
Maytag 14 – 19 $1,300 – $4,200
Payne 14 – 17 $1,400 – $3,100
Rheem & Ruud 14 – 20 $1,400 – $3,800
Tempstar 14 – 19 $1,200 – $4,700
Trane 16 – 22 $1,800 – $4,200
York 13 – 20 $1,400 – $3,600
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Best Heat Pump Brands

The best heat pump brands are Lennox, American Standard, Trane, Carrier, and Bryant. These companies make the highest-rated heat pump systems that last up to 50% longer than low-end brands.

Best Heat Pump Brands
Quality Lasts (Years) Brands
Low-end 12 – 16 Payne, Aire-Flo, Airtemp, Ameristar, York, Coleman, and DiamondAir
Standard 15 – 18 Daikin, Goodman, Amana, Heil, Arcoaire, Day & Night, Tempstar, Armstrong Air and Ducane, Rheem and Ruud, Luxaire, Maytag, Broan, Westinghouse, Frigidaire, and NuTone
High-end 17 – 22 Lennox, American Standard, Trane, Carrier, and Bryant

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What Size Heat Pump Do I Need?

Heat pumps range from 1.5 tons (18,000 BTU) to 5.0 tons (60,000 BTU), and the size required depends on the square footage, age, insulation, and climate zone of the home. The following table is a general guideline on the heat pump size needed.

Heat Pump Size Chart

Heat Pump Size Calculator By Square Footage
Square Footage Tonnage Needed BTUs Needed
600 – 1,100 1.5 18,000
900 – 1,400 2.0 24,000
1,200 – 1,600 2.5 30,000
1,500 – 2,100 3.0 36,000
1,800 – 2,300 3.5 42,000
2,100 – 2,700 4.0 48,000
2,400 – 3,300 5.0 60,000
Ductless Heat Pump Size Needed
Room Square Footage BTUs Needed
100 – 250 5,000 – 6,000
250 – 350 7,000 – 8,000
350 – 450 8,000 – 10,000
450 – 700 12,000 – 14,000
700 – 1,000 15,000 – 18,000
1,000 – 1,400 20,000 – 23,000
  • Cooling is sized in tonnage, covering approximately 400 to 700 square feet per ton. Newer, well-insulated homes or homes in cold climates cover more square feet per ton and require less BTUs.
  • Heating is measured in British Thermal Units (BTU), requiring 30 to 60 BTUs per square foot, depending on the climate zone. Hotter climates (90°F+), high ceilings, more occupants, or inadequate insulation increases BTUs needed by 10% to 30%.

Supplemental heating is typically required when the balance point is below 32°F. The maximum size heat pump to buy should be 25% over the BTUs required. Otherwise, an oversized heat pump can frequently short cycle, giving the unit a much shorter lifespan.

Manual J and Manual S Calculation

Manual J and Manual S calculations are the professional way for sizing a heat pump.

  • Manual J determines the heating and cooling loads based on the home's size, age, insulation, number of doors and windows, climate zone, number of people using the space, and more.
  • Manual S helps select the right equipment, such as ducts and air handlers.

Otherwise, the easiest way to size a heat pump is by using the existing system's capacity for the replacement unit.

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Heat Pump Cost To Run

A heat pump costs $0.20 to $0.50 per hour to run, depending on electricity costs and heat pump type. Running a heat pump costs $40 to $160 per month or between $500 and $2,000 per year, depending on the climate zone, home's insulation, and if the system has a backup heat source.

Heat Pump Cost To Run Chart

Heat Pump Cost To Run
Period Cost To Run
Daily $1.20 – $5.40
Monthly $40 – $160
Yearly $500 – $2,000

*Average costs for a 3 Ton system.

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A heat pump uses 2 to 3kW and typically runs 60% to 70% of a 24-hour day when outdoor temperatures are at 20°F. In southern states with moderate climates, these systems run less.

A supplemental heat strip adds 3kW to 25kW, dramatically increasing the cost to run. A cheaper auxiliary heating option is using a hydronic coil with heat from a water heater.

Do Heat Pumps Save Money?

Heat pumps save $300 to $1,500 on annual energy costs. Heat pumps cost $40 to $160 to run monthly, effectively lowering electric bills by 30% to 70% on heating and 20% to 50% on cooling costs. Heat pump energy savings are between 3,000 and 10,000 kWh per year.

Heat Pump Energy Savings Calculator
Type Energy Savings
Air Source up to 50%
Mini Split Ductless 25% – 40%
Geothermal Ground Source up to 70%

For further savings:

  • Install a heat pump with a demand-defrost control to minimize defrost cycles and reduce supplementary heat pump energy use.
  • Strategically place a bush or fence up upwind of the coils to block the unit from high winds, which protects the unit’s defrosting abilities.

Are Heat Pumps Worth The Cost?

Heat pumps lower electricity bills by $300 to $1,500 annually, saving 30% to 70% on energy costs. Heat pumps are 2 to 3 times more efficient than furnaces, and pay themselves back in energy savings within 5 to 12 years. Plus, heat pumps are inexpensive to run, making them worth the cost.

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Heat Pumps For Appliances

Heat pumps are energy-efficient in powering appliances such as water heaters, swimming pools, and clothes dryers. A desuperheater for geothermal heat pumps cost $250 to $800 to add, which can provide hot water for a swimming pool, shower, or other home appliances.

Heat Pumps For Appliances Cost
Appliance Average Cost
Heat Pump Water Heater $1,800 – $5,000
Swimming Pool Heat Pump $1,800 – $5,400
Heat Pump Clothes Dryer $700 – $1,700

Heat Pump Water Heater

A heat pump water heater costs $1,500 to $4,400 to install on average. These systems can be retrofitted to work with existing water heaters and operate three times more efficient than electric units, saving $250 to $1,000 annually.

Swimming Pool Heat Pump

A swimming pool heat pump costs $1,800 to $5,400 to install. A pool heat pump absorbs the heat from the outside air and transfers the heat to the cooler pool water circulating through the heater. Heat pump pool heaters work efficiently when outdoor temperatures remain above 45°F.

Heat Pump Clothes Dryer Cost

A heat pump clothes dryer costs $700 to $1,700 on average, and uses 30% to 40% less energy than a traditional electric dryer. Although the upfront cost is higher than standard dryers, heat pump units save $0.20 to $0.40 per load or $75 per year for a family of four.

A heat pump dryer can be installed anywhere because it doesn’t have to be vented, and the water drainage outlet can connect to the clothes washer drain.

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Heat Pump Pros and Cons

Benefits of a Heat Pump

The following list covers the main benefits of installing a heat pump.

  • Single unit – One piece of equipment heats and cools. Takes up less space than furnaces and boilers.
  • Energy-efficient – Uses 30% to 70% less energy on heating and 20% to 50% less energy on cooling, lowering utility bills.
  • Environmentally friendly – Uses electricity and doesn't produce carbon monoxide.
  • Versatile – Installs easily, repair costs are reasonable, and it's available for homes without gas or propane.
  • Value – Quick return on investment, paying themselves back in energy savings within 5 to 12 years.
  • Clean – Doesn’t dry out the air it circulates. Ducts won’t freeze. Ductless models reduce airborne allergens.
  • Safe – Safer than using gas. No risk of gas or carbon monoxide leaks.
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Disadvantages of a Heat Pump

  • Half the lifespan of a furnace. Heat pumps last 10 to 15 years, while a furnace lasts 20 to 30 years.
  • Typically more expensive to operate than gas furnaces, especially in cold climates.
  • Higher upfront cost and needs more maintenance than gas furnaces and boilers.
  • Supplemental electric heating is typically required when the balance point is below 32°F.
  • Extra-large homes may require more than one pump.

Heat Pump Tax Credits & Rebates

Federal tax credits and rebates are available to save up to $2,000 off a heat pump installation:

  • Federal Renewable Energy Tax Credits
    • For solar and geothermal heat pumps
    • 26% for systems installed after 12/31/2019 and before 01/01/2021
    • 22% for systems installed after 12/31/2020 and before 01/01/2022
    • Expires: December 31, 2021
  • Federal Equipment Tax Credits for Primary Residences
    • $300 tax credit on ENERGY STAR certified air-source heat pumps.
  • Utility Company Rebates
    • Some electricity providers offer rebates from $400 to $1,000 to install a heat pump.
  • Manufacturer Rebates
    • Various manufacturers offer rebates from $300 to $800 to install a heat pump.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What Is a Heat Pump?

A heat pump uses electricity to transfer heat from a cool area to a warm area. Heat pumps warm homes during the winter and cool homes in the summer. The three types of heat pumps are air-to-air, water source, and geothermal, which collect heat from the air, water, or ground outside the home.

How Does a Heat Pump Work?

Heat pumps work by absorbing heat from a cool area and moving it to a warm area. A compressor pumps refrigerant between two heat exchanger coils. One coil evaporates the refrigerant and absorbs heat from the air. The refrigerant is then transferred to the second coil, where it condenses and releases the absorbed heat.

How Long Do Heat Pumps Last?

Heat pumps last 15 to 20 years on average. The life expectancy of a heat pump depends on the type, brand, maintenance history, and the local climate. Heat pumps have a similar lifespan to an AC unit, but last about 10 years less than a furnace.

How Efficient Are Heat Pumps?

Heat pumps have an efficiency of 200% to 300%, producing 3kW thermal energy for every 1kW of electrical energy consumed. In comparison, a furnace or boiler has an efficiency of 70% to 95%. The most efficient heat pumps exceed 20 SEER cooling and 10 HSPF heating.

Heat Pump Efficiency Chart
Heat Type Efficiency
Air-Source Heat Pump 150% – 250%
Geothermal Heat Pump 200% – 400%
Condensing Furnace or Boiler (Oil/Gas) 90% – 96%
Conventional Furnace or Boiler (Oil/Gas) 70% – 80%
Direct Electric Heating 30% – 45%

How Much Do Heat Pump Repairs or Maintenance Cost?

Minor heat pump repairs cost $150 to $1,000 to fix, while replacing a coil, compressor, or condenser ranges from $500 to $2,000 or more.

Do Geothermal Heat Pumps Work In Cold Climates?

Geothermal heat pumps work in hot or cold climates because the earth’s underground temperature maintains 45°F to 75°F. Geothermal or ground-source heat pumps supply heat, cool, and hot water by transferring heat to or from the ground. This process cuts energy bills up to 65% compared to HVAC units.

What Is An Absorption Heat Pump?

An absorption heat pump is an air-source heat pump powered by geothermal or solar-heated water rather than electricity. It doesn’t have a compressor.

How Much Does A Heat Pump vs. Furnace Cost?

A new furnace costs $2,000 to $5,400 to install, compared to a heat pump at $4,000 to $8,000. A new furnace may require installing expensive gas lines, which makes a heat pump the cheaper option. In northern climates, heat pumps may require a furnace for backup heating.

How Much Does A Heat Pump vs. Air Conditioner Cost?

A new ac unit costs $3,300 to $6,000 to install but only cools. A two-way heat pump costs $4,000 to $8,000, but both heats and cools making it a viable option, depending on the climate.

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Getting Heat Pump Installation Quotes

Before hiring a heat pump installer and signing a contract, be sure to:

  • Get at least three in-person estimates to compare.
  • Ask for recommendations from family, friends, and neighbors.
  • Read reviews and check out their previous work on HomeGuide, Google, and the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
  • Make sure they are licensed, insured, and bonded.
  • Choose a company that's been in business for at least 5 years.
  • Avoid selecting the lowest quote as quality may suffer.
  • Ask for a full itemized contract in writing in case of a dispute.
  • Compare warranties on labor and equipment.
  • Ask for an estimate of annual operating costs.
  • Are they experienced and certified to determine the best system size for your home?
  • Are they willing to answer any questions you have?
  • Avoid making large payments upfront. Never pay in full or in cash, and come up with a payment schedule for work completed.

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