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How Much Does a Heat Pump Cost to Install?

Average cost range:

$3,875 - $10,000

A new heat pump can cost between $3,875 to $7,625 depending on the size of your home, energy efficient ratings, brand name, and the type of heat pump you install. A mini split ductless heat pump with 4 multi zone indoor air handler units could cost up to $10,000 to install. 

The three types of heat pumps you can install are central ducted air source heat pumps, mini split ductless heat pumps, and geothermal heat pumps. Geothermal heat pumps are the most expensive option and can cost up to $22,000 to install due to land excavation costs.

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What Factors Affect Heat Pump Installation Cost?

The total installation costs of your new home heat pump will depend largely on a few main factors. If you only need to heat a few areas of your home you will save money on in-house air handler unit material costs. However, if you are using a heat pump as your main heating and cooling system then these things will affect your overall installation costs:

  • Average local labor costs in your area (cheaper in rural areas usually)
  • If ductwork installation or replacement is required
  • Heat pump brand
  • Home size and square footage of cooling area
  • Local HVAC permit and installation fees
  • Price of the unit and additional materials needed
  • Time of year installed (more expensive during busy seasons)

What is a Heat Pump? 

Despite their name, heat pumps do a lot more than heating. They also provide air conditioning and humidity control. During the heating season, a heat pump works by moving heat from the cool outdoors into your home; then during the cooling season, it transfers heat from your house to the warm outdoors. Heat pumps move heat rather than generate it, so they can heat and cool for significantly less cost than other systems, such as furnaces and central air conditioners. They prove to be an efficient alternative to central AC and other heating systems by providing conditioned air at approximately one quarter of the cost.

Heat pumps are most popular in southern regions where winters are mild and the summers are hot. Areas of the country subjected to prolonged winters and subfreezing temperatures are not ideal for this type of system.

multi split illustration

Parts of a Heat Pump

Here are the main parts of a heat pump that make up this HVAC system:

  • Condenser
  • Compressor
  • Fan
  • Reversing Valve
  • Evaporator
  • Air Handler Unit (Indoor)

The condenser, compressor and reversing valve – make up the outside unit. The evaporator and air handler – are part of the inside air handler unit.

Types of Heat Pumps

There are three main types of heat pumps to choose from depending on your home’s needs. These are air source heat pumps, mini-split ductless heat pumps, and also the more expensive geothermal heat pump. Each heat pump is suited for a particular home’s heating and cooling needs discussed below. It is a good frame of reference that many heat pumps will need help from an alternate heat source if your area’s winter temperatures regularly drop below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. If you need help deciding which type of heat pump to install talk to one of our local heat pump installation contractors today.

Air Source Heat Pump Cost

Air-source heat pump systems are the most common option a homeowner will choose to install in their home if they currently have ductwork in place. An air source heat pump on average will cost between $3,625 and $5,200 for each indoor air handler unit you plan to install in each room (or zone). Total installation of a ducted central air source heat pump system can cost between $10,500 and $18,975

An air source heat pump has an indoor air handler unit and also an outdoor heat pumping unit. They use the same vents and ducts that a furnace or central air conditioner would use. They are great for reducing your home’s heating costs compared to similar heating units such as a gas or electric furnace. They are often suited for climates that are found in the Northeast and Midwest regions. Many homeowners choose to use a heat pump in combination with a central ac unit or furnace since they are much cheaper to operate and only utilizing your furnace during times above average cold temperatures.

ducted air source heat pump costs

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Ductless Mini Split Heat Pump Cost

Ductless mini split heat pumps are set up similar to a regular air source heat pump with an outside compressor unit and inside air handler that helps maintain your home’s temperature. The cost to install a ductless heat pump can range from a low cost of $1,800 to a high cost of $7,542 for the average size single story home. They are perfect for homes that have no ductwork installed. Ductless heat pumps can offer full home air conditioning with multiple zone units installed in different rooms throughout the house. If you were to install a multi-zone ductless heat pump system with 4 different air handler units (AHU), you could expect to pay around $10K to install four units.

Multi split ductless heat pump costs

Geothermal Heat Pumps Cost

A ground and water source heat pump, also known as geothermal heat pump installation, is another option for heat pump replacement. Geothermal heat pumps are better suited for bigger homes that need a heating and cooling unit that can perform at maximum capacity for a large home. Geothermal heat pumps are the most expensive heat pump installation and can cost up to $22,000 to install due to added land excavation costs. It is best to speak with a local contractor to see if you need this type of heat pump for your home or if you could install a cheaper option that would work just as well.

geothermal heat pump costs

Do Heat Pumps Save You Money?

Installing a heat pump will save you money, especially on future energy bills. Since heat pumps do not use electricity to create heat they operate at a much higher energy efficiency. Each heat pump type saves you money at different rates anywhere from 20% to 80% in savings on energy bills which we will discuss below:

Air Source Heat Pump Energy Savings

If you live in an area with mild climates, air source heat pump can be extremely helpful in lowering energy bills. You can expect to save up to 40% on your energy bills if you are used to utilizing a central air conditioner or furnace cooling and heating system.

Mini Split Ductless Heat Pump Energy Savings

A ductless heat pump can will  save you anywhere from 25% to 40% on your regular energy bills if you do not require utilizing an alternative heating source when temperature drops below a certain point.

Geothermal Ground Source Heat Pump Energy Savings

A geothermal heat pump, though the most expensive to install, is the most energy efficient heat pump installation option. A ground source heat pump can save you up to 80% on your future energy bills and can operate fully in even the coldest temperatures.

Remember that performing routine annual maintenance on your home’s heating system can extend its lifespan as well as lead to energy-efficient savings on utility bills moving forward. Learn more about HVAC energy-efficient savings opportunities by exploring Modernize’s Homeowner Guide to Savings.

heat pump energy savings

What Size Heat Pump Do I Need for My Home?

To determine the size of heat pump you should install in your home, you will want to know the square footage of the areas that need to be heated or cooled. You will also need to use the climate map below to determine what climate zone you live in. If you lived in the southern part of the U.S. in Zone 1, you will need a heat pump that can handle 30 to 35 BTU’s per square foot. For a 2,000 square foot home you will want to install a 4 ton heat pump, with each ton being able to output 12,000 BTU’s an hour will cost around $2,945 to $4,897 to install.

Ductless Heat Pump Size Needed
Ductless Heat Pump BTUs NeededRoom Square Ft.
6,000 BTUs150 to 250 sf.
7,000 BTUs250 to 300 sf.
8,000 BTUs300 to 350 sf.
9,000 BTUs350 to 400 sf.
10,000 BTUs400 to 450 sf.
12,000 BTUs450 to 550 sf.
14,000 BTUs550 to 700 sf.
18,000 BTUs700 to 1,000 sf.
21,000 BTUs1,000 to 1,200 sf.
23,000 BTUs1,200 to 1,400 sf.
24,000 BTUs1,500 sf. +

furnace installation heat map for climate

Heat Pump Prices by Brand

If you are looking for a more affordable heat pump brand you may be interested in installing an Aire-Flo brand heat pump. A 3 ton Aire-Flo 4HP14LI8 Heat Pump with an 18,000 BTU capability would cost as low as $1,200 + labor and installation. If you were looking to install a high quality brand 3 ton Carrier Performance Heat Pump with a 15 SEER rating, then you can expect to pay around $2,634 for the unit alone and $7,985 in total installation costs.

Heat Pump Prices by Brand
Heat Pump BrandsSEER RatingUnit Price
Aire-Flo14$950 to $1,500
Airtemp16$1,000 to $1,675
Amana15 - 18$1,250 to $3,200
American Standard14$1,285 to $3,995
Ameristar14$1,055 to $1,450
Armstrong Air14 - 20$1,165 to $3,700
Armstrong and Ducane15 - 20$1,100 to $3,175
Bryant14 - 20$1,255 to $4,275
Carrier14 - 20$1,350 to $4,265
Coleman13 - 20$1,100 to $3,675
Daikin HVAC15 - 18$1,150 to $3,150
Day & Night14 - 19$1,135 to $3,925
DiamondAir14 - 15$900 to $1,760
Ducane14 - 20$1,150 to $3,150
Goodman15 - 18$1,150 to $3,500
Heil14 - 19$1,135 to $3,925
Lennox16 - 23$1,425 to $4,400
Luxaire13 - 20$1,200 to $3,675
Maytag15 - 19$1,245 to $3,720
Payne14 - 17$1,075 to $3,050
Rheem14$1,200 to $3,750
Ruud14$1,200 to $3,750
Tempstar14 - 19$1,135 to $3,925
Trane14$1,285 to $3,995
York13 - 20$1,250 to $3,675

Heat Pump Labor Costs

The average labor cost to install a heat pump will always depend on the type you are installing. The average labor cost ranges from $68 to $150 per hour. A ductless mini split heat pump would be the most affordable labor cost because it requires minimal work to install.

  • Air source: An air source heat pump would need to funnel in from the outside compressor unit and will need existing ductwork in your home. The labor costs will be more expensive if you need to replace your current ductwork or vents.
  • Geothermal: A geothermal heat pump’s labor cost will be the most expensive to install and take the most time due to the fact you may need to excavate your land in order to properly install a geothermal heat pump.
  • Additional labor costs: If the contractor needs to lay concrete for the outdoor heat condenser/compressor and fan unit, cut holes in exterior walls, run new electrical lines for the conduit, or perform other tasks as needed.
  • Heat pump removal cost: You can expect to pay anywhere between $1,300 and $2,000 for total labor costs if you need to remove an existing heat pump. These costs will almost always be coupled into your original heat pump installation cost estimate. However, it is always smart to thoroughly go through your cost quote to ensure these things have been reviewed.

Also note that you can have a professional handle your annual heat pump maintenance if this is something you do not prefer to do on your own.