How Much Does a Heat Pump Cost?

by Team eLocal
Air conditioning unit and heat pump unit side by side

An efficient way to cool and heat homes in moderate and mild climates is by using heat pumps. Heat pumps transfer warmer temperatures from the ground, air or water into a home to heat it up when it's colder outside. Conversely, they can draw heat from inside the home and disperse it into the environment. This reduces, and may even eliminate, the need for furnaces and air conditioners. Plus, they’re much more environmentally friendly than using gas or electricity to cool and heat your home.

As you make your decision, it's important to understand how much a heat pump costs.

Heat Pump Costs by Type

According to Bob Vila, the cost of a heat pump varies depending on what it uses as a source to cool or heat a home, the size of the unit and how efficiently it works. The cost will also vary by brand.

There are five main types of heat pumps:

Air Source

An air-source heat pump transfers ambient hot air from outside your house during the cooler months and pulls it into your house. In the summer, it moves the hot air from inside your home and releases it outside during the summer. The costs for air-source heat pumps range from $4,500 to $8,000 for standard units, to $8,000 to $10,000 for highly efficient ones.

Geothermal

Geothermal systems use an underground piping system to move heat from the ground into your home and vice versa. These pumps cost anywhere from $6,000 to $30,000, depending on the type of system you install. The pipes can be installed into the ground vertically, horizontally or under a pond or lake.

Mitsubishi Electric split HVAC unit with remote

Ductless Mini-Split

This type of heat pump is good where there isn't any ductwork in the room or house. It relies on an indoor handling unit and a compressor or condenser placed on the outside. Refrigerated tubing moves the air between the house and outside. The costs for these units range from $2,000 to $14,500.

Dual Fuel and Hybrid

A dual-fuel heat pump uses an electric heat pump or a furnace, depending on the situation, to heat your home. These energy-efficient units are popular where there are wide temperature ranges during the year. The furnace heats the home in the winter, and the electric heat pump moves the air in the warmer months. Expect to pay between $2,500 and $6,000 for a dual-fuel heat pump.

Water boiler with solar panels on roof of house

Solar

Solar thermal panels are typically installed on rooftops to turn sunlight into heat. The sun heats fluid in a piping system that is then transferred into the home via the pump's evaporator. The units can also help offset electrical costs associated with heating a home. You can purchase a solar heat pump for $18,000 to $39,000.

Installation Costs

Labor affects the cost of installing heat pumps the most. You should expect to add anywhere from $75 to $125 per hour for each worker above what it costs for the pumps and materials. Labor costs are typically absorbed into the costs of the heat pumps listed above.

Additional Cost Factors

  • Labor rates in your community
  • Whether you have to install, repair or replace ductwork
  • The quality of the system you installed and its efficiency in heating your home
  • The square footage of your house — a bigger house will need a bigger system
  • For geothermal heat pumps, the quality of the soil the piping has been placed in to draw and remove heat