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How Much Does it Cost to Install a Heat Pump?

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When it comes to heating and cooling your home in Portland, there are many HVAC options to consider. One excellent option is installing a heat pump, which works to heat and cool your home. Before you decide to invest in a heat pump, it is important to understand the costs associated with installation and operation. The cost of installing a heat pump varies based on several factors we will explore in this blog.

Advantages of Heat Pumps

Heat pumps are the way to go if you’re looking for an energy-efficient and cost-effective solution to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. They have been gaining lots of attention from homeowners in recent years, as they can produce up to 3x more energy than the electricity consumed during operation. And according to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), heat pump systems could save homeowners hundreds of dollars annually on their regular electric bills compared with traditional air conditioners or furnaces.

Additional Reading: Heat Pumps 101: How Does a Heat Pump Work?

Factors Determining Heat Pump Installation Cost

The heat pump installation cost can differ for each home which is determined by multiple variables. Below we will outline the factors that influence how much a heat pump installation will cost and what to look for when you shop.

1. Efficiency of the heat pump

The efficiency of the heat pump system you choose plays a major role in determining the installation cost. Generally, more efficient heat pumps will have higher upfront costs but lower running costs over time. Two key metrics that evaluate the efficiency of a heat pump are Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF), which evaluates heating performance, and Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) for cooling. SEER measures the electricity used to cool over an entire season, while HSPF tells you how effectively it heats during colder months.

2. Technology of the heat pump

The technology of the heat pump system will also affect cost. The basic concept of a heat pump isn’t complicated. At their core, heat pumps gather heat from one place and deposit it in another. Heat pump technology innovations now offer different efficiency levels, features, and capabilities. More advanced technology like inverter heat pumps analyzes the conditions inside the home and adjusts its power output from 0% to 100% as needed, offering significant both comfort and energy savings.

3. Type of heat pump

The type of heat pump you select will also significantly affect the cost. Central heat pumps (also known as air-sourced) trap heat energy and use refrigerant to move it inside or outside, blowing hot or cool air through hidden ductwork in your house. Geothermal heat pumps tap the energy in the ground to heat and cool the home.

Unlike traditional HVAC systems, ductless mini-splits require only small tubing lines instead of bulky ductwork. Plus, you can customize the temperature for each room or area as needed – no more arguments about who gets to control the thermostat! The downside of ductless mini-splits is that they can be more expensive than central heat pump units.

4. New vs. switching over

The cost of replacing a heat pump in your home vs switching from a furnace and/or air conditioner can affect the installation cost. Switching to a heat pump from another type of furnace or air conditioner will often require additional labor and materials while replacing a heat pump is usually simpler and more straightforward.

5. Climate

Generally speaking, when temperatures drop below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, the effectiveness of your heat pump system decreases, making it difficult for them to operate optimally, if at all. Fortunately, many newer models include features that improve their performance even in cold areas but at some additional expense.

6. Size of home

The size of your home is also a crucial factor in determining the heat pump installation cost. The larger and more complex the layout of your home, the higher the costs will be. The number of windows, insulation, foundation type, and ceiling height, among other things, play a part in calculating the heat pump installation cost.

7. Labor

Installing a heat pump requires effort that ranges from ducting, prepping the area, new wiring, and testing. For this reason, Jacobs Heating & Air Conditioning will provide a comprehensive price for all the components of an installation – which may differ depending on your location, type, and size of the heat pump.

8. Permits

Heat pump installation costs can be greatly affected by permits and other fees. To install, change, replace, or repair any heating pump, air conditioner or duct system in most cities and counties you will need to obtain a mechanical and/or electrical permit. Be sure your HVAC professional knows local government requirements and includes necessary permits or fees in the bid for your project.

Heat Pump Installation and Replacement Costs

A heat pump installation can range depending on the type and size of the system you choose. As mentioned, there are three main heat pump options: air source, ductless mini-split, and geothermal. Heat pump installation cost is mainly determined by the kind of unit you opt for. Although air-source pumps are usually much more budget-friendly, ductless mini-splits and geothermal units can have higher costs on both the purchase price and installation fees.

If you’re considering a heat pump installation replacement, it’s important to factor in the price of any necessary repairs and upgrades that may be required first before the new heat pump system can be installed. Upgrades could include electrical wiring, ductwork, and other elements necessary for the system to function properly.

How much does an air source heat pump cost?

On average, an air-source heat pump unit with installation costs range between $7000 to $13,000

How much does installing a heat pump with existing ductwork cost?

A heat pump and installation cost when there is already ductwork is between $10,000 and $25,000.

How much does installing a new heat pump and ductwork cost?

If ductwork needs to be installed, the cost increases significantly. The total cost of installing a heat pump and new ductwork is usually between $10,000 and $25,000.

How much does a ductless heat pump cost?

Ducts in HVAC systems can waste up to 30% of the energy used, especially when they are situated in unheated spaces such as an attic. Ductless mini-split heat pumps provide an effective solution for preventing this energy loss by using an indoor unit connected to the outdoor unit via tubing.

A ductless mini-split system works well for properties with limited square footage and fewer heating areas, and it’s a good option for homes without an existing ductwork setup. Ductless mini-split heat pumps cost somewhere between $5,000 (single system/zone) to $30,000 (with different configurations).

How much do heat pump repairs cost?

Common repairs for a heat pump are relatively inexpensive compared to replacement and can be completed quickly. But if you properly maintain your heat pump, you should be able to get years of use out of it without any expensive repairs. Regularly changing filters and keeping the outside unit free of debris and plants will help keep your heat pump running properly. Ideally, your heat pump will have a tune-up every 6 months to reduce wear and tear and keep expensive emergency repairs to a minimum.

Is a heat pump cheaper than a traditional AC/Furnace combo?

Heat pumps can offer significant energy savings compared to an AC/Furnace combo. The initial cost may be higher, but the long-term savings on your monthly utility bills will usually far outweigh the initial cost of the heat pump installation. Over time, you could save up to 40% in energy costs by switching from a traditional AC/Furnace combo to a heat pump.

Additionally, tax incentives and rebates may be available for heat pump installation. Qualified Consortium for Energy Efficiency (CEE) heat pumps are eligible for a federal tax credit of up to $2,000 through the end of 2031. On top of this incentive, even more savings may be available through state rebates depending on income.

Heat Pump Installation in Portland

When it comes to heating your home, you want the most cost-effective option that keeps your family comfortable. Jacobs Heating & Air Conditioning experts are ready to make sure that you have the best system for your home and lifestyle. Jacobs consultants will help evaluate your home to ensure you have a long-lasting HVAC system that will keep you comfortable in all seasons. We will guide you through the decision so you can avoid extra costs, fewer repairs, and enjoy a long-lasting system.

Our maintenance plans keep your heating system running like clockwork without any stress or hassle. No matter what you need, we’re always just a phone call away.

About the Author

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Amanda Jacobs, Internal Project Manager

Amanda Jacobs is an Internal Projects Manager and 3rd generation member of Jacobs Heating & Air Conditioning. She received her MBA from Seattle University and has worked for a leading HVAC training and consulting firm. When not talking HVAC on the Jacobs Blog, you can find her on the golf course or whipping up her famous vegan chili.