How Much Does a Heat Pump Cost?
$4,148 - $7,385
$4,148 - $7,385
Updated July 16, 2021Reviewed by Robert Tschudi, Expert Home Building and Remodeling Contributor.
The average cost to install a heat pump is $5,613, typically ranging from $4,068 and $7,160 depending on the size of and type you need. Mini-split systems (installed) cost from $2,000 $14,500. Geothermal and solar tend to cost the most at $6,000 to $40,000. Except rare cases, pros include all materials, equipment, permits and labor in the project bid. For labor alone, expect 15 to 25 hours to install at $75 to $125 per hour.
For most homes, a centralized heating/air conditioning system is installed with ducts to deliver the conditioned air to all interior spaces. To do this, homeowners have several choices, including gas furnaces/packs (which both cool and heat air) or heat pumps (which also cool and heat air). There are several types of heat pumps—the ductless mini-split described above, the “air-to-air” heat pump, the geothermal heat pump, and solar heat pumps.
Because heat pumps run more efficiently in warmer climates than most furnaces, installing one can lower your heating bill by as much as 50%. As a bonus, it can replace a central air conditioning unit. For those of you in northern climates, note that heat pumps don’t do well below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
As a rule of thumb, heat pumps are more efficient for areas where the temperature is warmer (above 40-degrees Fahrenheit low) and gas furnaces are more efficient for colder climates. But there are many opinions and factors to consider. Ask your HVAC technician for the pros and cons of each.
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|Typical Range||$4,148 - $7,385|
|Low End - High End||$1,500 - $10,649|
Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 4,187 HomeAdvisor members.
Most customers will spend between $100 to $2,800 for a mid-quality heat pump unit, not including labor. After labor, fees and permits, costs can hit $20,000 or more, not including ducts.
|Type||Total Installation Costs|
*Costs include labor and unit only. They do not include ductwork.
Manufacturers generally offer a range of units, based on the size of your house, the climate where it is located, and other factors. The HSPF rating (Heating Seasonal Performance Factor), Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating (SEER) and sound rating all factor into the cost of the heat pump. The higher the score, the higher the price.
Air-source heat pumps cost $4,500 to $8,000 for complete installation. High end brands with 5-ton capacities might exceed $10,000. You’ll pay more for larger systems and premium brands. To warm the home, the pump’s exterior coil extracts warmth from the air and moves it into the home, releasing it in the air exchanger or at individual wall units.
Installing geothermal heat pumps costs anywhere from $6,000 to $20,000 with some hitting $30,000 or more. These systems require either in-ground or pond installations. They’re also known as ground-source pumps because they live underground, protected from the elements.
They might hurt the wallet initially, but they cost less to maintain than any other type. They’ll also last 50 years or longer. It’ll pay for itself twice as fast as an air-sourced system with what it saves in energy bills and maintenance.
Ductless mini-splits cost anywhere from $2,000 to $14,500 depending on the size and how many zones you need. Mini-splits use multiple refrigerant lines running to each room or zone in the home. Using individual units in each zone, they either warm or cool the room as needed.
Solar heat pumps cost anywhere from $18,000 to $39,000. These systems come in a couple setups. One simply uses solar power to run the compressor while the other warms an intermediate fluid, much like a solar water heater, to assist the pump.
Installing solar panels costs $16,000 to $30,000 and makes up most of the price.
Solar water heater installation costs far less at $2,000 to $13,000. But with this configuration, you’ll likely need specialized equipment to run it with a heat pump, which raises the price.
A combination of gas furnaces and heat pumps is the dual fuel hybrid heat pump, which leverages the best of both systems. Dual fuel hybrid systems cost $2,500 to $10,000. They work well in colder climates that drop below 32 degrees. Essentially, it uses a gas furnace inside the house that kicks in when the heat pump reaches its balance point. The balance point comes when heat moved into the home no longer offsets heat loss. Well insulated homes work better for this type of system.
Some newer types of heat pumps have an electric resistance booster heater built in to help in the same way, which work better for homes without ductwork. It also works as an AC in the summer.
These two possible scenarios affect the price:
Adding one to an already existing furnace: $2,500-$6,000
Installing a new system with furnace and pump: $4,500-$10,000
You’ll usually only find these in commercial installations or extremely large homes with 5-ton units for spaces of 4,000 square feet or more. A gas-powered motor, rather than electricity, runs the compressor. These make great options for remote applications where electricity comes at a premium.
Consider gas heat pump pros and cons before investing.
The average 3-ton system ranges from $5,000 to $8,200 for labor and standard materials.
The higher your pump’s capacity is, the more you’ll pay. Don’t try to cut costs by installing one too small for your needs. You’ll quickly lose that initial savings with a system that runs constantly.
Cost ranges in the following table reflect a few variables including brand differences and regional pricing differences.
|Heat Pump Capacity in Tons||Total Cost Range|
These are some tips to help you choose one that is ideal for your home:
Size the unit in advance. Generally, it should be sized according to the maximum demand.
Pay careful attention to the sound rating. Every unit features a specific sound rating measured in decibels. Find units that feature a lower rating.
Consider the climate. They work better in temperate climates that do not experience extreme temperatures.
Decide whether a split or packaged system is best. They usually fall into one of two categories: split-systems and packaged systems.
The 5,000 rule simply states:
Replacing a heat pump costs the same as installing a new one, or somewhere between $3,000 and $6,000. This assumes you already have a working air handler and ducts. You’ll usually want to replace the outdoor unit when repairing it exceeds the 5,000 rule.
If you’re putting in a new air handler and heat pump at the same time, it’ll cost you $4,000 to $9,000 on average. Adding ductwork might push that price up past $15,000.
"They need to be sized according to manual J load calculation. You need to take into account cubic footage, windows, insulation values, the types of doors, all this stuff is being calculated to determine what size goes into the home."
Chuck O'Guinn, Sales Manager. Pacific Heating & Cooling, Tacoma, WA.
The biggest single factor in determining the price of your heat pump is the size of your house. Larger houses will require higher-capacity pumps to warm and cool them properly. Here are the cost factors to take into consideration before installing an air-source or geothermal heat pump:
Home size determines how much tonnage you’ll need. The larger the home, the higher the price.
Brand quality determines the unit price but won’t affect labor.
Permits and fees ramp up the cost slightly and vary by location. You might run into building permits, dumping fees and other local ordinances.
Materials and supplies usually get covered in the project price. Always ask if it is and if you can see it as a line item on the bid and invoice.
Duct setup. If your home does not already have a duct system in place, you may want to opt for a ductless setup, also called a mini-split, or have ducts installed.
Heat pump systems with electric resistance boosters tend to cost $500 to $1,000 more than a standard version. These types use a standard electrical resistance, much like what you find in a baseboard system, to boost the incoming air when the temperatures drop below freezing. They work well for northern climates down to around 10 degrees Fahrenheit.
You’ll pay anywhere from $7,000 to $10,000 for a 3-ton high efficiency installation. Ratings at or above 19 SEER or at least 10 HSFP hit the high efficiency mark.
|Efficiency Rating||Unit Price||Installed Price|
|13-14 SEER / 7-8 HSPF||$1,000-$2,100||$4,100-$5,400|
|15-16 SEER / 8-9 HSPF||$1,500-$2,600||$5,200-$6,300|
|17-18 SEER / 9-10 HSFP||$2,200-$3,200||$6,300-$7,400|
|19+ SEER / 10+ HSFP||$3,100-$4,000||$7,200-$9,500|
SEER, or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, measures the amount of cooling capacity divided by the amount of energy used. HSPF, or Heating Seasonal Performance Factor, measures how much heating is achieved vs. the total energy used to get warm air into the home.
"The most important thing for the consumer is the company they hire. Who they work with is the number one factor in the life and quality of the heat pump... Are they reputable? Do they hire highly trained technicians? Do they have a good track record with consumers? You can have the best equipment, but if it's not put in by qualified technicians, it's not going to matter."
Jim Snyder, General Manager. Irish Air & Heating, Indianapolis, IN.
Installing a heat pump and ductwork costs anywhere from $12,000 to $25,000. It’ll cost less if you’re having it done in an unfinished basement or attic or with new construction. Installing only ducts costs $3,000 to $5,000 on average.
|Brand (complete system)||Unit Price Range|
*Prices include complete mini-split systems.
|Miami, Florida||$2,200 - $3,700|
|Portland, Maine||$2,300 - $5,500|
|Los Angeles, California||$3,100 - $7,000|
|Denver, Colorado||$2,800 - $10,000|
|Houston, Texas||$3,800 - $7,100|
|Minneapolis, Minnesota||$3,200 - $5,400|
|New York, New York||$3,300 - $7,300|
|Atlanta, Georgia||$3,000 - $5,000|
|Chicago, Illinois||$4,500 - $5,500|
|St. Louis, Missouri||$4,200 - $8,000|
|Buffalo, New York||$3,500 - $6,900|
Here are just a few of the benefits that homeowners can expect to receive after installing a heat pump:
Cost efficient to run. Even if you shell out top dollar for geothermal, the operating costs help pay for itself in the long-term.
Environmentally friendly. Since they’re more energy efficient than gas, they tend to produce less of a carbon footprint.
Improve home values. You might get up to 70% ROI when you sell. But that’s going to vary quite a bit depending on other real estate factors.
Safer alternative than gas. No combustion air means no carbon monoxide issues.
Ductless types reduce airborne allergens. No ducts means no dust and dirt build up. Some even come with specialized allergen filters.
The only current federal tax credits available apply to geothermal and solar energy systems. The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 extended renewable energy tax credits by the following amounts:
30% for systems installed by 12/31/2019
26% for systems installed after 12/31/2019
22% for systems installed after 12/31/2020
Heat pumps rely on evaporation and condensation processes. The unit transfers heat through the system via a compressed refrigerant. The compressor within the pump circulates the refrigerant through two coils. The first coil evaporates the refrigerant and absorbs warmth from the air. The refrigerant then passes to the second coil, at which point it condenses and the unit releases the absorbed heat.
Replacing an AC unit with a two-way heat pump costs roughly $1,500 to $6,000. You don’t need both, since an AC unit is a one-way heat pump, removing hot air from your home. A two way just allows warmth to get pumped into the home as well as out of it.
A hybrid heat pump or electric resistance heat supplemented system works best in a cold climate.
Add $500 to $1,000 for oil furnace removal when putting in a heat pump. However, it’s probably a better idea to simply leave the oil furnace in place as a backup heat source or convert it to natural gas.
You might save up to 50% on your utility bill with a heat pump if you live in a mild to moderate climate. In colder climates, you’d probably be better off with a gas furnace or a hybrid system, but it won’t save you nearly as much.
A heat pump lasts anywhere from 12 to 20 years depending on how well you maintain it and the brand quality you choose.
Your cost to run a heat pump ranges from $500 to $2,000 per year. It depends pretty heavily on what climate zone you’re in, how well insulated your house is and if your system has a backup heat source.
Heat pumps for mobile homes are the same as for a traditional home, so they cost the same, or $4,000 to $7,000 on average. But, they do better the more insulated and airtight a home is, so they generally aren’t a great option for mobile homes.
Heat pump repairs cost $150 to $600 on average.
Compressors and coil replacements aren’t cheap and might make you think twice about simply replacing the entire unit.
Air conditioners are cheaper than a two-way heat pump for similarly sized central units. Keep in mind that an AC is a heat pump, but it only works in one direction. Find out more about ACs vs. heat pumps.
Whether a furnace or heat pump costs less to warm your home depends largely on the type you have and what climate you live in. Backup heating and insulation also play a role. Talk to a professional about costs and climate before you commit to one or the other.
In southern states with mild weather, these systems usually cost less.
In colder northern climates you will find that a gas furnace does better with a heat pump.