Heat Pump Installation Cost Breakdown
The cost of a heat pumpvaries depending on the size, type, ductwork, and more. Here’s a cost breakdown to help you budget for your project.
Heat Pump Size
Most homeowners choose a 3-ton-capacity heat pump, which costs anywhere from $3,900 to $6,200, including labor. If you choose a lower capacity, you could see the price decrease to $3,500, and if you choose a higher capacity, you might see the price increase up to $8,800.
Refer to this chart for price differences by heat pump capacity:
|Capacity in Tons||Average Cost Range|
|2||$3,500 – $5,500|
|2.5||$3,700 – $5,800|
|3||$3,900 – $6,200|
|3.5||$3,900 – $6,400|
|4||$4,000 – $7,300|
|5||$4,500 – $8,800|
Type of Heat Pump
The type of heat pump can mean the difference between tens of thousands of dollars. You’ll spend the least with a mini-split heat pump at around $1,300 to $8,000 for the unit and installation, while you could spend significantly more on a solar heat pump, which costs between $18,000 to $34,000 to install.
If you don’t already have ductwork and haven’t chosen a ductless mini-split heat pump, you’ll need to factor in the installation costs for ductwork. The average cost to install ductwork is between $3,000 to $7,500 for 300 linear feet. This price range depends on the type of material you choose for your air duct system, with flexible polyester coming in toward the lower end of the price range and galvanized steel coming in toward the higher end of the price range.
You know what they say: location, location. When it comes to the price of your heat pump, your location could mean saying cha-ching to a different price tag compared to friends or family who live states away from you.
Warmer climates can get away with a smaller unit, while colder regions need a larger heat pump that can keep homes warm in extreme weather conditions. Likewise, some regions have rocky soil conditions or a hilly topography that make it difficult to excavate for geothermal heat pump installations. Here’s how different regions can impact the cost of your heating system:
Atlanta, Georgia: $3,000 – $5,000
Chicago, Illinois: $4,500 – $5,500
Denver, Colorado: $2,800 – $10,000
Houston, Texas: $3,800 – $7,100
Miami, Florida: $2,200 – $3,700
Minneapolis, Minnesota: $3,200 – $5,400
New York, New York: $3,300 – $7,300
Portland, Maine: $2,300 – $5,500
St. Louis, Missouri: $4,200 – $8,000
How much you’ll spend to hire a professional to install your heat pump varies depending on the complexity of the installation, amount of work, and time it takes to install the unit. Heat pump installers charge an average of $75 to $125 per hour per worker.
You’ll need to acquire a permit for most heat pump installations. In some cases, you may even need multiple permits, depending on if you need to dig on your property or rent a dumpster near you. The cost of permits depends on your location and other local ordinances, but anticipate spending somewhere between $50 and $300.
How Much Does a Heat Pump Cost By Type?
Let's look at each type of heat pump and its related costs.
The costs of air-source heat pumps range from $4,500 to $8,000. The air source design draws hot or cold air across refrigerant lines to absorb or release heat. It aims to move warm air to a colder area depending on the time of year and desired indoor temperature.
Air source heat pumps cost between $2,000 and $14,500. Without ductwork, mini-split systems require technicians to install multiple refrigerant lines throughout your home to balance the temperature evenly.
Geothermal heat pump costs range from $6,000 to $20,000. In this setup, underground piping harnesses the temperature of the earth below your house, functioning even when the outside air is too hot or cool.
Hybrid heat pump systems cost $2,500 to $10,000 in most areas of the country. When temperatures dip below freezing, this option coordinates the heat pump with a furnace.
Solar panels can cost between $18,000 and $39,000, including installation and supplies. Solar panels fuel the heat pump compressor or the pump itself.
Additional Costs to Consider
On top of the main cost factors, there are a few additional costs you’ll want to consider as you tally up your final expenses.
Opting for a high-end brand-name heat pump could cost you significantly more than a lower-end brand. For example, your average air-source heat pump costs between $4,500 and $8,000, but a high-end brand may cost somewhere between $6,000 and $12,000—$1,500 to $4,000 more than a generic heat pump.
Maintenance and Repairs
You’ll spend between $150 and $600 on average to hire a local heat pump repair pro to repair your heat pump, while a general, yearly tune-up costs between $50 and $180.
Cost to Install a Heat Pump Yourself
Installing a heat pump system yourself may not be in the cards for most homeowners, but this depends on the extent of the installation.
Replacing or repairing your heat pump within a current system may cut costs, but full installations of the ductwork, underground excavation, and electrical equipment can be costly (and complicated!) on your own.
Let's say your final quote from a local engineer for an air-source heat pump installation is $2,000 for the heat pump itself and $1,500 for labor. Labor costs often include all materials, local permits, duct setup, and extra materials. If you go the DIY route, you need to factor in all those extra costs, too.
In short: by cutting out the professional, you may not save much in the long run. Not only is the installation a lengthy process on your own, but a heat pump's complicated wiring and ventilation setup means that one false move could lead to a costly and frustrating outcome.
DIY Heat Pump Installation Cost vs. Hiring a Pro
Again, trying to DIY your heat pump installation could rack up your total price due to many additional cost factors—costing you money rather than saving you money. For this reason, it’s best to leave it to the professionals who have ample experience installing heat pumps, acquiring the correct local permits, and more.
5 Ways to Save on Heat Pump Installation Costs
With such a high price tag, you may be wondering how you can save money on your heat pump installation. Here are a few tips on how to save:
Apply for a heat pump tax credit through the Inflation Reduction Act. Doing so could give you a hefty tax credit of $2,000 or $8,000 for some qualifying households.
Check for local tax rebates.
Pick the correct size for your heat pump.
Install an air-source or mini-split heat pump.
Choose a ductless heat pump if you don’t already have ductwork.