Heat Pump Cost Breakdown
The cost of a heat pump varies depending on the size, type, ductwork, and more. Here’s a cost breakdown to help you budget for your project.
Heat Pump Size
The size of your heat pump can affect the cost, with prices ranging from $3,500 to $8,800. 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||Size of House (sq. ft.)||Size of House (sq. ft.)|
|2||1,000 sq. ft.||$3,500 – $5,500|
|2.5||1,500 sq. ft.||$3,700 – $5,800|
|3||2,000 sq. ft.||$3,900 – $6,200|
|3.5||2,500 sq. ft.||$3,900 – $6,400|
|4||3,000 sq. ft.||$4,000 – $7,300|
|5||3,500 sq. ft.||$4,500 – $8,800|
Heat Pump Unit
Your heat pump unit has an HVAC efficiency rating called the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) rating. Heat pump units cost between $1,600 and $9,500 on average for units ranging from 14 SEER to 20 SEER, not including labor. The higher the SEER number, the more efficient the heat pump unit.
Most dual-stage and variable-stage heat pumps have a high SEER number, while single-stage heat pumps have a lower SEER number. Single-stage heat pumps lack the mechanism to run at a lower stage for mildly warming or cooling a home, making them less efficient than dual-stage or variable-speed heat pump units.
Therefore, a single-stage heat pump unit typically costs less than a dual-stage or variable-speed unit but ends up costing more overall when it comes to energy savings.
Here’s a breakdown of heat pump costs by SEER ratings:
|Heat Pump SEER Rating||Average Cost Range (unit only)|
|14||$1,600 – $4,900|
|15||$1,800 – $5,900|
|16||$2,400 – $6,200|
|18||$2,900 – $6,700|
|20||$3,600 – $9,500|
Keep in mind that, if you live in a southern U.S. state, you may be required to have a heat pump unit with a SEER rating of 15, while some northern states can have a unit rating of 14. These ratings increased by one digit as of 2023, as the U.S. Department of Energy aims to increase efficiency standards.
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.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the average single-family home is around 2,300 square feet on average. You’ll need approximately 1,000 BTU for every 500 square feet of space in your home, so anticipate spending between $3,700 to $6,400 for a typical home ranging from 1,500 square feet to 2,500 square feet, with most homeowners spending somewhere in the middle.
You may only need a 2.5-BTU heat pump if you have a smaller home of around 1,500 square feet, while larger homes of around 2,500 square feet may need a 3.5-BTU capacity or more.
Location and Efficiency
You know what they say: location, 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.
Since you’ll need a more efficient heat pump in a state with hot summers, you might pay more for a unit with a higher SEER rating. For example, an average 14 SEER heat pump costs around $1,600 to $4,900 for the unit, while a typical 15 SEER heat pump costs between $1,800 and $5,900.
Local heat pump installation costs also vary based on the cost of living and competitive pricing between heat pump installation companies. Here’s how different regions can impact the cost of your heating system:
|Region||Best Heat Pump (by efficiency)||Average Cost Range|
|Atlanta, Georgia||SEER 15+||$3,000 – $5,000|
|Chicago, Illinois||SEER 14+||$4,500 – $5,500|
|Denver, Colorado||SEER 14+||$2,800 – $10,000|
|Houston, Texas||SEER 15+||$3,800 – $7,100|
|Miami, Florida||SEER 15+||$2,200 – $3,700|
|Minneapolis, Minnesota||SEER 14+||$3,200 – $5,400|
|New York, New York||SEER 14+||$3,300 – $7,300|
|Portland, Maine||SEER 14+||$2,300 – $5,500|
|St. Louis, Missouri||SEER 14+||$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. Local 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Mini-split systems 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.
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.
Cost to DIY 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.
Heat Pump vs. Furnace
A furnace costs between $2,800 and $6,800 to install on average, compared to a heat pump’s average price of
Though heat pumps initially cost around $800 to $1,400 more than a furnace, you can save up to 50% on your energy bills by switching from a heat pump to a furnace—if you live in a mild or moderate climate. For colder climates, you won’t see such high energy savings, as heat pumps are less efficient in colder weather.
In some cases, you might want to install a heat pump with an existing furnace for supplemental heat in northern climates where the temperature drops as low as 10 degrees. Adding a heat pump to a furnace costs between $2,500 and $6,000, while installing a completely new hybrid heat pump system costs between $4,500 and $10,000 on average.
Heat Pump Benefits
Installing a heat pump is a big investment, but it’s also an investment that can benefit your home in several ways, including:
Long-term energy savings
Better air quality
Free from gas leak risks
Great for homes that need a ductless heat pump
Up to 30% off air source heat pump installations for up to $2,000 with the Air Source Heat Pumps Tax Credit
Up to 30% off geothermal heat pumps—with no cap—with the Geothermal Heat Pumps Tax Credit
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.