Some home owners worry about heat pump installation and financing. But it is not how much it costs to buy or install but how much a heat pump will cost later?
When selecting a new or replacement heat pump, it is important for potential buyers to want to know how much a heat pump costs. Everyone says that they do their homework and check out the energy ratings and the impact on the environment. But in the end, what matters to most people is the actual cost of the heat pump. But if you also need to carefully weigh how much money you will save using a high efficiency heat pump over the long term versus the expense of operating a cheaper but much less efficient model.
Factors That Affect the Heat Pumps Cost
Heat pump costs can be markedly changed depend upon several different factors such as size of heat pump and size of home, efficiency rating, efficient ductwork or ventilation, and the type of heat pump.
1. Size of the Heat Pump
First is size. You may have already been aware that heat pumps are sized by tonnage: the most common sizes are a 2 ton heat pump, a 3 ton heat pump and a 5 ton heat pump. The bigger or larger ton size a heat pump has the more it will cost.
Many people often try to determine the required size of heat pump based on some rule of thumb of 1 ton per 500 square feet. But this kind of off the fly calculations can lead to lots of trouble in the long run.
While a small heat pump costs less, if it is the wrong size any cost savings you may get from the purchase price are quickly lost due to the fact that an under-sized unit will run more often driving up your power bills. It may also not be able to adequately cool your home on hot days or heat it on the cold days.
And an over sized unit, heat pump costs more to buy but underperformed since it will not run as efficiently as it should. Due to its short cycling, it may not remove all the moisture from the air, and humidity may become an issue due to its short run cycle. This may leave your home feeling stuffy inside. In most cases, the electricity consumption with an oversized heat pump will be more than that of a properly sized unit.
However there is an accurate way to calculate the correct capacity heating unit you’ll need for your home. Dealers can perform a load calculation on your home to find the right sized heat pump. This load calculation will measure the heat gain and heat loss design of your home, this makes it easier to select the right sized heat pump for your home.
Here are some factors that determine the size of heat pump for your home:
Many factors determine the size (capacity) system your home requires. Some of these are:
- Heating & cooling area
- Home insulation
- Area climate
- Number of windows
- Number of people
The load calculation is important because it is used to calculate the size heat pump unit you’ll need for your specific home. This calculation is usually done by your dealer, and it is determined by a number of things like the square foot size of your home, the number of windows, and overall weather conditions experienced.
The main reason why load calculation is important is because it allows for your system to operate at its maximum efficiency. If your heat pump is too big, you will end up paying more for the heating and cooling operations. On the other hand, if your unit is too small it may not heat your home efficiently or effectively, improperly sized units tend to cycle too quickly or too slowly, this is one of the major causes of damage to the system.
2. Efficiency Rating
Another thing that will up the heat pump costs is the heat pump ratings. The SEER and HSPF ratings can easily swing the cost of a heat pump up or down, depending on what you want.
The SEER or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating measures how much energy is used cool a home during a summer time peak. A good unit should a rating between 14 and 18. The HSPF or Heating Seasonal Performance Factor measures how much energy is used to heat a home during a winter time cold snap. A good HSPF rating runs between 8 and 10.
If you live in a warmer part of the country and suffer with hot, sweaty summers but mild winters then you will want to find a heat pump for sale with the highest SEER you can afford. On the other hand, if you live in colder climate with chilly winters and so-so summers, then you will need to check out heat pump sales that feature units with higher HSPF ratings.
3. Type of Heat Pump
The type of heat pump also radically affects it ultimate cost. With an air source unit the cost of heat pumps is usually very affordable but the long term operating costs depend on it design and energy ratings. On the other hand the ground-source heat pumps cost of installation can be very high depending on drilling and excavations, but the long term operating costs are very cheap. The above are just a few of the things you need to understand and take into consideration when looking into the heat pump costs and installation fee.
4. Efficient Ductwork/Ventilation
The duct system is very important as the heat pump will pump air through these ducts to all the rooms in your home, therefore it needs to be sealed and insulated correctly in order to create minimal air loss. It is best to have the construction of your homes ductwork done by experienced contractors as it need to last the life time of your heat pump. A great deal of efficiency can be lost due to faulty or sketchy ductwork. Poor duct work can even cause un-efficient ventilation, uneven air distribution, and increased humidity levels.
With ductwork, good insulation is very important. In most homes you will find that the ducts run through the house in space such as the attic, garage, and the basement. The temperature in these spaces can vary to the extent where a perfectly sealed duct can lose energy across the surface of the duct. In extreme cases, an un-insulated duct system can lose roughly the same amount of energy through heat transfer as it would if it had a leak.
You can prevent this energy loss by routing ductwork through conditioned areas and insulate the ductwork well in unconditioned areas. You can use pre-insulated ducts or wrap insulation around your ducts, either one will do the job. It is also advised to hire qualified experts who can test the efficiency of your ductwork.
Typical Heat Pump Costs
Air Source Heat Pumps – the prices for these usually range from $2000.00 to $6000.00 for the purchase and the installation, this excludes the ductwork and installation costs.
Geothermal Heat Pumps – these heat pumps are more reliable and efficient, therefore costing around $2000.00 to $25000.00 for purchase and installation.
Ductwork – on average, the ductwork costs range from $200.00 for single room applications and can amount to $3000.00 for the whole house.
Additional Costs – if you are adding an electric heat pump to an older home, you may need to have your electric panel upgraded to 200 amps, you will need a experienced electrician to do this job and it can cost from $1000.00 to $3000.00 to have the conversion done.
Cost Savings – you may also be offered certain rebates when you purchase an energy efficient heat pump, CLICK HERE for more information about the rebates offered by ENERGY STAR.