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How much will your heating system installation or replacement cost?

Ashburn, VA 20149

Heating Specialists on Thumbtack cost$940 - $2500

Average price

39 Heating Specialists found near you!

  • Lowest price:$70
  • Most common low price:$940
  • Most common high price:$2500
  • Highest price:$6040

How much do heat pumps cost?

The average cost of installing a heat pump ranges from $1,780 to $3,630. The cost of a heat pump depends on various factors, including the type of heat pump you choose and the system you already have in place. Where you live can also impact the final price.

What’s in this cost guide?

Heat pump prices

Heat pumps can range in cost depending on the unit type, the manufacturer and the retailer.

Unit type

Cost estimate (unit only)

Ductless or mini-split heat pump

$700-$4,000

Air source heat pump

$1,800-$4,000

Geothermal heat pump

$4,000-$8,000

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Ductless heat pump cost

A ductless system requires minimal construction to install, and only a small 3-inch hole through a wall is necessary to connect the indoor air handler and outdoor unit. While these units cost significantly less ($700-$4,000) than ducted systems, they don’t offer the same cooling capacity and are generally used to heat and cool a single room. 

Kevin Granados of East Bay Heating and Air says that installation of a mini-split style heat pump to a ductless system usually requires modifications to the electrical system. Installation can typically run $1,000 to $1,500 to have an electrician install in the necessary wiring.

Air-source heat pump cost

The most common type of heat pump is the air-source pump. As the U.S. Department of Energy explains, the refrigeration system consists of a compressor and two coils, one indoors and one out, which transfer heat in two directions. The cost of these systems varies widely based on the unit’s size and the rating, but costs generally range from $1,800 to $4,000.

Geothermal heat pump cost

Commonly referred to as water-source pumps, a geothermal system uses the earth’s temperature instead of the outside air as the heating and cooling exchange. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, these systems are quieter, last longer and require less maintenance than air-source pumps. With unit prices ranging from $4,000-$8,000, the cost of geothermal heat pump installation is significantly higher than an air-source system. However, the cost savings over time due to efficiency may offset this steeper price tag.

Related content: How much does furnace cleaning cost? 

Labor costs

In addition to the heat pump price, labor costs will also factor in the total installation cost. Here are the average hourly rates for heating system installation pros:

Average hourly rate

$79/hour

Low-end hourly rate

$65/hour

High-end hourly rate

$140/hour

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Additional cost factors

Several factors go into calculating the cost of a heat pump installation, from the type and brand of unit you select to possible permits that might be required. Here are some cost factors to consider:

Single vs. two-stage

Some heat pumps are outfitted with dual-speed or two-stage motors. The variable-capacity is designed to maximize energy savings over a single-stage unit, but it may cost you more upfront.

SEER ratings

Heat pump efficiency over the cooling season is measured by the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) rating. The higher the SEER rating, the less electricity is utilized by a heat pump unit. Energy efficiency during the heating season is measured by the Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF).

 Higher SEER and HSPF ratings typically equate with a higher upfront price. However, a more energy-efficient unit will save you money in the long run on your utility bills.

Home and room size

Your home’s size is a significant factor in choosing a heat pump. For a small house with no space for ductwork, a smaller, less expensive ductless or mini-split system will likely be your best option. However, a unit that small will not be enough to cool an entire three-bedroom house. A large space will require a more powerful unit as well as extensive ductwork. According to Energy Star, the most energy-efficient unit is sized to the square footage of your home.

Cooling capacity

Once you have determined your home’s square footage, you can calculate the cooling capacity you require to keep your entire house cool. As Energy Star illustrates, cooling capacity is measured in British thermal units (BTUs) or “tons” per hour. Select a unit with enough BTUs to match the square footage of your home. 

Related content: How much does central air conditioning repair cost? 

Brand or manufacturer

Many brands and manufacturers of heat pumps offer a variety of price ranges. A top-of-the-line brand will likely cost more than a smaller manufacturer. You may want to compare reviews of different units before deciding which to buy.

Permits and fees

Permits and fees might be required for HVAC replacement or installation depending on your state. The local cost will vary. Your contractor will likely pull these permits for you and include them in the installation costs.

Ductwork needed

If you are installing a heat pump system for the first time, you will likely need to factor in the cost of installing ductwork. If you already have ducts in place, you should still have your contractor check your ducts to ensure none of them need repairs or replacement. Additional ductwork might be required if you have added on rooms.

System removal and replacement parts

If you have an old air conditioning unit or heat pump system, you will need to have it removed and hauled away. If you need to replace parts of your existing air conditioner and heat system (e.g., the air handler), your costs may vary.

Related content: How much does a furnace replacement cost? 

Heat pump benefits

Heat pumps are an energy-efficient alternative to electric resistance heating options such as furnaces and baseboard heaters, according to the Department of Energy. A heat pump can even reduce your electricity by approximately 50%. They can also dehumidify better than a standard central air conditioner. And “because they move heat rather than generate heat, heat pumps can provide equivalent space conditioning at as little as one-quarter of the cost of operating conventional heating or cooling appliances.”

While the benefits of a heat pump are tremendous, it’s important to keep in mind that these systems work best in areas that don’t experience extreme weather, either hot or cold. 

How to hire a professional

There are a few factors to consider before hiring a professional to install a heat pump:

  • Questions to ask. Ask about their years of experience with HVAC installation and heat pump repair. Find out the estimated time frame and what hours they can work. Inquire if there are any additional costs, like travel fees. And ask what heat pump system they recommend for your home and why.
  • Details about your current system. If you already have an HVAC or heat pump system in place, you’ll want to provide as many details as possible, like the size and if there’s existing ductwork. In addition to information about your system, you should also discuss any recent renovations or plans for future expansions. For example, adding a new floor to your home will increase your cooling and heating consumption. You’ll want to ensure that a new heat pump will continue to meet your needs for several years.
  • Getting cost estimates. When you reach out to a pro, ask them if they will provide free estimates. It can be helpful to get estimates from two or three HVAC specialists before you choose one. You’ll be able to compare the installation costs and ensure you’re getting the best price.
  • Licenses and credentials. Before hiring anyone to install a new heat pump system, research what type of licensing and insurance they have. Make sure the pro has up-to-date licensing.
  • Reviews. Find out what other customers had to say about the company’s services. Were the prices fair? Was the work done correctly and on time?

Related content: How much does a furnace tuneup cost? 

Find a heat pump installation professional near you

Installing a new heat pump requires electrical work experience and specific tools, which means it’s best left to a professional. Once you’ve decided to upgrade your system, check out several local pros on Thumbtack to compare the costs before making your final decision.

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FAQs

How many years does a heat pump last?

The average lifespan of a heat pump ranges from 10 to 15 years, according to the Inter­national Association of Certified Home Inspectors. While some units may last longer than 15 years, older systems will likely require more repairs and lose efficiency as they age, which means your electricity bills will be higher.

Why is my heat pump bill so high?

A properly functioning heat pump should save you money, not cost you more. If you find that your bills are suddenly soaring, there might be an issue with your system or its installation. Proper maintenance could also be part of the problem. 

According to the Department of Energy, the difference in energy consumption between a well-maintained heat pump and a neglected one ranges from 10% to 25%. Cleaning and changing filters regularly, for example, is essential to maintaining airflow. Reduced airflow caused by obstructions like dirt can decrease the system’s performance and damage the compressor. 

Related content: How much does air conditioning service cost?

Does a heat pump use a lot of electricity?

No, a heat pump uses only a quarter of what a traditional cooling or heating unit uses to condition the same amount of space. Not all heat pumps are the same, however. SEER ratings, which measure the efficiency of each specific unit, can vary significantly. A heat pump with a SEER 9 rating, for example, is less efficient than one with a SEER 13 rating. The higher the rating, the less energy is used to cool or heat your home.

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