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What is the Average Cost of a New Heat Pump Installed in 2012?

Many homeowners want to know – what is the average cost of a new heat pump installed in 2012?  If you’re considering the purchase of a new heat pump, this guide will help you plan your complete expenses including the cost of the heat pump, necessary parts, and the installation.

How Much Do Heat Pumps Cost?

The least expensive heat pumps cost about $1,000.  The most expensive exceed $5,000.  There are 3 key factors that affect the total cost of just the heat pump, or technically speaking, the condensing unit.  This is the part of the heat pump system that sits outside your home.

1. The Size or Capacity of the Heat Pump: The larger the heat pump is, the more it will cost, within the same brand and series. They are built in whole-ton and half-ton sizes from 1.5 ton to 5.0 ton capacity for residential installation.  For example, the Carrier Comfort 15 SEER heat pump is typical.  It is offered in 1.5, 2.0, 2.5, 3.0, 3.5, 4.0 and 5.0 ton models.  It’s rare that any brand or model is offered in a 4.5 ton size.  You may be interested to know that one ton of capacity is equal to 12,000 Btu’s, so a 1.5 ton heat pump creates 18,000 Btu’s of heat and a 5.0 ton heat pump generates 60,000 Btu’s of heat.

2. The Efficiency of the Heat Pump: The more efficient the heat pump is, the more it will cost. The least efficient heat pumps you can purchase currently are 13 SEER models.  The most efficient are over 20 SEER – the Maytag model M1200 is 22 SEER – while most brands offer an 18-20 SEER model as their best.  SEER rating, or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating, measures cooling efficiency.  Heating efficiency is measured by HSPF, or Heating Seasonal Performance Factor. HSPF rating starts at about 7.7 to 8.0 for 13 SEER heat pumps and can be 10.0 or higher for the most efficient models.  The Carrier Infinity Greenspeed 25VNA0 has an HSPF rating of 13.0.

3. Features: Basic heat pumps are single-stage models.  Those with 2 compressors like the Trane XL20i, 2-stage compressors like top models from all the brands, or modulating compressors like the Carrier Greenspeed and the Maytag PSH4BI iQ Drive heat pumps cost significantly more.

A 13 SEER, single-stage, 2 ton heat pump will cost $1,000 to $1,300.  A 20 SEER, 2-stage or modulating 5 ton heat pump will cost $4,500 or more.  The average 2-stage, 3 ton, 16 SEER heat pump will cost about $3,200. The heat pump you choose will cost more or less depending on the capacity, size and whether it is single-stage (mostly 13-15 SEER models) or modulating (some 18+ SEER models).

Heat Pump Accessories

A new heat pump may also require a new evaporator coil for inside the air handler or furnace.  Depending on the size of heat pump you’re installing, and the brand, evaporator coils will cost $350 to $750, with $600 being a typical price. If a new lineset is being installed – the set of copper lines that carry refrigerant back and forth between the coils – it will cost $125 to $300 depending on the size and length.  An average lineset will cost $200. If you need a new thermostat, you can expect to pay between $75 for a cheap, programmable model, and $500 or more for a top of the line touchscreen model like the Carrier Infinity or Bryant Evolution controller.

Total Heat Pump Equipment Costs

Putting it all together, here are your expected heat pump costs:

Heat Pump: Low-end, $1,000; High-end, $5,000.  Average heat pump: $3,200.

Evaporator Coil: Low-end, $350; High-end, $750. Average evaporator coil: $600.

Lineset: Low-end, $125; High-end, $300; Average lineset: $200.

Thermostat: Low-end, $75; High-end, $700. Average thermostat: $125

Average total equipment costs for a 2-stage, 16 SEER, 3-ton heat pump: $4,125.

Heat Pump Installation Costs

The cost of installation will also vary based on several factors. They include:

1. Complexity of the Installation: The easier the job is, the less it will cost to install.  If the foundation has to be bored, if it is difficult to run the lineset because of the home’s construction, and if an indoor coil or thermostat also has to be installed, the price will go up accordingly.

2. Contractor Availability: Contractors have busy and slow seasons, like many professions.  During their busiest periods of summer and winter, they are in high demand and are not inclined to offer lower prices or significant discounts.  However, during slower periods when they don’t have enough business to keep their crew working steadily, many heat pump contractors will offer discounted installation in order to get the work.  You may find that prices for installation are as much as 25% lower during slower periods.  This is one reason it always makes sense to get at least 3 written estimates so you can find the best pricing at any time throughout the year.

In terms of the cost of installation, a simple installation of a condensing unit without installing an evaporator coil may cost as little as $1,000.  With the installation of a lineset, air handler, and/or thermostat, and during a busy time of the year, the installation for a heat pump may cost as much as $4,000.  An average cost for installing a heat pump in average circumstances, is about $2,500.

Total Cost of Heat Pump Installation

Adding up the numbers, your heat pump with installation might cost as little as $2,000 or as much as $11,000.

The average cost of a new heat pump installed in 2012 will run a total of $6,625.


What is the average cost of a new heat pump installed in 2012? This guide will help you plan your expenses. When you decide it’s time to have a new heat pump installed, get multiple estimates and then choose a qualified contractor you believe will do a good job.  Even if you have to pay a bit more to get a contractor you trust, it will be worth it.  The quality of the installation, and the ongoing maintenance of the heat pump, will play a major role in how well it runs in the years ahead.  A properly installed heat pump will run efficiently and it will break down less often, giving you the value you want from your home’s new heat pump.

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