Cost to Install or Replace a Heat Pump 2022

What is the heat pump replacement cost?

$3,950 – $14,350 Heat pump installation cost for 2 to 5 tons

$7,200 – $22,400 Complete central heat pump and air handler installation

$11,200 – $27,250 Complete heat pump system plus ductwork

Yes, prices have risen steeply over the last few years, and our professional team doesn’t expect that to correct itself. Those high heat pump costs are here to stay.

Note: If your existing air handler is compatible with the heat pump and in newer condition, you might only incur the heat pump replacement cost.

However, since the air handler is often the same age as the heat pump, then you will need both. In that case, refer to the cost to replace heat pump and air handler.

Cost of a Heat Pump Installed

These costs cover both situations: A new heat pump – as in new construction – and heat pump replacement cost when an old unit is removed first.

Heat pump cost of $3,950 – $14,350  is for the heat pump unit and installation only. It doesn’t include an air handler.

Prices are based on the size of the heat pump (1.5 to 5 tons), its performance level (stages of heating and AC) and efficiency level.

  • Low: $4,550
  • Average: $6,750
  • High: $10,250
Heat Pump Installation Cost
Heat Pump Installation Cost

Heat Pump Cost by Tonnage (Tons from 1.5 to 5)

The first step is to know what size heat pump you need. How to determine the right size heat pump is discussed below.

For those who already know the correct heat pump size, here is heat pump replacement cost (or cost for a new unit) by size.

Heat Pump Cost By Tons:

Heat Pump SizeHeat Pump Unit CostHeat Pump Installed Cost
1.5 Ton$1,700 – $8,250$3,950 – $10,200
2 Ton $1,875 – $8,600$4,100 – $11,750
2.5 Ton$2,200 – $9,250$4,450 – $12,300
3 Ton$2,475 – $9,900$4,700 – $12,950
3.5 Ton$2,750 – $10,450$5,000 – $13,300
4 Ton$2,995 – $11,000$5,175 – $13,650
5 Ton$3,100 – $11,750$5,400 – $14,350

What Size Heat Pump Do I Need?

This is an important FAQ. And we have an answer.

Our Heat Pump Size Calculator is the most accurate of its type because it takes into account the essential specs needed to make the right decision: Your US Climate Zone, home size, insulation condition and how sunny your home is.

Give it a try!

Central Heat Pump Cost by Brand

Not all brands are made alike – though many are quite similar. And pricing is competitive because each manufacturer keeps close watch on the cost prices of the others.

Plus, most brands make a range of models at various prices to appeal to a wider range of consumers with different budgets.

Here are heat pump prices by brand. Notes follow that sort out which brands are identical and who-makes-who in the HVAC world. 

BrandCost RangeSEER
Daikin$4,600 – $14,20015 – 21
Carrier$4,550 – $14,35014 – 24
Ducane$4,500 – $11,50015 – 18
Payne$4,500 – $9,65014 – 17
Bryant$4,400 – $14,10014 – 24
Lennox$4,400 – $14,50016 – 24
Amana$4,400 – $13,75015 – 21
Rheem$4,350 – $13,60014 – 22
Ruud$4,350 – $13,60014 – 22
Trane$4,300 – $14,50014 – 20
Armstrong Air (1)$4,250 – $13,95015 – 20
American Standard$4,200 – $14,10014 – 20
York (2)$4,000 – $14,00015 – 21
Heil (3)$4,000 – $13,35014 – 19
Goodman$4,000 – $12,45015 – 21
Airquest$3,950 – $12,30014 – 19
RunTru$3,950 – $9,95014 – 16

(1).  Armstrong Air is identical to AirEase. Both are Allied Air brands, which is a division of Lennox. 

(2). York is identical to Luxaire and Coleman. All are Johnson Controls brands.

(3). Heil is identical to Day & Night, Tempstar, Keeprite, Comfortmaker and Arcoaire. They are International Comfort Products brands (ICP).

What are the best heat pump brands? 

According to most independent studies based on heat pumps in current use, here are three tiers of brands.

Brands joined with an “&” are identical or at least made by the same parent company.

  • Best: Trane & American Standard, Carrier & Bryant & Payne, Armstrong & Allied Air, Ducane.
  • Good: Rheem & Ruud, Daikin & Amana, the ICP brands (see note above)
  • Average: The Johnson Controls brands (see note above)
  • Budget Brands: Goodman, Airquest, RunTru

Goodman is made by Daikin, but the equipment is not quite as good. Airquest is a Carrier brand. And RunTru is a Trane brand.

Central Heat Pump Cost by Efficiency

Heat pumps range in efficiency, as you can see above, from 14 SEER to 24 SEER. In terms of SEER, Lennox and Carrier currently make the highest SEER heat pumps, but it changes almost yearly.

For heating, the range is 8.2 to 13.0 HSPF.

Carrier has been the heating efficiency leader for a long time. Its Carrier Infinity 24 model 25VNA4 plus the identical Bryant Evolution Extreme 24 model 284ANV both deliver up to a 13.0 heating seasonal performance factor, or HSPF. The Carrier and Bryant models are among those with a 24 SEER cooling efficiency too.

This chart uses the SEER rating, which is the AC efficiency rating. The warmer your climate, the higher the SEER rating should be on the central AC you select.

EfficiencyFull Cost RangeAverage 3 Ton Cost
14 SEER$3,950- $6,750$5,650
16 SEER$4,700 – $8,950$6,950
18 SEER$6,400 – $11,900$8,350
20 SEER$7,700 – $12,500$10,450
22 SEER$8,850 – $13,750$11,900
24 SEER$9,900 – $14,350$13,550

HSPF is the heating efficiency rating. Likewise, the cooler your climate, the higher the efficiency should be.

Buying Tip: For climates where freezing temperature is common throughout winter, we recommend using a gas for heat. If you want the higher efficiency of a heat pump for heating in milder weather in those climates, you could install a dual fuel system with a gas furnace and a heat pump.

Heat Pump Replacement Cost: Single Stage, 2 Stage and Variable Capacity AC

If you’re not familiar with stages of heating and air conditioning, here is a primer on the subject. Stages refer to the type of compressor an AC or heat pump has.

The compressor is the part of the unit responsible for circulating refrigerant through a lineset connecting the indoor coil and outdoor coil.

Heat Pump Replacement Cost By Stage
Heat Pump Replacement Cost By Stage

Single Stage Heat Pump Cost

A single stage compressor runs at full capacity whenever the unit is heating or cooling. 1 stage = 100% capacity. Full blast, in other words.

Cost of heat pumps with single stage compressors is lowest. But efficiency isn’t as high.

Efficiency range: 14 to 17 SEER; 8.5 to 9.0 HSPF

1 stage heat pump cost: $3,950 – $9,800

Note: In 2023, heat pump minimum efficiency rises to 14 SEER

heat pump seer

Two Stage Heat Pump Cost

Compressors in these heat pumps have two settings. Low is either 65% or 70% of capacity depending on the brand and model. The system will run on low whenever this setting allows the heat pump to keep up with the heating or air conditioning demand.

Running on low is more efficient – and it removes more humidity from the air during AC mode, and that’s a good thing in muggy summer weather.

Efficiency range: 16 to 20 SEER; 9.0 to 10.0 HSPF

2 stage heat pump cost: $6,150 – $12,800

Variable Capacity Heat Pump Cost

Aka variable speed and modulating, these have compressors that operate more like a dimmer switch or vehicle cruise control.

The lowest setting is either 25% or 40% based on the brand and model. The top setting is 100%, of course. Some variable capacity compressors adjust in 1% increments.

Trane’s top unit, the Trane XV20i runs from 25% to 100% and adjusts in 1/10 of 1% increments. Trane says, the “TruComfort variable speed system includes 750 stages of comfort for maximum comfort and highest efficiency.” Trane calls it a 750-stage heat pump, which is technically true.

Obviously the most efficient heat pumps and best at summer dehumidification, they are also extremely expensive.

Efficiency range: 18 to 24 SEER; 10.0 to 13.0 HSPF

Variable capacity heat pump cost: $9,450 – $14,350

Heat Pump System Itemized Costs

For those who want a complete breakdown of replacement or new heat pump cost, here’s your list.

  • Heat pump condensing unit: $1,900 to $11,500. The condensing unit is the outdoor unit on a heat pump system. Sometimes it is simply called the heat pump, but there’s a lot more to the system.
  • Air handler: $1,335 to $7,500+. This indoor unit houses the evaporator coil and connects to the ductwork. It also contains the blower that circulates air through the system to heat or cool it and to remove humidity in AC mode. The air handler is just like a furnace without the heating parts – the gas valve and burner.
  • Indoor coil: $575 to $1,775. These are called evaporator coils. They come in sizes compatible with the condensing unit.
  • Refrigerant lineset: $370 to $800. These lines cycle refrigerant between the indoor coil and condensing unit/compressor/coil.
  • Electrical: $75 to $1,500 depending on what you need. New heat pump installation cost is higher because all the electrical wiring, circuit and outside shut-off have to be installed.
  • Thermostat: $120 to $850. Cost depends on how “fancy” the unit is with WiFi, 5-day forecast and other advanced features raising cost. Most smart thermostats from nest, lux, ecobee, etc. run $199 to $350.
  • Gas furnace: $1,750 to $9,600 or more. If you want a dual fuel heat pump system, replace the air handler with a furnace.

Heat Pump Cost Factors

Here’s a short overview of heat pump installation cost for equipment and labor.  

Heat Pump Only vs Complete System: The cost to replace heat pump and air handler equipment is about 33% to 40% higher than just replacing the heat pump equipment and using the old air handler.

Size of the System: While not as important as efficiency and performance, the size goes up by $250 to $1,000 per ton depending on the model.

Performance/Efficiency: These two are closely tied. Two stage heat pumps are more efficient and more expensive than single stage. Variable capacity heat pumps are the most efficient and most expensive.

FAQs

What size heat pump do I need?

It depends on your climate and factors related to your home including size, layout, insulation level, quality/insulation value of the windows and roofing material. Our Heat Pump BTU Calculator for sizing a heat pump can help. Or ask your HVAC pro to do a Manual J load calculation.

How much is labor cost?

Labor price depends on what is installed:

Heat pump only: $1,500 to $2,800

Heat pump systems with air handler: $2,400 to $4,000

Cost can be higher if extensive electrical work or major changes to the sheet metal connections indoors are necessary.

Costs include removing and disposing of old equipment.

Are online prices accurate?

Heat pump prices can be checked online, but they do not tell the entire story.

You will find a new heat pump cost range of about $1,700 to $9,000. But that is usually just for the outdoor unit called the condensing unit.

New heat pump cost for online models doesn’t include the indoor coil, refrigerant lines and miscellaneous installation supplies. Plus, the brands you see online, like Goodman, Airquest and a few entry-level Rheem ACs, are not premium models.

How much does ductwork cost?

In most homes, it’s from $2,200 to $6,000, with an average around $3,300. Replacement ductwork cost is on the higher end of the range.

Zoning the ductwork by installing mechanical ($-$$) or motorized ($$$$) dampers gives you the opportunity to allocate airflow when and where you want it. It can add several thousand dollars to the ductwork cost.

How long do heat pumps last?

12-20 years. Initial quality, whether it is properly installed, how well it is maintained and how heavily it is used are the factors in durability. 

Who should I hire to install my heat pump?

We recommend considering only experienced installers with a track record of success and good customer service. Feel free to use the no-obligation form or 800 number on this page to receive free estimates from prescreened, certified heat pump contractors in your neighborhood.

How much does a heat pump cost to run?

The efficiency of the system and how much it runs are key factors. In light-use months, you’ll spend $30 to $45 per month. In the most extreme weather months, cost can be $125 or more based on efficiency and system size.

Written by

Rene has worked 10 years in the HVAC field and now is the Senior Comfort Specialist for PICKHVAC. He holds an HVAC associate degree from Lone Star College and EPA & R-410A Certifications.

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