This buying guide will help you decide whether an air exchange heat pump is the right heating and cooling option for your home. Let’s start with the bottom line: heat pump unit prices and the cost of installation.
The national average cost to install a new air heat exchange pump can range between $4,500 and $8,300, depending on the size of your home, heat pump brand, type, and efficiency level, overall project complexity, and your home’s location.
For a larger, mid-range ductless heat pump mini-split system with 4+ multi-zone air handler units for four+ rooms, it will cost between $9,000 and $14,000 fully installed, as shown in the pricing breakdown example below:
1 outdoor heat pump: $3,000 to $5,000
4 indoor air handlers: $3,000 to $4,000
Professional installation: $3,000 to $5,000
Did you know? Air source heat pump split systems include a heat pump and an air handler or a gas furnace and an evaporator coil. Here are the potential equipment and installation costs to expect:
Heat pump unit costs: Here are the three cost tiers based on efficiency and performance, factors explored in detail below:
Basic heat pumps: $1,250-$2,500
Better heat pumps: $1,850-$3,000
Best heat pumps: $2,750-$4,800
Air handler unit costs: Split system heat pumps are usually paired with an air handler, but many work with a gas furnace, too. Here are the current air handler costs in two basic grades:
Basic air handlers and coil: $550-$1,000
Better air handlers and coil: $800-$1,750
Professional Installation Costs:
Your total cost installed will depend on the size of the unit, since the larger it is, the more refrigerant is needed. The overall complexity of the installation and whether an air handler is also being installed will significantly impact the total cost.
Heat pump installation, no air handler: $1,200-$2,000
Heat pump and air handler installation: $2,000-$3,500
Pro Tip: Make sure your contractor gets a building permit from the local building department to install your new heat pump. The permit includes a mechanical inspection to ensure the unit is properly installed.
Furnaces remain the most common way for homeowners in North America to heat their homes. This buying guide has all the research and information needed to help you understand your gas furnace options, so you can make a buying decision you’ll be happy with for the next 15-20 years.
The focus is on gas furnaces, since most furnaces are fueled by natural gas (NG) or, with a simple gas valve change, liquid propane (LP). However, for comparison, we also briefly discuss oil furnaces.
New Gas Furnace Installation Cost
On average, you can expect to pay between $3,500 and $5,500 to install a mid-range gas furnace in a typical house. With replacements, the removal of the old furnace will add an additional $500 to the cost of installation.
When efficiency, size and performance are factored into the equation, expect the following unit pricing tears:
Basic: $750 to $1,550
Better: $1,100 to $2,350
Best: $1,850 to $2,900
Furnace installation costs are based on the complexity of the furnace, sheet metal work required to connect it to the existing ductwork, and how difficult it is to access the installation location such as a crawlspace or attic. Expect estimates for the installation work in these ranges:
If you are in an exploratory mode and wondering if a new furnace is the right move, here are the top seven reasons to buy a new furnace:
Repair costs on an existing furnace are 50% or more of the cost of a new furnace (33% for a furnace 12-15 years old; 25% of a furnace that is 15+)
You’re staying put – the longer you plan to live in your current home, the more it makes sense to put the money into new equipment (and conversely, if moving soon, repairing the furnace might make more sense)
It’s a preemptive move – your furnace is running, but you don’t know for how long due to age and/or past repair issues (worth considering where winters are harsh!)
Your gas bills are rising because the furnace is losing efficiency due to age (though you might want to have it cleaned and maintained to see if it significantly improves efficiency before deciding whether to replace it)
You want to improve efficiency
You want to upgrade climate control
You’ve built a home or addition that needs heating
Furnace repair vs. replacement:
Some of you may have heard from an HVAC contractor that it is time for a new furnace, and perhaps you think the contractor is trying to sell you something you might not need.
Skepticism is healthy in the repair vs. replace discussion when it is informed skepticism. Here’s a secret: HVAC contractors often make more money with a both/and approach. Repair it now; replace it later.
Charlie Greer is a seasoned HVAC contractor who owns a website called HVAC Profit Boosters with the motto, “Helping plumbing, HVAC, and electrical contractors become millionaires every day.” That tells you whose side he’s on. Speaking to HVAC contractors, Greer says:
Repair vs. Replace scenarios are tricky, because, once you bring up the topic of replacing the customer’s equipment, you stand the risk of the customer deciding to get bids, meaning that you could wind up getting neither the repair nor the replacement sale. In the long run, you make more money when they (homeowners) opt for the repair anyway. You get one repair now, possibly a few more down the road, then a higher price (due to inflation) when they ultimately replace it in the future.
Greer’s advice might be great for HVAC contractors, but not for homeowners. The bottom line is that if an HVAC contractor recommends replacing your furnace rather than repairing it, the person might be giving you sound advice, especially if the rationale involves some of the reasons from the above list.
Pro Tip: Make sure your HVAC contractor pulls a permit to install the new furnace, and that the job is properly inspected following the installation.