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Heat Pump Replacement Cost

If you are planning to upgrade or replace your long used heat pump, it is but natural for you to look for an estimate of the heat pump replacement cost. You cannot expect to get a new heat pump at the same price as the old one which you bought five or six years ago. Technology keeps improving and prices almost always keep going higher. Heat pumps are one of the most efficient heating appliances that save considerable amount of energy. Their USP lies in the fact they are more efficient than conventional heating systems because they move heat around, rather than generate it!

Let us analyze what one would expect the cost of heat pump replacement to be. Before that, let us see what the different types of heat pumps available are and what are the things you need to look out for while choosing a replacement.

About Heat Pumps

Heat pumps are machines that transport heat from one place to another through mechanical work. By mechanism, the types of heat pumps are of two types: absorption heat pumps and compression heat pumps. By source of heat transmission, heat pumps can be classified as air source heat pumps and geothermal heat pumps. The air source type of heat pump extracts heat from the surrounding air, while the geothermal heat pump derives heat from the ground (not to be confused with geothermal heat). Here, geothermal heat source means the ground is heated by incident solar rays. Some types of heat pumps even have water bodies as heat sources.

Choosing a Heat Pump Replacement

While buying a new heat pump, you must choose between either the air source heat pumps and the geothermal source heat pumps. The important parameter to consider while buying a heat pump is that of ‘Coefficient of Performance (COP)’. It is a ratio of the useful heat movement to the amount of mechanical work put into its working. The most widely used heater pump types are air source heat pumps, which generally provide a COP of 3 or 4. This is quite high compared to the COP rating of conventional heating systems like electrical resistance heaters, which is around 1.

Although heat pumps can also be used in reverse mode as a cooler, its efficiency is a lot less in cooling modes. The cooling efficiency is measured by EER (Energy Efficiency Ratio), which is the ratio of cooling capacity to the electrical energy input. The EER is low compared to other appliances, as heat naturally flows from hotter to colder regions but the reverse flow requires a lot more mechanical work. These machines are best suited for regions which have climates that necessitate moderate heating and cooling.

Since you are thinking of replacing a heat pump, you already have an idea about how much a heat pump can reduce the energy costs. Let us analyze heat pump replacement cost in the following section.

Cost of Heat Pump Replacement

First let us talk about the heat pump replacement cost of an air source type device. The cost to install a small air source heat pump with a capacity to heat up a single room can range from $500 to $1500. These are generally through the wall units installed in small rooms like dormitories. However, if you are planning to install a heat pump for the whole house, the cost is a lot higher due to the new duct work that you will have to get installed. These types come in two pieces with one piece placed outside and one inside, connected by duct work. For a typical home, an air source heat pump of 3 tons capacity ranges from $4,500 to $6,000. The price will increase with every additional indoor unit that you install.

Since you are looking for a replacement, you must already have installed duct work in your house. In that case, a standard small split type electric air source heat pump installation can cost you about $2,000 to $5,000. You can also opt for a dual fuel powered air source heat pump (which uses natural gas as alternative heating source) installation that will cost you about $6,000 to $10,000. The costliest alternative is the geothermal heat pump that requires the set up of underground pipes. Depending on the size of unit that you set up, a geothermal heat pump replacement cost can run as high as $11,000 to $26,000.