Heat pumps are an investment that will last for years. While purchasing and installing a heat pump can cost between $4,500 and $12,500, they’re a popular choice because they’re affordable to maintain and have a variety of features. Still, it’s important to be informed about heat pumps before purchasing one.
This article will touch on the important cost factors to help you better understand the choices on the market.
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Heat Pump Size
Heat pumps aren’t sized by their physical dimensions but by their capabilities. The standard unit used when sizing a heat pump is tonnage, or “tons of refrigeration,” which is the amount of heat the heat pump can remove from the home in an hour. Most heat pumps used in private households are between 1.5 ton to 5 ton, and the larger the heat pump, the more the system will cost.
However, this doesn’t mean that bigger is better. If your heat pump is too small for your home, it will never quite reach the temperature you prefer and will have to run incessantly at maximum capacity. This makes your utility bill higher. Don’t just take the largest model, as this will lead to short cycling. When a system short cycles, it quickly reaches the desired temperature and then turns off, only to be forced to turn on again a short time later to repeat the process. Continually operating at max capacity or turning on and off constantly can shorten your heat pump’s lifespan.
Having a professional determine the size of heat pump you need and purchasing an appropriate size will save money in the long term on energy bills and repairs.
Heat Pump SEER Rating
Heat pump cooling efficiency is measured by its Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) rating. All heat pumps sold in Oklahoma must have a SEER rating of at least 14.3, but heat pumps in residential homes can have a SEER rating of up to 20 or more.
While a higher SEER rating means a higher initial purchase cost, it also means that the system needs less energy to achieve the same temperature than a system with a lower SEER rating. A system with a low rating may also not achieve your preferred temperature at all, particularly in a larger home. The more efficient the heat pump is, the more money you save on utility bills over time, and the higher quality means you’ll also spend less on regular repairs.
Having the government-required SEER rating of 14.3 doesn’t mean that a heat pump is highly efficient. Mid-range heat pumps will have a rating of around 16-18, while high-efficiency heat pumps will be over 20.
Additional Comfort Features
Functionality isn’t the only thing to consider when deciding how much you can spend, or want to spend, on your heat pump. While additional features or luxury upgrades will make your heat pump cost more, they may also extend its lifespan or make life easier for you.
These are some of the features available for heat pumps:
- Desuperheater: A desuperheater recovers waste heat from the cooling mode and uses it to heat water more than twice as efficiently as an electric water heater.
- Smart thermostat: Using a smart thermostat such as Nest gives you more control over the temperature and can reduce your energy bill.
- Two-speed compressors: Having two-speed compressors means the heat pump doesn’t have to operate at full capacity at all times, which reduces stress on the system and minimizes the energy needed to operate.
- Variable-speed or dual-speed motors: These motors keep the air moving in the fans, reducing cool drafts and increasing savings.
Potential Ductwork Modifications
If you’re shopping for a replacement heat pump, you most likely have a system of existing ductwork to connect it to, but it is recommended to update or modify the ductwork. This increases the installation cost of the heat pump, but it also decreases long-term savings. Ductwork leaking or not distributing heat efficiently can increase energy costs over time and hinder the heat pump from achieving the desired temperature.
Consider these problems which can occur with ductwork:
- Not recently cleaned
- Not properly sized
- Not insulated
- Not installed correctly
Your contractor can advise if these issues exist in your ductwork and can assist with fixing them. Having these issues corrected can extend the lifespan of your heat pump and reduce your energy bill.
Heat pumps come with a standard warranty, but make sure you read the fine print, or you may accidentally void the warranty or end up with one that doesn’t cover as much as it should. You can also purchase an extended warranty to cover more or extend the coverage period.
The two types of heat pump warranties are:
- Parts warranty: Usually provided by the manufacturer, this warranty covers broken or faulty parts.
- Labor warranty: This warranty is from the contractor who installs the heat pump and covers the cost of labor or service fees.
The Contractor You Hire
While there are many contractors on the market with a wide variety of costs, it is important to choose an experienced, trustworthy contractor to ensure that your installation is done correctly the first time. When searching for a contractor, consider asking these questions or searching for the answers on their website.
- Are they fully licensed and insured?
- Do they provide labor warranties or service guarantees?
- How much experience do their technicians have?
- What do previous customers say in online reviews?
Review their pricing as well, and make sure it is in line with market rates. Contractors with very high reviews or who are in high demand may cost more, while a very low price could indicate low quality.
Need A Heat Pump Installed?
If you need a heat pump installation in Oklahoma, contact Prudhom Heating & Air Conditioning today! With almost 20 years of experience and a five-star rating on Google, Prudhom puts its customers first and offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee. You also receive a 10-year parts warranty and a 1-year labor warranty.
Get a free estimate with flat-rate pricing and professional, prompt, and friendly service.