If you are planning to supplant or supplement your existing heating system, with a heat pump, you will need a cost estimate. Read to know the amount of money you would have to shell out for this new heating mechanism.
Why Opt For Them
The USP of heat pumps lies in the fact that they are more efficient than conventional heating systems because they move heat around, rather than generate it. Its working is exactly reverse of an air conditioner’s.
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 replacement cost. You cannot expect to get a new 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 some of the most efficient heating appliances, that save a considerable amount of energy.
Let us analyze what one would expect the cost of pump replacement to be. Before that, let us see what are the different types of pumps available and what are the things you need to look out for, while choosing a replacement. This will help you understand the cost involved.
Heat pumps are machines that transport heat from one place to another through mechanical work. Differentiated by mechanism, there are two types, which include absorption and compression pumps. By source of heat transmission, these pumps can be classified as air source and land source or geothermal pumps. The air source type extracts heat from the surrounding air, while the geothermal pump derives heat from the ground (not to be confused with geothermal heat). Here, geothermal heat source means the ground, heated by incident solar rays. Some types of pumps even have water bodies as heat sources. Depending on the type of pump and heat source used, the price varies considerably.
While buying a new one, you have to choose between air source and geothermal source heat pumps. The important parameter to consider while buying a pump is the ‘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 types are air source 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 coolers, their efficiency is a lot less, in cooling mode. 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 a climate, that necessitates moderate heating and cooling. Look for a unit with a high Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) rating, which guarantees higher efficiency.
The cost to install a small air source heat pump, with a capacity to heat up a single room, can range from USD 500 to USD 1500. Generally, these are through-the-wall units, installed in small rooms like dormitories.
However, if you are planning to install a pump for the whole house, the cost is a lot higher due to the new duct work that will have to be installed. These types come in two pieces, with one piece placed outside and one inside. For a typical home, air source heat pump installation cost, ranges from USD 1500 to USD 2900 in 2014. This cost is inclusive of the labor charges involved for the installation, including material cost. The price will increase, with every additional indoor unit that you install. So figure out the total number of units you will need, before you look for a cost estimate. The cost may fluctuate substantially, depending on local labor charges, equipment cost, and brand.
You can also opt for a dual fuel powered air source heat pump installation (which uses natural gas as an alternative heating source), that will cost you about USD 6,000 to USD 10,000. The costliest alternative is the geothermal or ground source heat pump, that requires the setup of underground pipes. Depending on the size of unit that you set up, the replacement cost, in this case, can run as high as USD 11,000 to USD 26,000.
The cost can certainly be recovered over a period of time, as it substantially reduces your heating bills. Within a few years, the heat pump will have paid for itself. Opting for appliances like these pumps is taking a step towards a greener tomorrow.