According to their type, installed prices vary from $2.000 dollars (ductless heat pumps) to dozens of thousands of dollars (geothermal heat pumps). And energy savings vary widely, too...
Below we draw some broad conclusions on these issues.
Ground source heat pumps
- Geothermal (ground-source) heat pumps are expensive; expect at least prices between $30.000 and $40.000;
- Tax credits (set up to expire in 2016, in the USA) can make geothermal heat pumps a lot more competitive, but do not expect them to drop below $20.000 or $30.000 after incentives;
- Payback periods are too long for average heating and cooling bills (first table at right); a geothermal heat pump only becomes really cost-competitive for buildings with very high heating and cooling requirements (third table at right).
The bottom line: t geothermal heat pumps are only cost-competitive for high heating and cooling requirements.
They do not make sense in energy efficient homes.
It’s difficult to justify the large investment required by geothermal heat pumps, except for large buildings and applications (condominiums, multi-family dwellings...).
Central Air source heat pumps
The prices of central air source heat pumps are a small fraction of those of geothermal heat pumps.
The equipment alone is relatively inexpensive, say $2.000-$4.000 per unit; but installed prices are a lot higher.
Details associated to the ducts – which should be much wider than those for furnaces - can increase the costs sharply.
Ductless air source heat pumps
The installed prices of ductless heat pumps are low when compared with other types: $2.000-$4.000 (or lower) for systems with 1-4 air handlers.
Ductless heat pumps are the most cost-competitive type of heat pumps, and the best choice for energy-efficient homes.