In Connecticut, heat pump installation costs range from $8,500 to $20,000, with an median cost of $10,000.
Ultimately, the price you’ll pay for a heat pump installation depends on:
The heat pump size
The heat pump efficiency
The heat pump’s features
Any additional warranties you purchase
The contractor you hire (and his/her level of experience)
In this blog, we discuss the factors that affect heat pump installation costs.
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Factor #1: Heat pump size
Heat pump size is measured in BTU output. The more BTUs you need to efficiently heat and cool your home, the more it will cost.
BTU (British Thermal Unit) output is a measurement of heat energy. In heating mode, BTU output refers to the amount of heat that the heat pump needs to add to the space; in cooling mode, it refers to the amount that needs to be removed.
You may also see heat pump sizes measured in “tonnage”. Tonnage is just a different way to express heat pump sizes. For example, a one-ton heat pump is rated at 12,000 BTU per hour. A two-ton unit would be rated at 24,000 BTU per hour. Residential heat pumps range from one to five tons.
To determine what size heat pump you need, an HVAC expert will calculate your home’s heat load.
A heat load calculation takes into account a wide variety of factors such as:
Your home’s insulation
The number of doors and windows in your home
The number of of people living in your home
Your home’s size
The direction your home faces
And many other factors...
The size heat pump you purchase should be based on a heat load calculation performed by a certified HVAC professional.
Beware that not all contractors perform this heat load calculation (and you definitely should only choose a professional who does perform one). Some contractors rely on “rule of thumb” calculations, such as looking at square footage only. If you rely on an estimate that isn’t based on all of the factors listed above, you run the risk of purchasing the wrong size heat pump for your home.
If you purchase a unit that is too small for your home, your heat pump will struggle to heat or cool your home, which will increase your utility bill and wear out your heat pump.
If you purchase a unit that is too big for your home, it will run in short cycles that will eventually damage the heat pump.
Factor #2: Heat pump efficiency
The more energy-efficient a heat pump, the higher its SEER/HSPF rating. The higher the heat pump’s SEER/HSPF rating, the higher your upfront costs. However, the higher the efficiency ratings, the more comfort it will provide and the lower your utility bill will be.
Heat pumps have two efficiency ratings:
SEER–stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio and measures the cooling efficiency. Heat pump SEER ratings range from 13 to 21.
HSPF–stands for Heating Seasonal Performance Factor and measures the heating efficiency. Heat pump HSPF ratings range from 8.2 to 14.
Keep in mind that, according to federal regulations, the minimum SEER/HSPF ratings for heat pumps in Connecticut must be 13/8.2 (as of 2020) but will increase to 14/8.8 in 2023.
Factor #3: Heat pump features
Heat pump features that affect your upfront cost include:
Compressor type––You have three options to choose from: single-stage, two-stage and variable-speed.
Single-stage compressors run at one speed and cost the least. Two-stage compressors run on high or low. Variable-speed compressors are designed to run at the exact speed required.
A variable-speed compressor offers the greatest amount of comfort, offers the lowest monthly energy bill and (of course) costs the most.
Blower motor type––You have three options to choose from: single-speed, multi-speed and variable-speed.
A single-speed blower motor has an on/off switch and costs the least. A multi-speed blower motor has several speeds between high and low.
Like a variable-speed compressor, a variable-speed blower motor runs at the exact speed required, offers the greatest amount of comfort, uses the least amount of energy and costs the most.
Back-up heating–Electrical heat resistance or gas heating.
You need to choose how you will heat your home when Connecticut temperatures are too low to heat your house with your heat pump.
While a heat pump’s built-in electrical heat resistance strips offer the lowest up-front cost, you will pay higher utility bills if you use them on a regular basis (electric resistance heating costs more than gas heating).
Installing a gas furnace will raise your initial cost considerably. However, the majority of Connecticut homeowners (90%) choose gas heat over electric because it provides greater comfort and lower utility bills.
Factor #4: Extended Warranty
Your heat pump will come with a manufacturer’s warranty and a labor warranty. For an additional cost, you can purchase an extended warranty that kicks in when these warranties expire.
An extended warranty can add an additional 10-25% to your heat pump installation cost and may require a service contract which will come with a monthly fee.
To help you make a decision about purchasing an extended warranty, let us explain all three warranties….
Manufacturer’s warranty––this is the standard warranty that covers your heat pump from certain defects (which are spelled out in the warranty) for 5 to 10 years after installation. The manufacturer’s warranty only covers the cost of parts that may need to be replaced due to manufacturer defects.
Labor warranty––Most contractors offer 6 to 12-month installation warranty which protects the homeowner from faulty installation. The labor warranty only covers the cost of labor that may be needed due to faulty installation.
Extended warranty––You may choose to purchase an extended warranty to cover parts and/or labor. Extended warranties for parts kick in when the manufacturer’s warranty expires (around 10 years after installation depending on the manufacturer). Extended warranties for labor kick in six months to a year after installation, depending on the contractor’s labor warranty.
Factor #5: Contractor experience
While you will pay more for an experienced installer, this is not an area you should cut costs. Why? Lesser-experienced contractors may charge less but their inexperience also means a higher risk of improper installation. And improper installation almost always results in higher energy bills, more frequent repairs, and a shortened system lifespan.
For your safety and peace of mind, we recommend that you hire a reputable heat pump installer who:
Is licensed, bonded, and insured––to protect your family and your wallet from the dangerous and costly situations resulting from improper installation, verify your contractor’s license with the state of Connecticut.
Is highly trained—Your technician should be regularly trained technically and on customer service.
Has a reputable service history––read Google and social media reviews and check your contractor’s rating on the BBB website. You should also verify how many installs they do a year. Less installs means less experience and less community trust.
Drug tests & background checks technicians—You should be able to trust the technician in your home.
Has written guarantees- You want to ensure the company you choose will honor any guarantee.
Need a heat pump installation estimate?
Get a free estimate from Aiello, the most customer-oriented home service company in Connecticut. We have 90+ years’ experience, over 1,000 5-star reviews, industry best warranties & guarantees and flexible financing. Contact us online for a free estimate or by phone at (855) 567-8563.