• Seth Newsome

How Much Does it Cost to Replace a Heat Pump?

Updated: Feb 5, 2019

When the time comes, buying a new air conditioner or heat pump can make any homeowner cringe. Unless you've got a few (thousand) dollars in savings, the cost to replace a heat pump can set you back a great deal. If you're here, then you're already thinking about a new heat pump system, but how much does it cost to replace a heat pump? What are the most economical options and what SEER rating should you shoot for? Today we'll answer all of you heat pump replacement cost questions!


Heat Pump Replacement Cost


Replacing a heat pump or any major part of your air conditioning or central heat and air system will likely be one of the most expensive repairs you'll have as a homeowner. The cost to replace a heat pump, however, is largely dependent on a number of factors. First and foremost bear in mind that in HVAC, as in most trades, you get every penny of what you pay for.


Skimping on your heat pump replacement to get the cheapest price will cost you big time in the long run. Cheap installation can often mean a compromise in installation quality therefore costing you more in repairs over the lifetime of your heat pump. With that said, you're better off paying for the best installation crew even if it means a higher price tag up front.


In the end, most heat pump installers and HVAC companies generally pay the same price for equipment, so whatever price differences exist among installers is largely one of quality. Enough of that, though, because you're here to decipher what exactly contributes to the cost of your heat pump system and get the scoop on how much a heat pump replacement costs, so let's dig a little deeper.


SEER Rating


In one of our first blog posts, we answered the question, "What is SEER Rating and What Does it Mean?" If you haven't read it yet, then I highly recommend skimming through it to bring you up to speed. I'll spare you some of the reading by saying that SEER rating is essentially the number we use to convey the efficiency of an HVAC system to customers. In short, the higher the SEER rating, the more efficient your system will be.

SEER rating is essentially the number we use to convey the efficiency of an HVAC system to customers. In short, the higher the SEER rating, the more efficient your system will be.

But how does SEER rating affect your heat pump replacement cost? Well, to make a short story long, the higher a SEER rating the more moving parts in a system. The more moving parts means higher costs. The good news about about purchasing a higher SEER-rated system is that you will save significantly on utilities over the lifetime of your equipment.


Justifying the cost of high efficiency equipment, though, can be difficult to do especially when you can't (with 100% certainty) pin down exactly how much you spend on air conditioning. One way to do that is through financing, which we'll get to later.


'Tis the Season


One thing that may plague you as a homeowner is that contractors may have the tendency to raise prices during the busiest parts of the year. In Texas, naturally, that busy season starts in May and lasts through August, so you can expect that if there are any price hikes they will be during those months. Therefore, purchasing a heat pump during the slower season may save you some money.


Seasonal selling isn't new nor is it wrong, but it's something you should be aware of. After all, like most industries, HVAC and in-home comfort revolve around the simple economics of supply and demand. Higher temperatures lead to higher demand which leads to higher prices. Fortunately for you, Stephenville Heat and Air doesn't raise prices simply because the mercury rises so you're safe from that sort of buying and selling behavior.


Be aware, though of seedy A/C salesman who will try to pull the wool over your eyes just because you're desperate for a functional heater or air conditioner. Understand that this tactic exists, but to our knowledge is not widespread in the Stephenville area. In larger, more saturated markets this is definitely something to look out for and can increase the cost of replacing your heat pump system.


Heat Pumps are Just More Expensive


Let's get down to the meat of it... Heat pumps are just more expensive than conventional systems such as electric-only or gas heat systems. We address some of the differences between a heat pump and conventional heat in our "What is a Heat Pump" blog post and expose some of the downfalls to purchasing a heat pump.


Because heat pumps have more moving parts and are generally more expensive to manufacture, those costs are passed on to you the consumer. Now, just because they're more expensive doesn't mean you should shy away from replacing your existing heat pump with a new heat pump. As a matter of fact, downgrading from a heat pump to an electric furnace will cost you more in electricity during the winter months as electric-only heat is far less energy efficient.

Because heat pumps have more moving parts and are generally more expensive to manufacture, those costs are passed on to you the consumer.

All of that to say, if you already have a heat pump then replace it with a heat pump. There's no sense in taking a step backwards in efficiency just to save some money on your upfront costs. You'll save plenty on energy over the lifetime of your system to justify any differences.


Brands Affect Prices


In researching some information for this post, I stumbled across this infographic which displays the relative cost of each air conditioner and heat pump manufacturer against all of the others. And if you actually click that link and look at the differences in costs among those equipment manufacturers (note: costs are uninstalled), then you'll see that there are some marked differences from manufacturer to manufacturer.


I know, as a consumer you're probably thinking, "A heat pump is a heat pump, I'm just paying for the [brand, marketing, logo, blah, blah, blah]." Which is somewhat true. But you're also paying for engineering, quality assurance, better components, more reliable components, more technician training, and potentially a product actually manufactured in America in places like Vidalia, Georgia and Tyler, Texas.


All of that to say, getting cheaper equipment won't make you happier as a homeowner. In fact, you'll likely make up the difference in equipment costs with repair costs over the lifetime of your heat pump. Remember, you get what you pay for (see above)!


Get a Heat Pump Replacement that Works for You!


Now that you know what costs go into replacing a heat pump, then you can make a more informed decision about what to buy and how much you want to spend on your indoor comfort. With so many options available from so many manufacturers, it can be difficult to choose what's right for you.


For that reason, we at Stephenville Heat and Air value taking the time to help our customers choose an air conditioner or heat pump that's right for them and help find flexible payment options to suit your individual needs. Buying a heat pump is a big deal and paying for it may very well be something you're not ready for which is why we offer flexible residential financing solutions to help you pay for the system you want not the system you need.


To get started, give us a call to speak to a qualified installer or service technician or get a quote about your heat pump replacement or new project. You can reach us at 254-965-4644!