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How Much Does it Cost to Install a Heat Pump in Atlanta, GA

Posted 12-01-16 in Heating

Thinking about investing in a heat pump? If so, you’re on the right track for comfort and savings. According to Georgia Power, a heat pump can save you up to $300 annually on heating and cooling costs.

But you’re probably wondering what kind of upfront cost you’ll be paying for the installation, right?

Well, an air-source heat pump installation in Atlanta can cost around $8,000, so it's important to consider what goes into your price. 

3 factors that affect the price of your heat pump installation include:

  • The contractor you hire
  • The unit itself
  • Any tax credits & rebates you qualify for

Let’s take a closer look at each of those factors.

Want to skip the details and get a professional estimate on your heat pump installation? Just contact us, we offer fair pricing without all the hidden fees.

Factor #1: The HVAC contractor you hire

What you need to know: Higher quality contractors come with higher prices. But don’t skimp on who you hire. Choosing a good contractor will prevent you from having to pay for expensive repairs/replacements later on as a result of a sloppy installation.

Different contractors will offer different prices for the same installation job. It’s the same concept as getting your car fixed. You’ll get different prices depending on which shop you choose, right?

So what’s with the varying prices? Well, it all comes down to experience and skill. You wouldn’t pay rock bottom prices for a sketchy, inexperienced tech to fix your car, would you? You’d probably rather cough up the extra money for a reliable tech who will fix your car correctly (the first time). 

The same applies to your home’s HVAC system. We suggest you get quotes from various contractors and make your choice based off these qualifications:

Factor #2: The unit itself

Five factors that affect the cost of your heat pump unit include the:

  • Size
  • Brand
  • Type of system 
  • Sound level
  • SEER & HSPF ratings

Let’s take a closer look at how each of these factor affect the price.

Size

What you need to know: The larger the size, the more expensive the unit.

Heat pumps are sized the same way air conditioners are: in “tonnage” (or tons). For the most part, residential heat pump sizes range from 1 to 5 tons. 

So, what does that mean? Well, the tonnage refers to how much heat your heat pump can transfer in an hour (remember that in the summer your heat pump transfers heat outdoors and in the winter it transfers heat indoors).The larger the tonnage, the more heat the unit can transfer in an hour.

How do you know what size you need? That’s one of the things you pay your contractor for. Your contractor should perform a Manual J calculation to size your unit. The size your home needs is determined by a handful of factors (such as square footage, amount of windows, insulation levels, etc.).

Tip: Getting the correct size unit is super important and will save you loads of money in the long run, so make sure your contractor performs this calculation carefully!

Brand

What you need to know: Popular brands are more expensive. But don’t feel obligated to pick a big brand. The actual brand has less to do with your comfort than the contractor who installs the unit.

Just like clothing, the brand you buy has a lot to do with the price of the unit. But other than peace of mind from buying with a reputable company, there isn’t much justification in buying a very expensive brand vs. a lesser known brand.

Tip: Spend more time and money on your contractor instead of the brand of your unit.

Type of system

What you need to know: Split system heat pumps cost more to install than a packaged system. But packaged systems usually have lower energy efficiency ratings, meaning they result in higher monthly heating costs.

Two types of heat pump systems include: 

  1. Split systems
  2. Packaged systems

A split system is the more traditional HVAC setup, with an outdoor unit connected to an indoor unit (hence the term “split”). Because there are two units to install, labor costs are higher for a split system installation. 

Split Sytem Heat Pump
A traditional heat pump split system.
Source

One variation of the split system is a mini-split or “ductless” system. This is basically a smaller version of the split system that doesn’t use ductwork. Instead, the outdoor unit feeds conditioned air to an indoor unit that delivers it directly to the room or area it serves. This is a great option for homes that don’t already have ductwork installed.

Ductless Mini-Split Heat Pump
Mini split or “ductless” heat pumps system.
Source

A packaged system, however, has the compressor, evaporator and condenser all housed inside one outdoor unit. These systems cost less to install because there’s only one unit to set up. Packaged systems work best for houses that don’t have enough room to house an indoor unit (such as mobile homes or apartments).

Heat Pump Packaged System
A heat pump packaged system.
Source

Sound level

What you need to know: Units that have lower noise levels (due to noise-reduction features) are generally more expensive.

If you’re shopping around for packaged heat pump units, always compare the noise levels offered by various manufacturers. The larger the unit, the more noise it will produce. Heat pump noise is measured in decibels (db) and usually fall between 54 db to over 80 db. 

To give you a frame of reference of how loud 54 vs 80 decibels is, check out this chart:

Sound level chart
Source

Tip: Don’t overlook the noise level of a heat pump. Heat pumps run year-round so if you get a particularly noisy outdoor unit, it can be a distraction to you and your neighbors.

SEER & HSPF ratings

What you need to know: The higher the SEER and HSPF of the unit, the more expensive it is but the more money you save on monthly heating/cooling costs.

SEER and HSPF ratings on a heat pump
The SEER rating of a heat pump (top) and the HSPF (bottom) can be found on the large yellow EnergyGuide label.
Source

Since a heat pump can work in reverse to provide both heating and cooling, each unit comes with a specific SEER and HSPF rating. So what do each one of those ratings tell us?

Well, the SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) of a heat pump basically measures the cooling ability of your unit against how much energy it consumes to provide that much cooling. SEER ratings for heat pumps can be anywhere from 13 to 25 and up. The higher the SEER rating, the more efficient your unit is during cooling mode.

Related: 14 SEER vs 17 SEER: Is the Difference in Price Worth the Extra Efficiency?

The HSPF (Heating Season Performance Factor) compares how much heat energy your unit provides compared to how much energy it consumes. The HSPF of a heat pump can be anywhere from 7.7 to 13. Getting a higher HSPF means your unit can produce higher amounts of heat energy using less energy.

Factor #3: Tax credits and rebates

What you need to know: The more tax credits and rebates you qualify for, the more you can lower the price of your heat pump installation. 

Because heat pumps are so energy efficient, many power companies offer special tax credits or rebates for homeowners who install one in their home. 

For example, Georgia Power offers the following rebates:

  • $550 for homeowners who are converting from a natural gas furnace
  • $250 for homeowners who are replacing an existing heat pump or electric furnace

Tip: Check with your contractor for qualifying credits and rebates.

Need a quote for your Atlanta heat pump installation?

If you live in the metro Atlanta area and need an estimate on your heat pump installation, just contact us today.

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