3 Features That Increase The Price

What features make heat pumps cost more? There are several that can significantly increase the cost of the system, though none of them are essential. Here are the 3 heat pump features that may increase the price.

The Use of a Variable Speed Blower with the System

If you choose an air handler with a variable speed blower, it can increase the cost by 15% to 20%. Two-stage and modulating heat pumps require the use of a variable speed blower in order to achieve the climate advantages the heat pump offers. For the extra expense of a variable speed air handler, you’ll enjoy more gentle heating and cooling with fewer temperature fluctuations. You’ll notice better balance throughout your home, and more humidity will be removed during each cooling cycle. Many homeowners consider it a benefit worth paying extra for.

The Higher the SEER Rating the More Expensive the Heat Pump Will Be

SEER rating is like gas mileage. It measures how efficiently the unit uses electricity while heating and cooling. The higher the SEER rating, or seasonal energy efficiency rating, the more efficient the unit is. Currently, the least efficient heat pumps are in the 13-14 SEER range while the most efficient have SEER ratings in the low to mid 20s. All else being equal, the cost of the units increase by 5% to 15% for each additional SEER point. A 20 SEER heat pump can easily cost 50% to 100% more than a 13 SEER model.

The advantage of a higher SEER rating is that the unit will use less electricity. Your heating and cooling bills can be lower by 50% or more. In warm climates, you may recoup the cost of a more efficient heat pump in just 2-5 years. Many homeowners choose higher efficiency models because they also cut down on greenhouse gas production, so are easier on the environment.

Some Brands of Heat Pump Cost More

The most popular heat pump brands often cost more. On average, Trane, Carrier, Lennox, Maytag, American Standard and a few others cost more throughout their product lineup than brands like Goodman, Amana, Coleman and Payne. A 2-stage, 16 SEER Carrier heat pump may cost 50% more than a 2-stage, 16 SEER Goodman, for example.

Some of the additional cost is simply the reputation that Carrier and other popular brands have, and the expense of their advertising budgets. However, a large part of the higher cost is also due to the high-quality parts the top brands use as well as the good service record most of them have.

Low Cost Heat Pumps

You can save money by purchasing a relatively inexpensive heat pump. Keep in mind that in very warm climates, an inefficient heat pump will lead to significantly higher utility bills. A single-stage heat pump with a single-speed blower won’t produce as comfortable a climate. And you may not get the top quality you do with the most expensive brands. One or more of these may be a trade-off you’re willing to make in order to cut down on the cost of the heat pump system you buy.

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