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What factors affect the cost of installing an air source heat pump?

The total installation cost for heat pump systems depends on the type of system (central vs. ductless), system size, quality of equipment, the complexity of the installation, other services included, and any extras that you may want to add.

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1. Size and structure of your system

Your installation cost will depend on the size of the area that you want to heat and cool as well as how your home is laid out. For ductless systems, higher costs are driven by the use of more internal heads and possibly the use of equipment that produces a higher level of BTUs per unit.

Installation costs depend on the size of the area to be heated and cooled and the layout of your home. For ductless systems, the higher cost is due to the use of more internal heads and possibly the use of equipment that produces a higher BTU per unit.
For example, if your project is a small one where only a few rooms will be heated and cooled with ductless units (mini-splits), the overall size of the system and therefore the cost will be small. If you plan to heat and cool your entire home with ductless equipment, a much larger system will be needed. For central heat pump systems, installation costs depend primarily on the size of the total living space the system will heat and cool, the number of floors in your home, and the condition of existing ductwork (i.e., whether it can be reused or must be replaced before heat pumps are installed).

2. Quality and capacity of the equipment

When you upgrade your home’s air conditioning system, you have a choice of units – both in terms of the quality of the technology and the heating and cooling capacity. Some units are at the lower end of the quality scale, which may be due to the efficiency of the system and the reputation of the manufacturer. To measure quality, there are several ratings and metrics for air-source heat pumps, including:

1.Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF): measures the ability to efficiently heat an area

2.Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating (SEER): measures the ability to efficiently cool

3.Sound Rating: indicates how much noise it generates when operating

4.Rating Capacity for heating and cooling based on AHRI (Air Conditioning, Heating, & Refrigeration Institute) guidelines and certification: usually measured in BTUs per hour per watt (BTUs/hr/W)

5.ENERGY STAR rating: air-source heat pumps, like many other major appliances, can receive ENERGY STAR certification for energy efficiency

Generally, higher capacity devices cost more in these areas. The higher capacity usually means a higher price as well.

3. The installation complexity of heat pump

Installing ductless systems in any living space presents installers with the challenge of effectively designing your system, locating the indoor and outdoor units, and running the ductwork through the house to connect the components of your air-source heat pump system. Sometimes an attic or crawl space is easily accessible to run the lines, but in other cases, a much more complicated installation process is required. Second and third floor work may also require the use of specialised equipment, which can add additional costs.

As mentioned earlier, the cost of centralised systems does not usually vary that much because they are simply integrated into an existing distribution system. However, if adjustments to the duct system are required (this may also be the case when converting to another HVAC option such as forced air), the cost may increase significantly.

If your home is a historic building or you’ve previously added on or renovated, you may need to consider and plan for additional aspects, which will usually result in a higher price for your heat pump installation. Working with a trusted, experienced heat pump installer is the best way to understand the scope of your heat pump system and project. As with many major purchases, compare quotes and ask questions to better understand equipment recommendations and proposed sizing for your heat pump system.

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