Do Heat Pumps Save You Money?

The cost to install and run different kinds of heat pumps varies quite a bit. Geothermal heat pumps are more expensive to install than air-source heat pumps, as much as three times as much, because ground-source pumps require you to dig down to a heat source and involve more complex heat transfer systems. That can get a little pricey depending on the terrain on your property. Expect to pay as much as $5,000 to $7,500 for a ground-source heat pump system. Air-source heat pumps can be found for much cheaper, averaging around $1,500 to $4,000, because the units tend to be simpler, and installation is easier.

The cost required to run and repair a heat pump varies with the type of system. It's less expensive to run a ground-source heat pump because the ground and water have a relatively constant temperature that allows the heat pump to operate efficiently. Ground-source systems also have the advantage of not being exposed to the outdoor weather, which prevents a lot of wear and tear. On the downside, they can be costly to repair if you need to access an underground portion of the system. Air-source systems are easy to access and service, but they may need more regular maintenance because they're exposed to the elements. Also, air-source heat pumps may use more supplemental energy to run, especially in colder climates, and this will cost you more on your utility bill.

Heat pumps may save you anywhere between 30 and 40 percent or more on your utility bill, but neglect will reduce a heat pump's efficiency over time [source: EERE]. It's important to factor in the climate where you'll be using the heat pump to make sure you select a system that can run efficiently in your area. In the end, heat pumps can save you a lot of money on utilities if you're a good candidate and you install the right kind of pump for your area.

Read on to find out the cost of running and repairing your new heat pump.