How much does a new heat pump cost in Kansas City? It depends

You’re a savvy shopper.

You want to know the cost of a new heat pump for your Kansas home so you can get the best deal, right?

Well, we can’t give you an exact price because it depends.

But we can give you a broad price range. An installed heat pump in Kansas City, Kansas can cost on average $4,000 to $6,700+. The median cost being about $5,300.

Before we explain what factors impact that price, we want to clarify something real quick: When we say “heat pump” we mean:

  • A complete heat pump system, which includes both the outside unit and the indoor unit.
  • An air-source heat pump, NOT a geothermal heat pump, which is far more expensive.

OK, with that out of the way, the cost of a heat pump plus installation is determined by these factors:

  • Size of the heat pump
  • Energy efficiency of the heat pump
  • Labor cost

Let’s explore those cost factors in more detail.

Cost factor #1: Size of heat pump

What it is: ‘Size’ refers to the heat pump’s capacity to heat and cool your home. When we say ‘capacity’ we mean the max amount of heat the system can move over a certain amount of time.

Think of it like the size of a bucket: A larger bucket can move more water. Similarly, a larger heat pump can move more heat in and out of your home.

A larger heat pump is more expensive than a smaller one.

How it’s measured: 1-5 tons (1 is the smallest and least expensive, 5 is the largest and most expensive).

Why proper sizing is important: If the heat pump is too small it’ll struggle to heat and cool your home, meaning it’ll run constantly and run up your energy bills.

On the other hand, an over-sized heat pump can short cycle. Meaning the heat pump heats or cools your home too quickly, then turns off, then turns back on again shortly. This not only increases your energy bills, it wears down the system, lowering its lifespan. Think of short cycling like turning your car off and on every time you came to a stop light!

So, in this case, bigger isn’t better.

How to find the right sizeContact a heating technician for a free heat pump estimate. They should perform what’s called a “Manual J heat load calculation” to determine the right heat pump size.

This calculation takes several factors into account, including:

  • Size of the home (the biggest factor)
  • Number of windows
  • How shaded your roof, walls and home are
  • Layout (multiple levels, basement, etc.)
  • Where you have vaulted ceilings (if you do)
  • The quality of your home’s insulation
  • If your air ducts are sealed and insulated

Cost factor #2: Energy efficiency

What it is: Energy efficiency is the ‘MPG’ of your heat pump. More efficient systems cost more than lower efficiency ones.

How it’s measured: Heat pumps can both heat and cool, meaning they have 2 energy efficiency ratings:

  • SEER (cooling efficiency): Ranges from 13 to 20+
  • HSPF (heating efficiency): Ranges from 7.7 to 10+

Your heat pump technician can usually give you low-, medium- and high-efficiency options when you’re asking for estimates.

Here’s an example of a high-efficiency heat pump: York® Affinity™ YZH Heat Pump, which has a SEER of 18 and an HSPF of 10.

Why energy efficiency is important: Higher efficiency means more potential savings on your energy bills each month. We say “potential” because you’re the one in charge of the thermostat setting and keeping up with system maintenance.

Cost factor #3: Labor cost

What it is: Labor cost includes the cost to deliver and install the heat pump. Typically a high-quality installer will charge more than a low-quality one.

Of course, labor cost can widely vary depending on how the installer charges. For example, if the installer charges per hour and runs into an issue, your final cost could run higher than normal.

Why finding a good installer is important: A high-quality heat pump can work inefficiently when installed improperly. Also, some technicians do a poor job of finding the right heat pump size, which, as we’ve discussed, is vitally important to the system running efficiently.

To determine the size, some lazy contractors use a “rule of thumb,” like “Your home is X sq ft, therefore you need this size heat pump.” This method usually leads to an over-sized heat pump.

How to find a high-quality installer: Ask the right questions. The ACCA offers a list of basic questions you should ask any contractor:

  • How will you determine the size of my system?
  • Are your technicians NATE certified?
  • Do you offer continuing education to your employees?
  • Can you provide local references?
  • Do you offer a service agreement plan?
  • Are you licensed?

Here another great resource from ENERGY STAR: 10 Tips for Hiring a Heating and Cooling Contractor.

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