How Much Does it Cost to Install a Heat Pump in San Antonio?

August 12, 2019
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Considering a heat pump for your San Antonio home?

If so, the first question on your mind is probably “How much will a heat pump cost me?”

The cost to install a heat pump in San Antonio ranges from $6,000 to $18,000, with most homeowners paying around $11,000 on average.

We know—that’s a really big price range.

The reason the price can vary is that the cost to install a heat pump depends on several factors, including:

  • The size of the heat pump
  • The heat pump efficiency
  • The features you add
  • The warranty you choose
  • The contractor you hire for the installation

In this blog, we’ll go into more detail about each of these factors to give you a better idea of what you can expect to pay for your new heat pump. Want to know exactly how much it will cost you to install a new heat pump? We can give you a FREE, in-home quote.

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The bottom line: The larger the heat pump, the more expensive the system will be.

Heat pumps are sized according to their tonnage, which is a reflection of how much heat/cool air the unit can provide in an hour. Most residential heat pumps range from 1 to 5 tons.

Now that you know a little bit about how heat pump size is measured, you should know that you don’t get to choose the size of your heat pump.

Instead, a professional will need to perform a “load calculation” to help you find the right size for your home. Think of heat pump size like shoe size: you want the right shoe size or else you won’t be comfortable. The same idea applies to a heat pump.

A heat pump that’s too big will heat/cool your home really fast and then shut off, leaving you with more hot and cold spots throughout your home. On the other hand, a heat pump that’s too small will run non-stop trying to heat/cool your home, which leads to higher energy bills and more frequent repairs. To avoid both of those issues, you’ll want to have a professional help you find the right size heat pump for your home.

When a professional performs a load calculation, they look at factors such as:

  • The size and shape of your home
  • How many windows and doors you have
  • Local climate
  • How many trees surround your house
  • Your lifestyle and temperature preferences
  • And much more

Taking all these factors into consideration is complex, but a licensed company and design consultant will have the tools and know-how to do it.

The more energy-efficient the heat pump, the more expensive the system will be.

Heat pumps have 2 different efficiency ratings:

  • SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating)
  • HSPF (Heating Seasonal Performance Factor)

A heat pump’s SEER rating tells you how much cooling the unit provides compared to the amount of electricity it consumes. The higher the SEER rating, the less electricity the heat pump will use, making it more efficient. However, while a higher-SEER heat pump will cut down your electric bill, it will also be more expensive upfront.

Heat pumps can range from 13 to 26 SEER. The required minimum SEER for Texas is 14, but we recommend a 16+ SEER AC in Texas because you’ll:

  • Pay less in energy bills
  • Get better, more even cooling (what you want in Texas summers)

Similar to SEER, a heat pump’s HSPF rating tells you how much heat the unit provides compared to the amount of electricity it consumes. The higher the HSPF rating, the more efficient the heat pump (and the more expensive it will be).

For residential heat pumps, the HSPF rating ranges from 8.2 to 12.5+. We generally recommend going with a heat pump that has an 8.2 rating because it is the federal minimum requirement for our area. Since San Antonio winters are not very cold, you don’t really need to go higher than that.

The more advanced features you add to your heat pump, the more expensive it will be.

Examples of advanced features include:

  • Variable-speed blower motor or compressor
  • A smart thermostat
  • Better-quality air filters
  • Noise-reducing fan blades
  • Air quality improvements (UV light, dehumidifier)

Most heat pumps come with a warranty from the manufacturer, but the length and coverage vary from brand to brand (most last anywhere from 5 to 10 years).

You’ll pay more for a warranty with longer and more comprehensive coverage. However, paying for an extended warranty up front could actually save you money down the road when you face expensive repairs.

In addition to the manufacturer’s warranty (also called a “parts warranty”), the HVAC contractor who installs your new heat pump will typically offer a labor warranty. This warranty includes some kind of labor guarantee, in case you have an installation issue not covered in the manufacturer's warranty. (We include a 1-year labor warranty on all heat pumps we install.)

More experienced contractors generally charge more for their installation services.

But don’t let a higher price tag keep you from hiring a good company. An experienced contractor who does high-quality work will install your heat pump correctly, which will save you money in the long run.

Not sure how to find a high-quality heat pump installer? Before you hire one, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is the contractor licensed and insured? (In case anything goes wrong during the installation.)
  • Do they have good online reviews? Look at sites like Better Business Bureau, Google and Yelp.
  • Do they give you upfront prices in writing? If so, that means they will stick to their original quoted price, and won’t try to upsell you on features you don’t need or want.
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