Ground Source Heat Pump Cost – The Ultimate Buying Guide

Ground source heat pumps, also called geothermal heat pumps, are your most efficient central HVAC option – and your most expensive one.

geothermal heat pump system
source: Energy.gov

And that leads to…

Geothermal’s Big Question: Is cutting energy use and operating cost every month by 15% to more than 60% compared with an air source heat pump worth the upfront cost of a geothermal heat pump system?

There is no universal “right answer” because each situation is unique. So, the information provided here will help you answer that question within your own context.

“15% to more than 60%”? Yes, when comparing the efficiency of traditional split system heat pumps to geothermal heat pumps. Air source units are available in SEER ratings of 14 to 26 SEER.

Ground source heat pumps are produced with efficiencies of 18 to 58 EER, which is equivalent to 20.5 to 67 SEER. For further comparison, mini split ductless heat pumps range in efficiency from about 16 to 42 SEER.

OK, with that groundwork done, let’s get to the details.

Cost Range

$14,000 to $42,000 for most systems. The most expensive can exceed $50,000, but that’s rare.

Geothermal heat pump cost varies widely – some would say wildly – because of your system options, which are outlined below.

The price of a complete, new system is $14,000 to $42,000 – that’s the “wild” range. Most homeowners pay closer to the middle of the normal range of $21,500 to $32,000 based on the system size and the type of loop system used. If your cost estimate is in the upper-$20,000s, it will be close to average.

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Top 10 Heat Pumps (Air Source) for 2022: Costs, Unit Pros & Cons

This buying guide starts with a list of the 2022 best heat pumps – these are air source, split system heat pumps rather than ductless mini split heat pumps.

Our price list followed by full product reviews gives you, the homeowner, the details you need to make an informed buying decision.

The guide concludes with an explanation of the differences between heat pumps and air conditioners, followed by a brief FAQ section.

The Best Air Source Heat Pumps

  1. Trane XV18
  2. Carrier Infinity 24
  3. Lennox XP25
  4. Carrier Infinity 18VS
  5. Payne 16 PH16NA
  6. Coleman HC19
  7. Trane XL18i
  8. Coleman CH6
  9. Heil Ion 16
  10. Armstrong Air 4SHP16LE

Where are Bryant, American Standard? Goodman?

Well, Bryant and Carrier are identical brands, so where you see Carrier, think Bryant too. And ditto for Trane and American Standard. The models from the identical brands are identified in the full reviews below.

Goodman? The brand has a huge market share. And it offers decent quality – about middle of the pack overall – with warranties that are above-average.

But what concerns us, and should concern homeowners, is the installation of Goodman equipment. “Anyone” with an HVAC and refrigerant license can install a Goodman.

There isn’t the same quality control as you get with the top brands on this list. And hiring an inexperienced or poor-quality contractor can lead to choosing the wrong size equipment and faulty installation. If done right – great. But the results, if mistakes are made, are poor efficiency, performance, and reliability.

Comparison of Complete Installation Costs

These are installed prices. Unit size for most is 2 tons to 5 tons; the equivalent in BTUs is 24,000 to 60,000. A few of the models are available in a 1.5-ton, 18,000 BTU size.

The full package: These heat pumps are sold in a package that includes the equipment and installation labor.

Equipment includes the condensing unit, or outdoor unit, indoor coil installed in an air handler (typical) or furnace (dual fuel), refrigerant and all installation supplies. A pad for the condensing unit is an option.

Here is the heat pump price list. We’ve broken it down by the heat pump-only, if that’s all you’re replacing, and the Full System if you’re buying the heat pump and an air handler.

Model Heat Pump Only Full System Performance
Trane XV18 $7,400 – $12,400 $13,200 – $18,000 Variable
Carrier Infinity 24 $7,700 – $12,750 $13,550 – $18,500 Variable
Lennox XP25 $7,950 – $13,200 $13,900 – $18,900 Variable
Carrier Infinity 18VS $7,000 – $11,850 $12,850 – $17,350 5-stage
Payne 16 $5,900 – $10,650 $11,850 – $16,600 2-stage
Coleman HC19 $6,150 – $11,300 $12,400 – $17,350 2-stage
Trane LX18i $6,500 – $11,500 $12,400 – $17,300 2-stage
Coleman CH6 $5,700 – $10,350 $11,550 – $16,200 1-stage
Heil Ion 16 $5,850 – $11,000 $11,700 – $16,900 1-stage
Armstrong Air 4SHP16LE $6,100 – $11,250 $11,800 – $16,950 1-stage

Sticker Shock!!!

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