Q&A / 

Heat Pump Operational Costs

Different Geographic Regions

Does it make sense to buy the most efficient heat pump available? Well, it depends! Look at the table below. I selected some cities where friends of mine live. It is fairly well distributed across the USA and absolutely in different climates. Pay attention to the cost of electricity in each city and compare it to your cost. Reference your electric bill. The calculations to arrive at the results below were done by a computer. Just about every heat pump distributor in every city in America has the capability to produce these numbers. They just need to know three things: the size of the system in tonnage, the local electric rate per kilowatt hour, and efficiency of the unit you are looking at. The best thing to do is have a calculation run for three different efficiencies just as the table below shows. I extend my thanks to Jeff Urbanek who works very hard each day at Quality Crafted Systems - the local York distributor. Jeff was kind enough to take time from his busy schedule to run the numbers you see below. Thanks Jeff!

The numbers below are based on some constants. The system Jeff and I selected is a 3 ton system. The calculations were done taking into consideration the design temperatures for heating and cooling for that city. The lifespan of the heat pump is 15 years. The total lifetime cost value in the last column is adjusted for inflation over the life of the unit.

City SEER
Efficiency
Electric Cost
per Kwt hour
1st Year
Cooling Cost
1st Year
Heating Cost
1st Year
Total
Operating Cost
Total
Lifetime
Operating Cost
Charlotte
NC

10 $.076 $359 $602 $961 $16,619
12 $.076 $299 $564 $863 $14,924
14 $.076 $257 $502 $759 $13,126
Cincinnati
OH

10 $.070 $258 $668 $926 $16,014
12 $.070 $215 $626 $841 $14,544
14 $.070 $184 $557 $741 $12,814
Orlando
FL

10 $.060 $694 $191 $885 $15,305
12 $.060 $579 $179 $758 $13,108
14 $.060 $496 $159 $655 $11,327
Seattle
WA

10 $.040 $31 $578 $609 $10,532
12 $.040 $26 $542 $568 $9,823
14 $.040 $22 $482 $504 $8,716
Toledo
OH

10 $.11 $319 $1,386 $1,705 $29,485
12 $.11 $266 $1,299 $1,565 $27,064
14 $.11 $228 $1,155 $1,383 $23,917

Column B294

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One Response to Heat Pump Operational Costs

  1. According to the information in the published the more efficient heat pump is the preferred unit to purchase. I do not understand why you would say it depends. In each case, regardless of cost of electricity or geographic region it is cheaper to run a higher SEER unit 10 vs 14 for the examples shared. Can I assume it continues to 16 & 16.5 SEER units?

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