Heat Pump Prices: Heat Pump Installation Cost In Vancouver

Here are some ballpark prices for installing an air source heat pump in Vancouver BC.

 

Basic heat pump added to existing furnace: $5000-$6000
Premium heat pump added to existing furnace: $7500-$9000
Basic heat pump with basic variable speed high efficiency furnace: $10,000 (A heat pump could be installed with a non-variable speed furnace for less, but heat pumps work much better with variable speed furnaces.)
Premium heat pump with premium furnace: $12,500

 

•You will save about $1000 when you have a furnace and heat pump installed together. This is because certain tasks such as making a new duct work transition and installing a new thermostat will not have to be repeated separately.

 

•These are only ballpark estimates for an average home. Actual costs can vary widely depending on your home’s requirement, the contractor selected, present equipment costs, and several other factors.

 

•These are approximations of what you should expect to pay for an installation by a reputable, established contractor who performs quality work. You can get a heat pump installed for less if low price is your primary concern.

 

 

To determine the actual cost to install a heat pump in your home, call 604 GOOD GUY (604 466 3489) to schedule your free in-home quotation. Or use our online form.

 

 

What about geothermal heat pumps?

 

Geothermal heat pumps costs at least $20,000 to install. In many cases, they can cost over $50,000. We don’t install geothermal systems, because they offer only moderately higher efficiencies for much higher prices.

 

 

How long does it take to install a heat pump?

 

Installing a heat pump requires several tasks, including:

 

1) Running refrigerant lines from the indoor unit (above the furnace) to the outdoor unit of the heat pump.
2) Running a power line from the breaker panel to the heat pump.
3) Reworking the ductwork above the furnace to accommodate the indoor unit of the heat pump.
4) Installing a new thermostat (and running a line to it).
5) Testing the system.

 

 

There are many corners that can be cut (such as not verifying the refrigerant lines have been properly cleared of air before adding the refrigerant, and not making sure the unit is properly levelled). However, installing a heat pump to the manufacturer’s specifications will usually take a team of 2 technicians at least 1.5 days. If a new furnace is also being installed, it should take a minimum of 2 full days.

 

Visit our heat pumps page to learn more about your options for installing a new heat pump.

Tankless Water Heater Reviews / Ratings: Which brand is best?

When buying items such as home appliances, homeowners often look to publications such as Consumer’s Reports for guidance.

 

Unfortunately, none of the major consumer publications (such as Consumer Reports or Consumer Guide) have reviewed or conducted reliability testing on tankless water heaters. Also, none of the major surveying organizations (such as JD Power) publish ratings for tankless water heaters.

 

There are many forums and online stores where homeowners can place reviews of tankless water heaters. Unfortunately, going over these forums can be very time consuming and confusing due to the many contradictory opinions (and many of the bad reviews are likely due to systems performing poorly due to improper installation, rather than the unit itself).

 

So how can you ensure a quality tankless water heater installation? By choosing a well-established contractor that guarantees their work and provides long term labour warranties on their tankless water heater installations.

 

A company that stands behind their installations will be sure to install high quality systems. In the past, we have installed some tankless water heater models that didn’t work well. But due to our guarantees & warranties, we ended up paying most of the costs, not our customers. We currently install Bosch and Navien tankless water heaters, and we are very satisfied with their reliability and performance.

 

 

At Good Guys Heating, Cooling & Plumbing, we include a 100% money-back satisfaction guarantee with most installations, and provide labour warranties as well. This ensures that we only install high quality units, and install them well.

 

To schedule a quotation on a tankless water heater, call 604 GOOD GUY (604 466 3489) or use our online form.

 

Learn more about tankless water heaters (both the pros and cons) on our tankless water heaters page.

In floor heating: The pros and cons

Which is better: In floor radiant heating or a forced air furnace? We are often asked this question by people looking to buy a new home. Each of them has its own pros and cons.

 

 

In floor heatingForced air furnace
Evenness of heat (floor to ceiling)This is the main advantage of radiant heating. The heat starts underneath the floor and gradually rises towards the ceiling. This provides very even temperatures from floor to ceiling.Single stage furnaces generate heat in short bursts (except on the very coldest days), and it quickly rises to the ceiling. The result is uneven temperatures from floor to ceiling.

New multi-stage variable speed furnaces can operate more consistently at a lower level on mild days. This results in a more even heat distribution, but still not as even as with in floor heat (in most cases). See our furnaces page to learn more.

Evenness of heat (room to room)Piping is usually placed under the floor of every room. The piping in each room will be heated to the same temperature, ensuring an even distribution of heat.Most duct systems are not very well designed, and distribute much more heat to certain areas than others (some rooms such as bathrooms might not even have registers). A variable speed furnace can constantly run its fan at a low level (while consuming very little energy) to reduce temperature fluctuations. However, many duct systems are so poorly designed that even a variable speed furnace cannot fully solve the problem.
Evenness of heat (over time)The system provides heat more gradually than a standard furnace, keeping temperatures constant over time.On mild days, single stage furnaces deliver heat in periodic blasts. This results in uneven temperatures over time.

Multi-stage variable speed furnaces (especially ones with variable capacity gas valves) are much better at delivering heat in a slow, consistent manner.

Energy costsTypically, a home’s occupants spend most of their time sitting or lying down. This means they will adjust their thermostats to ensure a comfortable temperature closer to the floor. Thus, having a system that provides more even temperatures may slightly reduce energy costs. Zoning can also save energy (see below). However, programmable thermostats are rarely used due to the longer recovery time (see below), and this can raise energy costs.Since heat tends to collect near the ceiling, occupants may feel cool when sitting or lying down, and raise the thermostat temperature. This may result in slightly higher energy costs.
Maintenance costsSubstantially higher. In addition to the boiler itself,  the “water side” components must also be maintained. These include pumps, air vents, zone valves, tempering valves, and other components. Some of these components are not very reliable. Plus, the system should be flushed periodically.

There is also the potential of a leak occurring under the floor. This is fairly rare, but can be very expensive.

Furnaces are generally less expensive to maintain. Annual maintenance is recommended, but replacement of parts is not required as often.
System replacement costsSubstantially higher. Replacing a boiler and all of the water side components can take up to 5 days. Also, if the system has polybutylene piping, a boiler with a stainless steel or copper heat exchanger will be required, and these are more expensive. (See our boilers page to learn more about boiler replacement options.)Less expensive than a boiler. A new furnace can usually be installed in 1 day. However, in some homes, the new high efficiency furnaces can be very difficult (and expensive) to install.
ZoningAlmost all radiant heating systems include multiple zones. This means the home is divided into different areas, each with its own thermostat, and each area can be heated to a different temperature.Few forced air systems are zoned. To add zoning, many dampers (motorized valves) and an advanced control system must be installed. This is a complex and expensive task.
Recovery time (how long it takes the system to heat a cold room)Heat is delivered more gradually, as it takes time for the system to heat the water. It may take hours to heat up a cold room, so many homeowners just leave the system on 24/7.Depends on the size of the furnace and its operation, but is generally much faster than with in floor heating.
Air conditioning/ IAQIn floor heating systems are not made to carry cold water. An air conditioning unit cannot be hooked up to an existing in-floor system, so a separate air conditioner (usually a ductless split system) must be installed in each room. This is very expensive.

Also, an air filtration system cannot be hooked up to a hydronic system. A separate ducting system must be installed or portable air cleaners must be added to each room.

An air conditioner can be hooked up to the furnace and use the existing ductwork.

Air filtration systems can also be added to clean the air that passes through the furnace.

 

What about baseboard heating?

Hot water baseboard heating systems offer most of the disadvantages of radiant heating systems with less of the benefits. They are almost as expensive to maintain as a radiant system, they have long recovery times, they don’t provide the same evenness of heat that radiant systems do (although they still provide a more even heat than some forced air systems), and air conditioning cannot be added to the existing distribution system. Plus, the baseboards can restrict where furniture is placed.

 

But baseboard systems do usually include zoning, and some homeowners feel they provide a more “cozy” and “comfortable” heat than forced air furnaces do.

 

Learn more about new furnaces on our furnaces page.
Learn more about new boilers on our boilers page.

 

To schedule a free quote on a new furnace or boiler, call 604 GOOD GUY (604 466-3489) or visit our Schedule Quote page.

Is closing heating registers a good way to save energy?

Some homeowners close the air registers in unused rooms in an attempt to save energy. You might think this would allow the furnace to heat only the rooms that are occupied, and that a lot of energy would be saved. However, the conventional wisdom within the heating industry is that this practice will not save much energy and might even damage your system! Here’s why:

 

 

Closing registers may result in more cold air being drawn in from outside.

 

A furnace blows air out of registers that are usually positioned near the edges of a home. These registers are usually placed on the floor (in warm climates they may be placed near the top of walls or on the ceiling). The air then travels back to the furnace through return air vents. These are usually placed low on the walls near the centre of the home (see the below image from Family Handyman Magazine).

 

However, if you close air registers around the outside of the home, the furnace will still have to suck air in through the return air grills to keep running (the return air grills usually cannot be closed). This air would normally be emitted by the registers, but if the registers are closed, cold air from the outdoors may be sucked inside the home. In this situation, closing air registers might actually increase your energy costs (and make your home more drafty).

 

 

Closing registers may result in more duct leakage

 

A study by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory showed that closing air ducts can actually result in higher energy costs due to increased duct leakage. When registers are closed, pressure will increase in the ductwork, which may result in more air being forced out cracks. Especially in cases where the ductwork is located in an attic or crawlspace, this may result in heat being lost instead of entering the home.

 

The study was done on air conditioning systems where ducting was often placed in the attic. Losses might not be as significant in heating systems where the ductwork is in walls or under the floor, as much of the heat will still enter the home. However, it might not end up in the rooms you want (largely defeating the purpose of closing the registers in the first place).

 

 

Closing registers might damage your system

 

If you have an older furnace, closing off too many registers may reduce airflow across the heat exchanger (the main component of the system). This may result in the heat exchanger overheating and possibly failing prematurely, and might also cause more heat to be lost up the chimney. Newer furnaces are better able to increase the speed of the fan motor to generate enough airflow to prevent damage to the furnace, but having the motor work harder will eliminate some of the energy savings.

 

For air conditioners, closing registers may result in the indoor coil freezing up due to an inability to transfer enough heat to the air passing over it. This will also put more strain on the compressor (the main component of an air conditioner), and potentially reduce system life.

 

 

In conclusion….

 

In some cases, closing registers may result in energy savings without damaging your heating or air conditioning system. But in many (perhaps most) cases it will result in little to no energy savings. Generally, the advice of heating & air conditioning professionals remains to leave all registers open in most circumstances.

 

You can save up to 40% on heating costs by installing a new high efficiency furnace. Visit our furnaces page to learn more.