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SW Missouri's Trusted Repairman

Why Are Heatpumps So Expensive, and Can I DIY It to Save Money?

All heat pumps are ACs/but not all heat pumps are efficient. In the summer an AC takes heat from your house, and transfers it outside. A heat pump reverses this process and finds heat outside to transfer into your home. The basic heat pump has a couple extra tools to do this job. The best heat pumps have an entire onboard computer with a specialized electrical system to do it at maximum efficiency.

Inverter driven heat pumps scale their electrical consumption to the heating/cooling demands of your home. They don’t run at full power just to cool your home 2 degrees. Along with saving you money in the long run, it also reduces wear and tear on the unit.

But that technology comes with a price. Are they worth it? My customers certainly think so:

Can I DIY the Install of a Heat pump to Save Money.

The short answer is yes. Certainly. There are a couple pitfalls you should be aware.

  • You will need to buy a lot of equipment that you will never use again for any other purpose. It’s not cheap.
  • Not all systems arrive in good condition. Untrained installers will not recognize this in time to avoid a costly issue.
  • Warranties differ by company. MRCOOL applies the warranty to the original purchaser only. Anyone who buys your home will be screwed when the unit goes out. Other heat pump manufacturers encourage DIY installation, but in the small print it voids your warranty. It’s very much a buyer beware affair.
  • Many heat pumps from big box stores are sold by a marketing company (MRCOOL), but their parts is provided by another company. Getting parts can be a month’s long process.
  • Professional installers are supported with parts line to quickly fix a broken system.

The key point is this: DIY installs save money IF everything goes perfectly. There’s a big downside of doing-it-yourself; most repair techs refuse to work on DIY installed units. If you installed it yourself you better be prepared to fix it yourself. Doing that right will involve buying more tools, and likely spending days on YouTube and reddit trying to figure it out. Your other option is to just replace the entire system any time it fails…

I install my heat pumps expecting them to last 25+ years with repairs involved. You can opt to replace your entire system every time a component fails. In the long view, I rather doubt such a plan is going to be less expensive than a professionally installed/serviced system. It’s your decision, I just want you to be aware of all the pro’s and con’s.

Hit me up in the comment section with any questions.

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