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Mud and I (and Andres) are keen to make an infographic about home heat choices.  Across the top will be types of heat.  And down the left side will be attributes/metrics.  With each metric will be a link to a thread that will act as a source for that row of information in the infographic.  Or, hopefully, a bit of a bibliography.  This thread is one of those threads.


All of the metrics for all of infographic is focused on "average for montana".  Keeping in mind that the average montana home is 2000 square feet.

The row is currently labeled "Cost to Install Professionally (materials+labor)" and contains the following

Electric Baseboard - $4000
6 baseboard heaters


Mini Splits - $10,000
3 mini split heaters
$4000 for the three heaters
$6000 for installation


In Ground Heat Pump - $26,000 (new home / where conditions are good for "in ground")
excavator stuff / the "in ground" part
      $15,000 - average for materials, rental equipment and labor
all the hardware for the heat pump $5500
installation of the hardware $1500
all the hardware and installation of ducty things $4000


Natural Gas - $10,530 (new home)
getting the gas to you $980
venting to the outside (materials and labor) $750
the furnace   $4500
installation of the furnace $300
all the hardware and installation of ducty things $4000


Propane - $10,2725 (new home)
getting the propane to you - $375 to bring in a rental tank and get the propane to your furnace
venting to the outside (materials and labor) $750
the furnace   $4500
installation of the furnace $300
all the hardware and installation of ducty things $4000


Wood Stove - $4000
stove $1000 + $500 installation
chimney / hole in the roof stuff  $2000 (for single story home)
hearth $500


modern wood stove - $6000
stove $3000 + $500 installation
chimney / hole in the roof stuff  $2000 (for single story home)
hearth $500


Pellet Stove - $3250
stove $1500 + $500 installation
vent exhaust to the outside  $750
hearth $500


Masonry Heater - $37,000
stove installed $25k
chimney / hole in the roof stuff (metal) $2000
chimney / hole in the roof stuff (masonry) $6000 (almost universally preferred)
foundation work to support the weight $6000


Rocket Mass Heater - $7500
cob rocket mass heater
   installed $5000
   foundation work to support the weight $1000
pebble style rocket mass heater
   installed $4000
   foundation work to support the weight $500
chimney / hole in the roof stuff  $2000 (for single story home)



I think the first part is going to be to figure out if there should be a second row.  One row for installation during construction of the home, and another row for installation after the home is built.  After all, for the very first item, electric baseboard, that will be a pretty straightforward job during construction, but a huge job afterward.


The mission, at the moment, is to make sure that these numbers are rock solid, sourced, and fully qualified.  This is going to be a lot of work.  Mud and I will do 100% of it if nobody else will help.  Kinda hoping a lot of people will help.


COMMENTS:
 
pollinator
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What criteria are you using to vet sources? Is stuff like this legit?
 
gardener
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I just did a quick search on a propane heating system and it looks challenging. Most answers out there appear geared toward a national average. And I'm seeing answers like, "anywhere from a few hundred dollars to five thousand dollars." I think there are so many variables (house design, individual contractor, terrain, time of year, etc.) it's going to be difficult to nail down an average that will pass scrutiny.

How to keep things uniform? Is there some government resource that has it already compiled? If we could get them all from one source it would definitely look better for sceptics. I noticed sites like contractor.com where you can enter your info to get a quote on things. Maybe something like this can help. Is there a good site like this that covers all of the options?
 
steward
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We have decided to make all the numbers focus on montana.  That way, it will be a heater of substance.
 
pollinator
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Propane and natural gas are essentially the same as far as the in house system.

You can probably ignore the mini split as heat in Montana. They will revert back to electric element heaters when it is cold, below 20F for most and zero for the best.

What size house?  Very different answers for a two room cabin vs a 3 bed 2 bath ranch vs two story.

Price of a ground loop heat pump varies WILDLY because well drillers vary wildly. And they usually need more than one well.  What does a well cost in Montana?  

Central hvac has a ton of expense in the ductwork regardless of the actual heat source. Just like all the wood burners have significant expense in the chimney.

A one room answer like a blue flame wall heater is very different than a furnace, but again very similar between ng and propane. They are more comparable to adding baseboard heat for one room.
 
Jordan Holland
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It may not be practical, but I had an idea to possibly find a contractor in your area who could do at least a majority of those and have them over to a building (probably the Fisher-Price House) and give an estimate for each type. Having the estimates for the same building would be the most level playing field, I would think. I think it would also have a bit of clout to be able to say that these numbers were from an actual contractor for this actual house. You also know exactly what you spent installing the RMH there.

And while the contractor is there, maybe pop the question, "So, have you heard of rocket mass heaters...?" Show them one in operation. You might make a local friend "in the industry" who could help you get the word out or refer people to you who may ask them about them in the future or something.
 
paul wheaton
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mud and i are now looking at this - time to get to work
 
paul wheaton
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starting with wood stove, this is what i could harvest from google:

https://homeguide.com/costs/wood-stove-installation-cost
$1,200 – $4,500 Wood Stove + Install
$250 – $800 Install Labor Only
The average cost to install a wood stove is $1,200 to $4,500. A wood burning stove costs $400 to $3,500
Wood stove installation costs $250 to $800 for labor, and installing a ventilation system or chimney costs $300 to $3,500.

https://www.homeadvisor.com/cost/heating-and-cooling/install-a-fireplace-or-woodstove/
The cost to install a wood stove ranges from $325 to $4,000 or more. You can purchase a free-standing unit for less than $1,500. But wood stoves are freestanding and require ventilation and non-combustible wall coverings on nearby walls. This bumps up the price, more commonly, to the $3,000 to $4,000 range.

https://www.homeyou.com/mt/wood-stove-installation-whitefish-costs
The fair price range for this service in you area is $1,813 - $2,517
Wood stove installation cost in Whitefish averages from $1,200 to $7,000. If a chimney exists on the property already, the expense is far less than it would be if a new chimney needed to be built from scratch.

https://www.angi.com/articles/how-much-does-installing-fireplace-or-woodstove-cost.htm
Wood stove prices start at $325 and run up to $4,000 or more. Installation costs between $3,000 and $4,000.


And then beau managed to harvest this:

The average cost of installing a wood stove in Montana can range from around $1,000 to $3,000 or more depending on the size and type of the stove, the complexity of the installation, and the type and amount of material needed. According to HomeAdvisor, the average cost of installing a wood stove in Montana is $2,326. Angie's List reports an average cost of $2,000. Lowe's estimates the cost of installing a wood stove at $1,800 to $3,000. HomeGuide puts the average cost at $2,400.



 
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Here's what https://beta.openai.com/ told me:

Beau Davidson wrote:
Prompt: what is the average price of installing xxxxxxxx, in montana, with multiple references and no advice



  pellet stove

The average cost of installing a pellet stove in Montana is between $1,000 and $5,000, depending on the type of pellet stove and the complexity of the installation. This cost includes the pellet stove, venting, and installation. Sources:

1. https://www.homedepot.com/c/cost_to_install_a_pellet_stove_MT

2. https://www.angieslist.com/articles/cost-install-pellet-stove.htm

3. https://www.thumbtack.com/mt/billings/pellet-stove-installation/




  baseboard electric heat

According to HomeAdvisor, the average cost of installing baseboard electric heating in Montana is between $3,000 and $5,000. This includes materials and labor costs.




  natural gas heat

According to HomeAdvisor, the average cost to install a natural gas furnace in Montana is $5,562. This price includes labor and materials. Other sources such as CostHelper list the cost of installation for a natural gas furnace in Montana at an average of $4,500 - $6,500.




  mini split heat pumps

The average cost of installing a mini split heat pump in Montana is around $5,000-$7,000. Factors that influence the cost of installation include the brand and size of the unit, the complexity of the installation, the length of the installation, and the hourly rate of the contractor. According to HomeAdvisor, the cost to install a mini split heat pump can range from $2,000 to $10,000, with an average cost of $5,500. The cost of the unit itself is typically around $1,500-$4,000 depending on size and brand. According to Thumbtack, the average cost to install a mini split heat pump in Montana is $5,947. According to CostOwl, the average cost of installing a mini split heat pump in Montana is $6,000.




  in ground heat pumps

The average cost of installing an in-ground heat pump in Montana is between $7,000 and $15,000, according to multiple references. Factors that affect the cost include the size and complexity of the project, the type of heat pump, the type of soil, the type of ground loop system, and the local labor rates.




  propane heat

According to HomeGuide, the average cost of propane heating installation in Montana is $3,000 - $7,500. This includes the cost of labor, materials, and equipment. Additionally, ConsumerAffairs states that the average cost of propane heating installation in Montana is around $3,500. Finally, HomeAdvisor reports that the average cost of propane heating installation in Montana is $3,000 - $7,200.

 
paul wheaton
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1. https://www.homedepot.com/c/cost_to_install_a_pellet_stove_MT

2. https://www.angieslist.com/articles/cost-install-pellet-stove.htm

3. https://www.thumbtack.com/mt/billings/pellet-stove-installation/



Sorry beau, all three of these links are a bust.
 
Beau Davidson
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Massaging that into a simplified form:

Using AI to gather, collect, and interpret the best available data, the average installation costs for the following heat sources, in Montana, are as follows:

heat methodaverage installation costhigh endlow end
wood stoveavg $2,000high: $3,000low: $1,000
pellet stoveavg $3,000    high: $5,000    low: $1,000
baseboard electricavg $4,000    high: $5,000    low: $5,000
natural gas heatavg $5,562    high: $6,500      low: $4,500
mini split heat pumpsavg $6,000    high: $7,000    low: $5,000
in ground heat pumpsavg $11,000    high: $15,000      low: $7,000
propane heatavg $5,250    high: $7,500    low: $3,000


Sources:
AI: https://beta.openai.com
1. https://www.homedepot.com/
2. https://www.angieslist.com/
3. https://www.thumbtack.com/
4. https://www.homeadvisor.com/
5. https://www.costhelper.com/
6. https://www.costowl.com/
7. https://homeguide.com/
8. https://www.consumeraffairs.com/
 
Beau Davidson
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paul wheaton wrote:


1. https://www.homedepot.com/c/cost_to_install_a_pellet_stove_MT

2. https://www.angieslist.com/articles/cost-install-pellet-stove.htm

3. https://www.thumbtack.com/mt/billings/pellet-stove-installation/



Sorry beau, all three of these links are a bust.



Accourding to https://beta.openai.com/

Our default models' training data cuts off in 2021, so they may not have knowledge of current events.



So my guess is these urls were live as recently as a year ago.
 
master pollinator
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I tried Thumbtack and it is basically a search engine. To duplicate the results you have to go there and type "pellet stove installation" into the search bar, along with your zip code. I imagine the other links are like that.
 
paul wheaton
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Now we start to get into this space of how there is typically one wood stove, centrally located.  And when putting in, say, natural gas heat, it's more of something that is part of a ventilation system (air ducts to lots of rooms).  And when putting in mini splits, a 2000 square foot home will probably have three installed.

So when we say that install a natural gas heater is $5500:

    - does that include ducting to several rooms?
    - does that include connecting to a natural gas line in the street?

 
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I think a pellet stove is cheaper to install than a wood stove.  A wood stove chimney is quite expensive compared to popping a pellet stove vent out a wall.  

Just to clarify, this is materials and labor.  Does that include the actual furnace or wood stove?  Or just the ancillary installation materials like duct work, chimney pipe, wiring, etc?

I'm guessing very few people add a forced air system to a house that wasn't build for it.  Running duct work in a house can be pretty challenging.

(Edited to correct my initial sentence)
 
pollinator
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Two masonry heater builders I have asked gave me similar numbers:
Most projects are $30k +. Heater only $15k plus. Foundation work add $0 to $20k. Chimney $6k plus.

My numbers for a cob rocket heater for hire (average) parts and labor: heater only $5000. Add chimney $3000. Multi story chimneys are double that or more. Cob rocket DIY: heater and mass bench under $1000. Chimney add $1000 but climbing up high to install your own chimney quickly moves from challenging DIY territory to injured or dead territory.
 
paul wheaton
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wood stove

stove $1000 + 500 installation

chimney / hole in the roof stuff  $2000 (for single story home)

hearth $500



modern wood stove

stove $3000

 
paul wheaton
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For the infographic, several of the heaters will be listed as "when the home is built" and others "anytime".

Also, we decided for the wood heat options to assume that there currently is no hearth or hole in the roof for it.

 
pollinator
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How about one of those cross-reference charts? where each option has a row and a column, so you could lookup your current conditions and cross with your desired conditions.
So, there could be a "no hearth or hole in the roof" column, and there could be "existing hearth/fireplace or available chimney" column. It could start with column A being "new construction", which *might be* the best-case scenario for some options...

For older housing stock, there often is a chimney, and a flue could become available when switching away from the existing (fossil?) fuel system. This could be quitting the fuel (let's say it was nat. gas), or when switching to a modern system that uses through-the-wall venting (high efficiency mod/con furnaces) which sometimes the utility has incentives or rebates for upgrading outdated inefficient systems...

An issue with older existing chimneys might be having it relined with a stainless liner?
 
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Mike Haasl wrote:I don't think a pellet stove is cheaper to install than a wood stove.  A wood stove chimney is quite expensive compared to popping a pellet stove vent out a wall.



I was rather confused by this quote, but maybe I have not had enough coffee yet. Could you further explain?

I think pellet stove installation is cheaper because it is considered a low-temperature stack unlike that of woodstoves which are naturally high heat and need that rigorous high temp rating. I don't know about professional installation, but I replaced my pellet stove chimney this fall and it was $500 for materials. I did not skimp on any part of the purchase either. Typically installation is double that of materials, so it would have been around $1000 for professional installation.

That should not come as a shock though. The double-wall stove pipe twists together, and the low-clearance pellet stove plugs into a wall outlet. Drill a 4 inch hole for the 3-1/2inch stove pipe, sit the stove on a pre-made hearth mat, and you're basically done. It is easy because being add-ins were what these stoves were designed for.

Keep in mind the lower rating is because the pellet stoves computer, limits the high temperature of the stove while burning (it shuts down if it gets too hot), and of course has forced draft.
 
Mike Haasl
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Woah, I think I was the one without enough coffee.  I meant to say "I think a pellet stove is cheaper to install than a wood stove."  Sheesh.  I'll to edit that above to fix it.  Thanks!
 
Beau Davidson
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I asked https://openai.com/api/:

How much does it cost to have a chimney installed for a wood stove?



The cost of having a chimney installed for a wood stove can vary significantly depending on the size and complexity of the installation. Costs for a basic chimney installation can range from $500 to $2,000 or more.



I modified my query to:

How much does it cost to have a chimney installed for a wood stove, including factors, examples, and sources.



The cost of having a chimney installed for a wood stove can vary greatly depending on a number of factors such as the type of chimney, the height and length of the chimney, and the complexity of the installation. Generally, a chimney for a wood stove can cost anywhere from $1,500 to $4,000 for materials and labor.

Type of Chimney: The type of chimney you choose will have a huge impact on the cost of installation. A brick chimney is typically more expensive than a prefabricated metal chimney.

Height and Length: The height and length of the chimney will affect the cost of installation as well. A chimney that is taller or longer than typical will require additional materials and labor.

Complexity of Installation: The complexity of the installation will also affect the cost. If the chimney needs to be installed in a complicated or hard-to-reach area, it will require more time and labor, and thus cost more.

Examples:

• Installing a standard 8-foot prefabricated metal chimney for a wood stove can cost around $1,500-$2,500.

• Installing a 12-foot brick chimney for a wood stove can cost around $2,500-$4,000.

Sources:

https://www.homeadvisor.com/cost/heating-and-cooling/install-a-wood-stove-chimney/

https://www.improvenet.com/r/costs-and-prices/wood-stove-chimney-installation-cost

 
paul wheaton
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notes from two hours on the phone with mud today (and copied to the first post)



wood stove

stove $1000 + $500 installation

chimney / hole in the roof stuff  $2000 (for single story home)

hearth $500



modern wood stove

stove $3000 + $500 installation

chimney / hole in the roof stuff  $2000 (for single story home)

hearth $500




Pellet Stove

stove $1500 + $500 installation

vent exhaust to the outside  $750

hearth $500



Masonry Heater

stove installed $25k

chimney / hole in the roof stuff (metal) $2000
chimney / hole in the roof stuff (masonry) $6000 (almost universally preferred)

foundation work to support the weight $6000



Rocket Mass Heater

cob rocket mass heater

   installed $5000
   foundation work to support the weight $1000

pebble style rocket mass heater

   installed $4000
   foundation work to support the weight $500

chimney / hole in the roof stuff  $2000 (for single story home)

 
Chris McClellan
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In nice round numbers having three mini splits (or one big mini split) installed to handle 2000 square feet is going to be about $4000 for the hardware and $5000 to $6000 for installation.
 
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10 years ago, cost to install in pond heatpump with baseboard heater and individual room temperature controll was $10K
Our heater also makes all the hot water for the house with extra heat from system.

We could have included air conditioning for extra $2k but it seldom gets hot enough here so we saved money.  weather pattern changes now and we regret this decision but don't do anything about it except move into basement in summer heat.

Cost savings is about $400 per month (3 months a year during winter) over last owners who used mix of oil blow air furnace and electric heat portable heater that plug into wall.  
 
paul wheaton
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For in ground heat pumps, natural gas and propane heat, we need to know how much it costs for all the duct stuff to all the different rooms.
 
ray Bunbury
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For us
the 10k was for all the installation and the equipment.  

upstairs  4 small rooms with base heater.  One big room heater is like baseboard, but with air fan to move the heat faster.
downstairs - 3 rooms with base heater.
each floor more than 1k square feet.  

no ducks because no air moving from central place..  All heaters have pipes that move the heat in a fluid and pump it from place to place.  I think polyethileen glicol in closed circle for each room.

 
paul wheaton
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for in ground heat pumps, i think there are these four pieces:

   excavator stuff / the "in ground" part

   all the hardware for the heat pump

   installation of the hardware and connecting to what is in the ground

   all the hardware and installation of ducty things

??
 
paul wheaton
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ray Bunbury wrote:For us
the 10k was for all the installation and the equipment.  

upstairs  4 small rooms with base heater.  One big room heater is like baseboard, but with air fan to move the heat faster.
downstairs - 3 rooms with base heater.
each floor more than 1k square feet.  

no ducks because no air moving from central place..  All heaters have pipes that move the heat in a fluid and pump it from place to place.  I think polyethileen glicol in closed circle for each room.



Good info!

Your system will be smaller than a similar system in montana because your heat needs are much, much less.  Would you agree with this?

Also, you are using an interesting style.   My impression is that most people that install in ground heat pumps do a sort of central thing, with ducting to all the rooms.  Yes?
 
ray Bunbury
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paul wheaton wrote:

Your system will be smaller than a similar system in montana because your heat needs are much, much less.  Would you agree with this?



I agree.  We only heat nov to end jan or early feb.  It used to never freeze, but now winters are harder so minus 10 c is more common in december.

Also, you are using an interesting style.   My impression is that most people that install in ground heat pumps do a sort of central thing, with ducting to all the rooms.  Yes?



We could have used old oil fernace ducks and air fan.  But the technology 10 years ago said this was poor effecency and the size of the system needed to be 4 times larger (and expence almost double) for central blow air heat.  So easier to close off all ducks, thread heat pipes, and go with heat that comes from one source (raident?) like baseboard heater.

We were first in area to get geothermal pond heat pump so the contractor was uncertain and overbuilt our system.  Talking with others since who used central blow air heat pump, our savings per month is double (we pay half as much) even with them having smaller house.  

I don't understand all the technology well but it does what I want - works without me bothering to do anything about it.  
 
ray Bunbury
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The pond was there when we moved in.  We didn't need to deepen it, but they said that deeper would provide more sustainable system - need less adjustment and repair.  

The price I said was for equipment, install in house and install of pipes into the pond.  We dug the trench by hand because easier and only took one week with mattic and shovel.  Filling in trench the installer did.  
Does not include price to deepen pond.  

but prices are 10 years ago.  The current price is much much more.  
 
ray Bunbury
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Also forgot, cost $200 to get special person with special drill to make two holes in foundation for pipe to the pond and pipe back from pond.

Also forgot, had to upgrade electrical pannel to house and improve wires from road to house - split cost with electrical company.  Can't remember how much, but was a lot.
 
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paul wheaton wrote:notes from two hours on the phone with mud today (and copied to the first post)



wood stove

stove $1000 + $500 installation

chimney / hole in the roof stuff  $2000 (for single story home)

hearth $500



modern wood stove

stove $3000 + $500 installation

chimney / hole in the roof stuff  $2000 (for single story home)

hearth $500




Pellet Stove

stove $1500 + $500 installation

vent exhaust to the outside  $750

hearth $500



Masonry Heater

stove installed $25k

chimney / hole in the roof stuff (metal) $2000
chimney / hole in the roof stuff (masonry) $6000 (almost universally preferred)

foundation work to support the weight $6000



Rocket Mass Heater

cob rocket mass heater

   installed $5000
   foundation work to support the weight $1000

pebble style rocket mass heater

   installed $4000
   foundation work to support the weight $500

chimney / hole in the roof stuff  $2000 (for single story home)



Is this the cost to do a DIY installation?
 
paul wheaton
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S Rogers wrote:Is this the cost to do a DIY installation?



That will be a different thread.

This thread is for professional installation.
 
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How Much Does a Geothermal Heat Pump Cost?
The biggest downside to installing a geothermal heat pump is the cost. The system and installation can range from $10,000 to $40,000 depending on your soil conditions, plot size, system configuration, site accessibility and the amount of digging and drilling required.

For a typical 2,000-sq.-ft. home, a geothermal retrofit can cost up to $30,000. The system may require ductwork modifications along with extensive excavation. In a new home, installation costs would be on the lower end. Even so, a geothermal system will cost about 40 percent more than a traditional HVAC system.

Recouping these costs through energy savings could take as little as four years or as long as 15 years depending on utility rates and the cost of installation. It takes some homework and professional estimates to figure out whether a geothermal system makes financial sense in your situation.


source: https://www.familyhandyman.com/article/everything-you-need-to-know-about-geothermal-heat-pumps/

Poked around some more, and it looks like most websites agree on the range of cost $10,000 to $40,000, give or take.


 
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Installer BlackhillsInc says
"HomeAdvisor estimates the national average for HVAC ductwork installation in 2022 at $1,179, with a range of $454 to $2,056. On the high end, it can cost as high as $4,600. Fixr.com points to an average cost of $4,000 and, at the high end of the scale, $12,000."
https://www.blackhillsinc.com/blog/how-much-should-hvac-ductwork-installation-cost/
Sky Heating and Cooling says
"On average, the cost for installing ductwork is anywhere from $1,900 to $6,000, with the national average being around $4,000.
That’s assuming you’re having 300 linear feet of aluminum ducts replaced, plus insulation and 10 vents and two returns. However, retrofitting 300 linear feet of brand-new ductwork into an existing home can cost as high as $12,000!"
 
Mike Haasl
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New construction ducting costs will be much lower than retrofitting ducting into a house.  So I definitely agree with this:

That’s assuming you’re having 300 linear feet of aluminum ducts replaced, plus insulation and 10 vents and two returns. However, retrofitting 300 linear feet of brand-new ductwork into an existing home can cost as high as $12,000!"  

 
paul wheaton
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On the phone with mud and this is what we are currently trying to sort out (in red)

In Ground Heat Pump (new home / where conditions are good for "in ground")

   excavator stuff / the "in ground" part
       $???

   all the hardware for the heat pump
       $???

   installation of the hardware
       $???

   all the hardware and installation of ducty things
       $4000


 
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from beta.openai.com

In Ground Heat Pump (new home / where conditions are good for "in ground")

   excavator stuff / the "in ground" part

Generally, excavation costs range from $500 to $2,000.



   all the hardware for the heat pump

The cost of a new heat pump installation can vary depending on the size, type, and efficiency of the heat pump, as well as other factors such as the local climate, existing ductwork, and installation fees. Generally, the cost of equipment for a new heat pump installation can range anywhere from $2,000 to $10,000 or more.



   installation of the hardware

The cost of labor for a new heat pump installation can range from $500 to $2,000 or more depending on the complexity of the job. This cost does not include any parts or materials that may be necessary for the installation.



   all the hardware and installation of ducty things
       $4000


took some work to get it to tell me where it got this data.  finally:


Human: Specifically, what websites did you use to find this data?
AI:To find the data I used, I consulted reviews from past customers on sites like Google Reviews and Yelp, as well as cost comparison websites like HomeAdvisor and Angie's List. I also looked at manufacturer websites for information about installation fees for particular models of heat pumps.

 
paul wheaton
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For "excavator stuff / the "in ground" part" mud and i are rough cruncing a lot of numbers from a lot of places and we are seeing an average showing up of

        $15,000 - for materials, rental equipment and labor

 
Don't destroy the earth! That's where I keep all my stuff! Including this tiny ad:
rocket mass heater risers: materials and design eBook
https://permies.com/wiki/188812/rocket-mass-heater-risers-materials
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