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Air-to-air heat pumps rely on the heat present in the air, whereas geothermal heat pumps pull heat from deep in the ground where the temperature is usually constant, between 45°F (7°C) and 75°F (21°C). This means that less heat needs to be pulled from the air to achieve an optimum temperature.
Heat pumps are best for moderate climates. Another heat source may be needed in areas that get very cold. Geothermal pumps cost about $3,000, and air-to-air cost about $1,000.
Costs vary greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.