I'll be building a new home in central California in a couple of months and, based on much useful information gained on this site, I have pretty much decided on the type of system I will have installed (13 SEER AC with TXV, 80% 2 stage variable speed furnace). Haven't made up my mind on brand yet. You may find this humorous: Every time I think I've made up my mind on a brand I read a post from a professional member (who seems very knowledgeable and reasonable) and they post a neagtive opinion about the brand I've selected. I guess I realy will have to select the best contractor and just trust that the major brands will get hte job done.

I have read quite a few posts concerning heat pumps and would like to learn a little bit about heat pumps as an alternative.

We have gas in our area and no contractor has even recommended a heat pump. One contractor is using a heat pump in conjunction with a geo thermal system, but no one has mentioned a traditional heat pump system. Are heat pumps particularly suited for certain areas of the country? Our locale is hot and dry in summer, mild in winter (rarely below freezing).

I would appreciate any information on heat pumps and if I should specifically ask for more information from the local contractors.