When it’s time to invest in a new heating system for your Redlands, CA, area home, the energy efficiency of a new unit will likely be an important factor in your purchase decision. There are a variety of furnaces, heat pumps, and other types of heating systems available, though heat pumps are often a top choice among California homeowners. How efficient are heat pumps and how do they compare to other heating systems? Let’s take a look.

Heating System Energy Efficiency

Heat pumps operate as both heating and cooling systems, therefore they have two energy-efficiency ratings: HSPF (heating seasonal performance factor) for heating efficiency and SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) for cooling efficiency.

Nationally, the minimum energy-efficiency ratings allowed for new air-source heat pumps are 14 SEER/8.2 HSPF. In 2023, newly manufactured units must abide by increased minimum efficiency ratings of 14 SEER in the northern region, 15 SEER in the southern region (including California), and 8.8 HSPF nationally.

Comparatively, How Efficient Are Heat Pumps?

In areas with mild winters such as the Inland Empire, traditional heat pumps offer superior heating energy efficiency. They can produce up to 300 percent more heat than the electrical energy it consumes in ideal environments but deliver over 100 percent efficiency in typical settings. Even the highest efficiency condensing furnaces have yet to achieve the same. The best gas furnaces on the market sit at about 95% AFUE (annual fuel utilization efficiency, the measure of heating efficiency for a system type).

In areas where temperatures drop around and below freezing, some traditional heat pumps struggle to heat a home efficiently – they operate optimally when outdoor temperatures are at or above 40 degrees. Newer cold climate heat pumps are rated for efficient heating performance at lower temperatures, providing a better solution in these areas. In the Inland Empire, standard air-source heat pumps usually perform just fine in the winter.

However, there are differences in the heating provided by these two system types. The combustion of natural gas produces warmer air than the heat generated by heat pumps. Some homeowners prefer the added warmth, and these preferences should be considered in addition to how efficient heat pumps are when choosing a new heating system.

Even so, natural gas furnace installations are declining across the state of California as more homeowners choose heat pumps. Due to how efficient heat pumps are compared to furnaces and the fact they do not consume fossil fuels like gas furnaces do, heat pumps are promoted as the state works toward clean air goals.

Install an Air Source Heat Pump in Your Redlands Home

Find out how efficient heat pumps are for yourself when you upgrade to a new energy-efficient heat pump heating and cooling system. Sanborn’s Air Conditioning & Heating helps Inland Empire homeowners find the best air source heat pump equipment for their homes and budget, while providing skilled installation to ensure efficient performance over the years. Request an estimate today!