My husband, Nate, and I strive to be as environmentally responsible as possible. We sold one of our vehicles and either take public transportation or ride our bikes the majority of the time. We compost all of our organic scraps, turning them into a natural fertilizer for our gardens. We grow the majority of our own vegetables and use no chemical pesticides. When building our home, energy efficiency was extremely important to us. Nate and I spent hours researching all different types of heating and cooling systems. We were looking for an HVAC system which would handle the severe weather in our area without contributing to the problem of greenhouse gas emissions. We hoped to avoid the dangers of combustion byproducts, such as formaldehyde and carbon monoxide. We didn’t want a system which consumed a great deal of electric. The Environmental Protection Agency considers geothermal heat pumps as the most environmentally friendly heating/cooling system on the market. This type of temperature control requires a large initial start up cost, but recovers the initial investment through tremendous energy savings. The expense of installation is mainly due to the necessary excavation for the underground loop system. However, the underground loop should last for upwards of fifty years and takes advantage of the free energy source in our own backyard. The geothermal heat pump burns no fossil fuels, but simply moves heat from one location to another. We are able to heat and cool our large home for around thirty dollars per months. We have greatly reduced our carbon footprint, and yet enjoy a clean, safe and effective heating/cooling system.