I am very conscientious about my carbon footprint. I have taken great lengths to make my home as environmentally responsponsible as possible. A little over five years ago, I invested in a geothermal heat pump to handle year round temperature control. This type of heat pump makes use of the clean, renewable energy source provided by the sun. There is no onsite combustion which eliminates the emissions of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and other greenhouse gases. Plus, there’s none of the combustion-related safety hazards or air quality concerns. Another advantage is that there’s no noisy outdoor compressor or fan. The ground loop system is entirely hidden, and the indoor heat pump is about as loud as a refrigerator. With regular maintenance, I can expect the indoor equipment to last upwards of twenty-five years. Considering a conventional furnace or air conditioner rarely makes it to fifteen years, this provides a lot of extra time to recover the startup costs. The ground loop is warrantied for fifty years. Overall, the whole geothermal system has fewer moving parts and is protected from the elements, so I also save money on maintenance requirements. Unfortunately, the initial investment was considerable. The sizing, design and installation was not a do-it-yourself project but required a team of licensed professionals. Finding an HVAC contractor qualified in geothermal design and installation in my area was rather difficult. The project was very involved and caused a lot of disruption to the landscape in my backyard. There was a great deal of heavy drilling, digging and damage to my gardens. However, since implementing the geothermal system, I’ve trimmed my heating bills by fifty percent and have already recovered the purchase and installation price. I’ve also improved the comfort of my home. The geothermal heat pump provides very clean, even heating and cooling all year round.