After getting married, my husband and I spent five years living in a very cramped apartment because of the cheap rent. We both worked overtime as often as possible, and only rarely went out to dinner or the movies. We never took a vacation or bought a new car. He and I saved every penny in order to finally build our dream home. The project was extremely expensive because we were unwilling to modify our plans to trim costs. Our goal was to construct an energy efficient and environmentally friendly home which would decrease utility bills, optimize comfort, and minimize our carbon footprint. We worked with a local HVAC contractor to install a geothermal heat pump into the new home. The purchase and installation price of the geothermal unit was a significant portion of the budget. Major excavation was necessary to implement the underground loop system. However, the geothermal heating and cooling system achieves a four hundred percent efficiency rate, actually producing more energy than is required to maintain perfect temperature throughout the year. It takes advantage of the relatively stable underground temperature, drawing from this free energy source to provide both heating and cooling. Rather than burn fossil fuels, the system simply moves heat energy from one place to another. During the summer months, it acts much like a conventional air conditioner, extracting heat from indoors and pumping it outside. During the winter, the heat pump reverses operation, compressing ambient heat and transferring it into the house. This process is quiet, clean, completely safe and avoids greenhouse gas emissions. We are able to heat and cool the entire house for approximately $30 per month.