When I bought my first house, I knew I was going to be in over my head as far as fixer-uppers go. My realtor said it, my friends and family said it, and every contractor I’ve spoken to has said it. Most of them wondered why I’m willing to buy a house in such disrepair, when I could buy a house that’s already up to code and completely furnished with appliances. After all, this house didn’t even have a functioning furnace, or even a window-mounted air conditioner, and there were vent registers simply glued to the walls with no real ducts. Here’s the thing though – if you didn’t put enough of yourself into your home’s appearance, then your home isn’t truly your home! That might not make sense, but what I’m saying is that your home should be something you’re always working to improve. Plus, the mortgage for this house was insanely low, so I knew I’d have the money available to make each renovation as I plan it out. After I had pest control come and completely bug and pest-proof the house, I called my HVAC contractor to schedule an appointment and talk about options for heating and cooling my home. When he arrived, he presented three possible scenarios. One was the conventional forced air system, which was centralized and provided excellent heating and cooling capabilities. Next was an evaporative cooling system and boiler with radiant heating, which was certainly the most cost-effective route. Last, he introduced me to the geothermal heat pump, which uses the soil’s neutral temperature to circulate hot or cold air into or out of the house, depending on the season. This system had the highest cost for installation, but was arguably more efficient than the boiler and evaporative cooler. With so many options, I had to think it over for a few days!