We heard about a local company, Coneco, that designs geothermal heating systems for the home so we had a couple of folks come over to check out the Blicky homestead to provide an assessment. Supposedly it's one of the most energy efficient ways to heat and cool your home. The technology taps into the temperature way down in the earth, which because of its density remains pretty constant year-round -- cooler in the summer warmer in the winter. So you get cheap heat, cooling (which we don't presently have) and hot water. Plus you get to stick it to the MAN!
The Blicky house is passive solar, designed during the baby-oil crunch of the 70's but we have too many (well-loved) trees for it to work as it should. The design is pretty labyrinthine so we realized that for any sort of central heating system the major challenge will be the duct work. We'll keep you posted.
Blicky has his own heating and cooling plan for our homestead. He's planning to heat it with plutonium. I think he wants to suspend the plutonium in water tanks and wrap them around the house. Then in the summer he want to fill the living room with ice sculpture portraits of his hero and mentor, Dick Cheney, and keep them cool by opening the refrigerator doors and turning on electric fans.