I grew up in a small town. We were situated just far enough away from the big city to be considered rural, yet in close enough proximity to have access to some excitement. Our family home was constructed in the forties. It is a larger home with porches and balconies, lots of big windows and oak hardwood floors. I always love the old glass doorknobs, heavy wood doors and intricately carved banisters on the stairs. The living room has a dark slate floor and the kitchen has a brick oven. Our garden still has an old-fashioned wishing well and a big gazebo with a swing. With all of it’s charm, the home is welcoming and beautiful. Houses today are not built like that. Everyone is trying to reduce costs when possible, and materials are super expensive. The contractors who design and build homes are trying to make a profit and are not the craftsmen from way back. Of course, heating and cooling in older homes is typically less energy efficient or environmentally friendly than those installed in newer homes. My childhood house was outfitted with an enormous oil heating system. It only offered two settings. The heating systems was either blasting at maximum capacity or turned completely off. There was no lower setting. The house was often overheated or cold. For air conditioning, we only had a pair of window air conditioners. In the rooms outfitted with an air conditioner, the temperature was comfortable. The rest of the home was always hot and clammy. We never even gave a thought to central cooling. I’m sure that when my parents finally replaced the oil furnace with natural gas and installed central cooling, it was an involved as well as expensive project.