Like many newlyweds, we lived in a small apartment at first. We dreamed of buying a large, country home to get away from the traffic, noise, and lack of privacy. Even though our commute to work was short, it didn’t out-way the pitfalls of city living. Eventually, we started thinking about having a family of our own, and along with that came the search for the perfect home. Naturally, we ventured out toward farmland where the country homes dotted the landscape. We were thrilled to find a big, old house with a wrap-around porch, and a large backyard. The house was in decent shape with its original hardwood floors. What new home owner wouldn’t dream of resting on the porch and sipping lemonade. We also envisioned lower energy bills during the summer because we could leave the windows open to take advantage of the breeze and hanging out laundry out to dry instead of using a dryer. Having never owned a home, the two of us were not prepared for the challenge of heating and cooling the space. The first winter in the house was disastrous. The charming high ceilings ate into our pocket book by allowing the warm air to rise high above where we actually lived. The old windows were not insulated and air escaped between the sills. The insulation was old and insufficient. Our furnace ran all day and night but the house was never warm. We had not choice but to take out a loan to make improvements. We replaced the windows, sealed the duct work, and completely insulated the walls and attic. We waited for summer. Surely opening the windows would give us a break from the high energy bills. Alas, our house is on a dirt road. When the windows were open, dust drifted in my the truck loads. We also live close to a sheep farm where smells and flies abound. We could neither open the windows nor hang out the laundry. Needless to say, we’re now saving up to install a central cooling system.