Where I grew up in a northern climate, it was uncommon for single family homes to have their own air conditioning systems. After all, when temperatures are mild and summer rarely drives the thermometer above 80 degrees, one can do without such luxuries. In the case of a heat wave, we opened the windows or relied on portable, electric fans. Our home did have a furnace for heating, however. Wood stoves alone often do not suffice to heat a large home 24/7. While it was cozy and warm near the hearth, the other rooms would be chilly in the depths of winter without our home heating system.
Our furnace lived in the basement and we did not think about it much… unless it had issues. One January, the furnace ceased working altogether and roads were closed due to snow and ice. Wind storms often downed trees during winter storms and we were housebound. It would be several days before our furnace service technician could come out to fix our broken heating system. The cold was brutal and my brothers and I bundled up next to the fireplace to sleep, cozy and warm in blankets. Away from the hearth, however, the house was frigid. We were thrilled to see the HVAC technician drive up our steep driveway a few days later and fix the issue.
Air conditioning and heating may not be something we think about on a regular basis, but they are sure at the forefront of our minds when they stop working. Life is so much more comfortable with reliable heating and cooling, no matter the climate!