In the area where I live, the weather is quite chilly for the majority of the year. While we rely heavily on our heating system, central cooling isn’t a necessity. For the first five years my family lived in our home, we managed our summer comfort with open windows, box fans and a couple of portable air conditioners. The house was often overheated and sticky feeling during the summer months. When humidity was excessive, the portable air conditioners failed to keep up. I finally spent the money to have a central cooling system installed. Since the duct system and air handler were already in place to support the furnace, the investment was reasonable. I was able to take advantage of a special offered by a local HVAC contractor, and chose a high efficiency, Energy Star rated cooling unit. Once the air conditioner was installed, I was surprised by the improvement in the overall enjoyment of the home. The central cooling unit allowed me to close the windows in the house and regulate temperature with a thermostat. We no longer deal with the influx of outdoor contaminants, such as dust, pollen, dander and exhaust fumes. The house now stays much cleaner, and I don’t need to vacuum or dust as often. We aren’t disrupted by the sounds of neighbors, traffic, barking dogs or tweeting birds. Plus, I feel better about security with the windows shut and locked. Along with managing temperature and combating humidity, the cooling system circulates and filters the air, capturing pollutants and creating a much healthier living environment. There’s no longer condensation running down the windows or issues with mold or mildew growth.