What appliances you need for home climate control depends wholly on the outdoor climate where you live. Central air conditioning isn’t for everyone, nor should it be. It is, in fact, too expensive to maintain in many areas of the world.
I’ve had the misfortune of having to endure climates ranging from the very dry to the very humid and from the very cold to the very hot. There are only two places in the world where I’ve been that the weather doesn’t bother me much: San Diego, California, and Hawaii. I can’t afford to live in either location on my retirement pensions.
I spent my first 13 years of life enduring cold winters and hot summers in the desert of Arizona. Evaporative coolers, also called swamp coolers, were the only appliances capable of quickly cooling rooms in large houses during the summer. Gas heaters were the only appliances capable of quickly heating those same houses in the winter. Electric heaters worked, but not as fast and not as efficiently.
Blowing air around with electric fans in the summer didn’t work too well unless they were used in conjunction with evaporative coolers or air conditioning units. Hot wind doesn’t feel any better than no wind.
My parents had a window air conditioning unit in their bedroom, but that was only after most of the children were grown and living elsewhere. They couldn’t afford air conditioning for the entire house.
I use split-type air conditioning units in my house in the Philippines, but I don’t need them until the hottest parts of the year. The drains drip water almost constantly due to the high humidity during those months. During the rest of the year, I use standing floor fans to keep cool. They’re not so much for keeping the air cool as they are to keep the air moving. Humid air tends to feel sticky.
Josie, my wife, wants to replace the lights in the bedrooms, living room and dining room with lighted ceiling fans. I’m planning to buy them and have a brother-in-law install them before we return. They have to be capable of spinning faster than some ceiling fans I’ve been under over the years. Slow ceiling fans don’t work very well in a humid climate.
Central air conditioning works well enough when homes are designed for them. The house I owned in Arizona had central air conditioning, and it worked well when the doors to the outside world were kept closed. I suffered with a huge electric bill one summer because one person wouldn’t close the door behind him. I had to have spring hinges put in place to close it for him.
Central air conditioning would probably work well enough for my house in the Philippines, but I can’t afford to have it installed along with all the duct work that would be required. But then again, I probably still wouldn’t use it for more than three months out of a year.