Everyone always tells me that it’s necessary to either have a big, high-powered HVAC system that can heat or cool a house in minutes, or to have a top of the line, energy-efficient system that conditions a home with little noise and without using any electricity or fuel. No one seems to believe that heating or cooling your house isn’t impossible any other way! At my house, the intensity of my defense against the elements comes in stages. For cooling, I’ll rely break out my standing oscillating fan for a nice breeze around the house, and I’ll crack a window open too. If the day is considerably hotter, I’ll also turn on a ceiling fan, and get my window-mounted A/C unit going. Finally, during a real scorcher, I’ll turn on the whole-house fan several times throughout the day to get rid of the heat! During the Winter, the same rules apply. I’ll wear a light sweater if it’s colder indoors, then a space heater when it’s even colder, and during the worst of Winter, I’ll have a fire going in my fireplace all day! See, I use the tiered approach for heating and cooling my house for a couple reasons. One, I don’t have an HVAC system. Two, I don’t want an HVAC system! In my last home, we used central heating and air for the house and we also paid hundreds of dollars a month in energy bills, so I swore to never put up with it again! Say what you will about how important air circulation is, but that’s why I’ll open windows or use the whole-house fan instead of an HVAC unit.