I grew up in a simpler time when everyone, it seemed, lived frugally. We never went without the necessities, but we didn’t have much in the way of luxuries either. We owned one car, one television, and shared a telephone party line with the neighbors. My mother dried our clothes, sheets and towels outside on the clothesline for as many months as possible, saving the use of the dryer for the winter. And our clothes were handed down from one sibling to the next, having originally been handed down from other relatives. I was aware that some people had air conditioners in their windows during the summers, but assumed that we didn’t need such an extravagance. We kept our house cool the old fashioned way – we kept the blinds closed to keep the sunshine out, kept the windows open at night to let the cool air in, and cooked outside on the grill whenever possible. But with the passing years, more and more people started buying window air conditioners. But it took several years until my father relented and purchased an air conditioner for the living room window. That was our luxury for many years to follow. But times have changed and my parents moved to a newer home once their children were grown. They had a ducted central air conditioning system installed, the one advised by their HVAC contractor. He listed several benefits of the system, including evenly-cooled rooms, minimal system noise, and overall aesthetic appeal. Finally, he explained (and this is most likely what sold my father) that a ducted air conditioning system adds to the overall value of a home. In the final analysis, my parents are very pleased with their choice of air conditioning, having come a long way in the process.