We are officially in the middle of winter. Even though I live in a southern state, I still have to use the heater sometimes. I always look forward to the end of summer, because it really is super hot here most of the time. My favorite time of year is the time when I can permanently shut off the air conditioner and open the windows. All the musty smells make their way outside, the house smells fresh and clean, and the heating and cooling bill goes down to a reasonable level. However, the autumn season with its open windows leads into winter, and winter means having to turn on the heater. I would prefer to never use the furnace, but sometimes it just can’t be helped. I find that the air emanating from the air vents dries out my skin and lips, and it usually makes me cough. Even so, our weather gets cold enough to freeze pipes, so sometimes using the heater is just plain mandatory. It is better to close the windows and turn on heat pump than it is to have a pipe burst and send water all over the place. Water damage is costly and time consuming. Our hot weather season generally lasts about 8 or 9 months of the year, and we usually have about 3 months of milder weather in the fall and spring. It is always a delight to welcome spring with its blooms and fall with its burnt orange and cranberry colors. And of course opening the windows is great when we don’t need heating and cooling at all.