I have been looking at houses in Cyprus, where heating and A/C seem essential. There is little insulation, and there is high humidity. I received the following helpful comments on homes in Malta:
Regarding heating and A/C : a gas heater is the best alternative to using the AC in winters. A gas cylinder which lasts for around 3 months costs only 20 euros and these heaters are the best when dealing with big properties or Houses of Character. These can be purchased at 40 euros approximately from a hardware store.
In the summer, I hardly ever use the AC myself .. we always have a breeze here (except in August) and a ceiling fan would do less financial damage than an electric AC. Sometimes it is necessary - most times not.
Any other comments or ideas? thanks folks