What Percent of New Homes Have Air Conditioning?

Approximately 88% of all new homes in the US were built with air conditioning in 2011, according to US Census survey findings. In comparison, 48% of new US homes in 1974 had air conditioning. The amount of air conditioners shipped in the US tripled in the same time period, according to statistics from the Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute. The increase in air conditioners is typically credited in the decline of heat-related deaths in the US, which dropped 80% from 1960 to 2012. Critics have also partially blamed additional air conditioners for an increase in hot temperatures due to their production of greenhouse gases, around 3,400 pounds (1542.21 kg) of carbon dioxide annually.

More about air conditioning:

  • 98% of all US cars were built with air conditioning in 2011, compared to 61% in 1974.

  • One-sixth of all energy in the US is used for air conditioning, or more than the total consumption in India.

  • The first home air conditioner was built in 1914 and was 20 feet (6.1 m) long,7 feet (2.13 m) high, and 6 feet (1.83m) wide.

More Info: eia.gov

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Discussion Comments


I actually can't imagine a new car being built without air conditioning these days. I actually don't really like air conditioning that much, which is why I have never been able to live in the South.

I always end up with a stuffed up nose whenever I have to be in air conditioning for any amount of time.


@pleonasm - Honestly, I just don't think people are ever going to give up central air conditioning. And it has made life a lot better for a lot of people. We don't realize how awful it was back when it didn't exist, but even today there are still a lot of deaths whenever there is a heat wave.

And there's no reason that people have to put up with the pollution either. There are plenty of electricity solutions now that don't add carbon to the atmosphere. We've just got to start putting them into place.


I really wish that more people would just build homes that use passive air conditioning, just through the way they are designed. There are all kinds of solutions that can make even the hottest areas cool inside if you plan it out carefully. You can't touch a button and control exactly what temperature the air is going to be, but it's a lot cheaper and a lot better for the environment than air conditioning units in every house.

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