Facts About AC Ownership In The 15 Most Populated U.S. Cities – Forbes Home


As global warming continues, living without an AC may seem daunting. But there was a time when people lived without this modern convenience. That changed thanks to Willis Haviland Carrier, who designed the first modern air-conditioning system in 1902. And with that invention, life became a lot more comfortable. Carrier is still one of the largest and best air conditioning brands in existence.

Air conditioning was all the rave in suburban homes in the 1950s, with about 74,000 air conditioners installed during this time. By the 1970s, central air conditioning was used in most commercial buildings in large cities, and more air conditioning companies came about to service installation and maintenance needs.

The 1990s saw energy usage for air conditioning doubling over just 10 years, which led to the production of more energy-efficient units due to environmental laws. By the early 2000s, most U.S. homes had some sort of air conditioning. Today more than 100 million homes enjoy AC usage.

Bottom Line

American summers are getting hotter and hotter each year, with much of the U.S. experiencing higher summer averages over the last half-century. As it gets hotter, more Americans will use their cooling systems to beat the heat.

Historically, the U.S. has had among the highest rates of home air condition usage worldwide and that usage is growing. Air condition usage went from 77% of homes in 2021 to 88% in 2020, according to the EIA. Of the 15 largest metro areas in the U.S., Philadelphia stands at the top for the most AC usage in the country. The city of San Francisco uses the least of the 15 largest metropolitan spots.

Carrier’s air conditioning invention greatly helped many Americans seeking cool refuge from hot climates. And it will continue to be highly appreciated as Americans experience hotter temperatures going forward, particularly in the West and Southwest.

Air conditioning is also life-saving, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In hotter climates, having an air conditioner can help prevent heat-related deaths. People aged 65 and over are the most likely to suffer fatal injuries from heat-related cardiovascular disease. Most heat-related deaths occur among people living in cities and metropolitan areas.

Technology has come a long way since Carrier invented the AC. Making the switch to high-efficiency air conditioners can help reduce energy use for air conditioning by 20% to 50%, according to Energy.gov. It will also provide improved indoor air quality and a longer system lifespan.



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