When it comes to demand for homes with central air conditioners, it’s not the heat; it’s the humidity.
A RealtyTrac analysis of homes in U.S. cities with more than 100,000 residents showed that cities with high humidity and temperatures, not just one or the other, have the most homes with central air. Yet Chicago, which is among neither the hottest nor the most humid cities, outranked scorchers like Houston, Miami, and Phoenix on RealtyTrac’s list of “coolest” cities.
Rounding out the list where central A/C is a must-have were Philadelphia; San Antonio, TX; Portland, OR; Las Vegas; Los Angeles; St. Louis, MO; Orlando, FL; Jacksonville, FL; Atlanta; Charlotte, NC; and Indianapolis.
Except for a few West Coast cities with mild, year-round climates, air conditioners come standard in most new homes, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. As their use increases, builders have been able to upsell more energy-efficient models.