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Central AC Is on the Rise in New Single-Family Homes

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Central AC Is on the Rise in New Single-Family Homes

The share of new single-family homes with central AC systems is on the rise across the U.S., while natural gas and electric heating systems are split evenly between new homes

September 30, 2022
New AC units outside residential home
Image: Stock.adobe.com

The share of new homes with central AC is on the rise, according to the Census Bureau’s Survey of Construction (SOC), which revealed that 97 percent of new single-family homes started had a central AC system in 2021, up from 95.4 percent in 2020. The majority of homes with central AC are located in the Midwest and South regions, specifically in the South Atlantic and East South Central divisions, where one hundred percent of homes started had central AC installed in 2021.

In addition, 99 percent of new single-family homes started use either an air/ground source heat pump or a forced air system for the primary heating equipment, and eighteen percent of homes also used a secondary type of heating equipment, Eye on Housing reports.

Approximately 49 percent of new homes started in 2021 use natural gas as the primary heating fuel, compared to 47 percent powered by electricity. The shares of new homes with electricity and natural gas as the primary heating fuel have been stable since 2012. Like heating and AC systems, the primary heating fuel source varies significantly by region of the country. For example, in New England, only 10 percent of new homes use electricity as the primary heating source. In contrast, 79 percent and 71 percent of new homes started in the South Atlantic and the East South Central use it.

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