House and Home

More coastal homeowners now considering air conditioning

Warmer days lead homeowners to consider options

New home construction in coastal cities are including more cooling options including air conditioning than ever. (Photo: John Palminteri/KEYT.com) 

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Whether real or a passing trend, the number of days the public believes have created "the new norm" of heat waves is leading to more property owners looking at air conditioning units.

In the immediate areas near the ocean, it was never a mandatory priority in housing to have year-round comfort. Often the temperatures are under 80 degrees, but this summer there have been two extremely warm weather periods.

For a local banker, Warren Ritter who lives in an upstairs apartment without AC says "it's needed for sure it's super hot."

He is from South Carolina, "So when I moved here it wasn't something I was looking for in the fine print, so when I got there and looked at the thermostat and only saw the heat I said 'oh no what's going on here?'  Definitely was a surprise"

With a plan, he has found a way to keep the hot air moving out.

"I have two fans strategically placed so I can take advantage of the draft within the apartment  and circulate the air but I mean sometimes at night it gets really bad because the heat doesn't dissipate it is stuck there."

One visitor said on the road it is necessary especially in some areas. Daniella Murrow said, "Florida you definitely need air conditioning it's really hot and humid."

These days air conditioning can be an option in a new housing tract. One developer said they build their homes to have the system if it is added up front or later.  The cost can be a deterrent if it runs over $4,000.

Others opt for windows that deflect sun rays.

"If your house is designed right it's not too bad," said Don Williams from Australia.

Steve Dunne was in Santa Barbara from London and said his vacation rental "in Los Angeles have to have air conditioning that's one of the priorities."

Air conditioning was listed as a required feature by 62 percent of buyers, while a private outdoor space was deemed essential by 48 percent of buyers, according to the 2017 Zillow Group Consumer Housing Trends Report.

The study also said hot summer days are becoming more common which may help explain why air conditioning is becoming more of a necessity in many markets. 

Across the country, 66.1 percent of homes that sold in the past year have air conditioning.


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