AC sales are heating up in Europe

Europeans typically haven’t embraced at-home AC like Americans have. But now it’s really hot.

Selina Lee

About 91% of US homes have air conditioning. But in Europe, it’s far less common. Why?

The climate: It’s neither as hot nor as humid in many parts of Europe as it is in many parts of the US.

  • The UK is often dreary and damp — much like Seattle, where only 44% of US households are equipped with AC. (Conversely, in Greece, where summers get toasty, 99% of households do have AC.)

They don’t like it: Cranking the AC can be seen as wasteful, and some Italians think it’s bad for your health.

But that could all change given recent heave waves

Amid record-breaking heat and wildfires across Europe, portable AC sales in Britain spiked 2.4k% in a week, per The Washington Post.

An International Energy Agency estimate sees AC units across the EU more than doubling from 110m in 2019 to 275m by 2050.

Of course, more energy use…

… leads to more emissions, leads to more climate woes.

But Paul Hockenos, a Berlin-based author who covers renewable energy, suggests some more planet-friendly solutions, including:

  • Energy-efficient units
  • Passive cooling (opening windows at night, drawing shades by day
  • Geothermal cooling (which moves heat into the ground)
  • Switching to clean energy

Then there’s this guy who’s proposing Naked Day.

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