Hot today? Turn on the A/C, no matter what John Kerry says. After all, A/C made the sunbelt possible. So here's a statistical look at this wondrous invention from the Census Bureau:

Profile America — Monday, July 25th. With the nation's average hottest day of the year coming up tomorrow, many of us welcome ducking into a cool office, business, or home.

For this relief, we can thank Willis Carrier, who in the depths of winter in 1906 received a patent for what he called an "apparatus for treating air." His idea has changed the way many Americans live and where they might comfortably do so. He launched his own company 101 years ago this month, and the Carrier name is still prominent among air-conditioning manufacturers.

The invention did not come into widespread use until after World War II. Even by 1965, only 10 percent of homes in the U.S. were equipped, and just 2.8 million window air conditioners were manufactured that year. Today, 91 percent of all new, single-family houses in the U.S. are air-conditioned. You can find more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau online at

Average warmest day

Carrier's patent & company founding

The Evolution of A/C

New housing and air conditioning