Approximately 93% of new home starts were been built with central air conditioning systems in 2015, according to the US Census Bureau. This figure marks a 13% increase in central AC inclusion since 2000, when only 86% of new homes had the feature.
In the hot, humid South Atlantic, East South Central, and West South Central census divisions, central AC was nearly universal, with inclusion in 100% or 99% of home starts. In the cooler New England and Pacific regions, central AC only appeared in 73% and 69% of new homes, respectively.
Conversely, 55% of 2015’s new home starts had a forced air heating system, while 42% had an air or ground source heat pump.
Heat pumps have become more popular since 2000, with a share increase of 19% over fifteen years. They are more popular in the South, where air and ground temperatures don’t fall as much as in the North. Forced air systems have declined in popularity by 16% over the same period.