Air Conditioning Can Be a Lifesaver
Posted Friday, Jan 11, 2013 by
Air conditioning doesn’t just help make you comfortable on a hot day. It can literally save your life.
According to a new study,* heat-related deaths in the United States have plunged dramatically since 1960 because of air conditioning. Before 1960 when very few homes had air conditioning, there was a 2.5 percent chance of dying when temperatures rose above 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Now, with more than 85 percent of homes equipped with air conditioning, that probability has dropped to just 0.5 percent.
In the last half century, an average 600 Americans died prematurely each year as a result of overheating. That’s one-sixth the number of annual deaths due to heat recorded prior to 1960.
The study was prepared by a team of researchers from Tulane University, Carnegie Mellon University, the National Bureau of Economic Research, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The researchers studied heat-related deaths between 1900 and 2004, and found a strong causal link between the decline in such deaths and the addition of air conditioning in private homes.
The good news is that as developing nations like India, China and Brazil catch up with the West economically, air conditioning will become increasingly common. This will help avoid deaths that could otherwise occur due to global warming. The bad news is that more electricity will be needed to power these air conditioners, and this will only accelerate man-made climate change.
“The painful part of that is the solution involves more energy consumption,” said Michael Greenstone of MIT, one of the study’s authors. “And that is going to exacerbate the problem of increased temperatures.”
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Want to help saves lives while making the world a more comfortable place to live? Then training to become a heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) technician could be the first step to a rewarding career.
You can get the training and experience you need at WyoTech in Long Beach, Calif., to launch your HVAC career. WyoTech in Long Beach has an HVAC career training program you can complete in as little as nine months. Schedules are flexible and can include evening classes. Instructors are industry professionals, and classes are hands-on in a modern workshop setting that simulates typical residential environments.
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Financial aid is available for those who qualify.