News ID: 256051
Published: 0857 GMT July 20, 2019

Increased AC use boosts pollution, causes premature deaths: Study

Increased AC use boosts pollution, causes premature deaths: Study

You have heard about the excessive use of air conditioners (AC) being one of the factors influencing global warming and climate change. But did you know, use of air conditioners during peak summers is also one of the causes behind premature deaths?

A new study from the University of Wisconsin-Madison analyses how out of 100,000 premature deaths in the US, nearly 500 are caused or exacerbated by air pollution which could be avoided simply by running the air conditioners a little less during the hottest months, Fast Company reported.

Fast Company is the world's leading progressive business media brand, with a unique editorial focus on innovation in technology, leadership, and design.

According to, the researchers found that with a 12 percent reduction in the baseline electricity demand, the level of harmful pollutants such as nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide, and carbon dioxide can decline by up to 13 percent each year.

This would lead to lesser ambient particulate matter, preventing around 475 deaths.

A researcher from an earlier study on AC use by University of Wisconsin-Madison cautioned that if the increased use of air conditioning due to climate change depends on power derived from fossil fuels, there will be an air quality and human health trade-off.

An earlier report in May 2018 by International Energy Agency had also predicted that 10 new ACs will be sold every second for the next 30 years!

Some 1.6 billion buildings worldwide have AC today; by 2050, the number will grow to 5.6 billion.

Shockingly, the amount of power needed to meet this anticipated surge in indoor cooling will equal the combined electricity capacity of the United States, the European Union, and Japan today, the report said.

India is expected to be one of the countries with the biggest increase in AC in the coming decades.

The number of ACs in India currently accounts for 10 percent of that nation's electricity use, but could reach 45 percent in 2050, said the report.

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