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Heatwave boosts demand for homes with air conditioning

Heatwave People collect water from a fountain in Green Park in London, Britain.
Heatwave: 19th July was the hottest day on record in the UK with temperatures of more than 40 degrees. Photo: Kevin Coombs/Reuters (Kevin Coombs / reuters)

Searches for homes with air conditioning have soared following the record-breaking hot summer, according to property site Rightmove.

On the 19th July, the hottest day on record in the UK with temperatures of more than 40 degrees, searches for homes for sale with air conditioning nearly quadrupled (+280%) and nearly tripled in the rental market (+180%), compared to the same day in 2021.

Overall, searches for homes for sale with air conditioning have more than tripled (+234%) compared to this time last year, while searches for homes to rent with air conditioning are up 74%.

Read more: British Gas to donate 10% of profits to struggling customers

“During the hottest days of the year we’ve seen people across the UK jump straight onto Rightmove to see where they could live with the luxury of air conditioning,” Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s property expert said.

However, choice is limited as homes for either sale or to rent with air conditioning still make up less than 1% of all available properties despite the increased interest.

“Though they make up a very small portion of the current property market, homes with air-con and other features that keep a home cool could attract even more interest in the future if we experience similarly hot summers, and these features rise up the priority list.”

There has also been an increase in agents highlighting other features and using key terms to describe how a home may stay cool in the summer for buyers and renters, ahead of more potential hot summers. Mentions of ‘ceiling fan’ have increased seven times (+629%), ‘airy’ six times (+526%) and ‘shade’ five times (+405%).

“Demand for air conditioning often spikes in the summer months as temperatures rise and homeowners look for ways to keep cool at home. Across June and July last year, homeowners posted 91% more air conditioning jobs compared to April and May,” Adrienne Minster, CEO of Rated People said.

“This year, that summer demand is higher than ever, thanks to the record-breaking prolonged heat in the UK. Air conditioning requests jumped by 116% across June and July compared to the two months before, with many homeowners finding this summer too hot to handle and looking at air conditioning as a way to either cool down fast or get ahead of the next heatwave!,” she said.

Running an air conditioner with a unit size of up to 10KW costs around 38p per hour. The exact cost of running depends on the size and amount of usage but on average an air conditioner will add £24 per week to your energy bill.

Read more: Cost effective ways to keep cool during heatwaves

The UK could be in for another heatwave this weekend with temperatures possibly hitting as high as the thirties ahead of the August Bank Holiday weekend.

British Weather Services senior meteorologist Jim Dale expects temperatures to reach the high twenties.

He said: “As it looks from the models now, around the bank holiday temperatures could be in the high 20s and the extreme would be 30C degrees.

“The southern areas might see 25C, 26C, 27C degrees and the odd 28C 29C, with the extreme getting to 30C degrees.”

Watch: Britain's trees turn a sea of orange as extreme temperatures cause a 'false autumn'