Houston Matters

Would Houston Exist Without Air Conditioning?

Air conditioning, it’s hard to imagine living in Houston without it.

Houston Heat Weather Sun Hot


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Houston's summers can be oppressively hot and muggy. That's why most Houstonians crank up the A/C from June through September, if not most of the rest of the year too. It might not be the most energy-efficient way to go, but many see central air as an absolute must here.

Of course, a century ago, there was no air conditioning. It's hard to imagine living in a climate like this without it, but people got by, though in culturally and economically very different ways.

In the audio above, former Houston Matters producer Paige Phelps reports on the role air conditioning played in shaping the Houston region we live in today.

These days Paige Phelps works for the public radio show Think on our fellow Texas public radio station KERA.