Three-Fourths of Ontarians (74%) Would Not Buy or Rent a Home Without Air Conditioning

Two-Thirds (64%) Believe Air Conditioning to Be Most-Important Relief During a Summer Heat Wave

The author(s)

  • Sean Simpson Vice President, Canada, Public Affairs
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Toronto, ON, May 15, 2019 — It seems that year after year, summers keep getting hotter and hotter, often with no relief in sight. A new Ipsos poll carried out among Ontarians who own a home, condo, or co-op on behalf of Enercare suggests that this year will be no different and that Ontarians will be spending a lot of quality time with their home air conditioning units. Two-thirds (64%) believe that air conditioning is the most important thing for staying cool during a summer heat wave, a proportion that rises to 70% among women as well as those over aged 55 and over. Other ways in which Ontarians will stay cool include avoiding the sun (11% believe most important), having an ice-cold drink (9%), using a fan (7%), swimming in a pool or lake (6%), and a cool towel (3%).

The Ontario housing market may be cooling down, just like the temperatures inside the province’s households; almost three-quarters (74%) say they would not buy or rent a home that did not have air conditioning. However, these hardline attitudes towards air conditioning are softened among those living in Northern Ontario (56%). Nonetheless, it cannot be denied to what extent air conditioning has become a necessity for providing relief in the summer heat.

Feelin’ Hot, Hot, Hot

While only 7% of homeowners in Ontario report not having air conditioning, this masks some regional variation; homeowners in Northern Ontario (46%) and Central Ontario (14%) are more likely to say they do not have air conditioning at home. As for those who do have air conditioning, the average setting during a summer heat wave is 20.9°C, though people aged 18-34 tend to set their air conditioning to a lower temperature (at 18°C) and those aged 55 and over tend to set it to a higher temperature (at 24°C).

As with any mechanical device, periodic check-ups and preventative maintenance are essential to continue enjoying the benefits of air conditioning. 6 in 10 (60%) homeowners in Ontario say they test their air conditioner every year, for instance to check that it is still producing cold air and is not rattling. This proportion increases to 71% among those aged 55 and over. While 19% say they test their air conditioning every 2-3 years, 4% say they test it every 4-5 years, and 4% every 5 years or more, approximately one in seven (14%) homeowners in Ontario say they have never tested their air conditioning to make sure it is working properly.

As for carrying out routine maintenance, it appears that some Canadians are putting off important servicing. While 30% of homeowners in Ontario say they have had their air conditioning serviced within the past year and 35% say they have done so within the past 1-3 years, 1 in 10 (9%) report never having had their air conditioning serviced or maintained, with another 17% saying they have had it serviced or maintained only in the past four or more years. This leaves a significant proportion number of homeowners in Ontario at risk of having their air conditioning breaking down in the middle of the summer heat – something that will no doubt leave them hot under the collar.

Although the official start of summer is June 21, some of the unofficial signs of summer are already here. For about one in four (26%), summer has come when the snow melts and a similar proportion (23%) point to the May long weekend as a sign that summer has arrived. Other unofficial signs of summer include:

  • Turning on the air conditioning for the first time: 21%
  • Leaving your jacket in the closet: 19%
  • Patios opening up: 11%

Four in ten (37%) Ontarians don’t know that June 21st is the official start of summer. This lack of awareness is higher among residents of Toronto (44%), and parents with kids in the household (48%). Women are more likely than men (66% vs. 59%) to know the correct starting date for the summer season.

About the Study

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between 16-18 April 2019, on behalf of Enercare. For this survey, a sample of 1,041 Ontarians aged 18 and over who own a home, condo, or co-op was interviewed. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics to ensure that the sample's composition approximates the sample universe. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within ±3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Ontarians aged 18 and over who own a home, condo, or co-op been polled. The credibility interval will be wider among subsets of the population. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error and measurement error.

For more information on this news release, please contact:

Sean Simpson

Vice President, Canada

Ipsos Public Affairs

+1 416 324-2002  

About Ipsos

Ipsos is an independent market research company controlled and managed by research professionals. Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos has grown into a worldwide research group with a strong presence in all key markets. Ipsos ranks fourth in the global research industry. With offices in 89 countries, Ipsos delivers insightful expertise across five research specializations: brand, advertising and media; customer loyalty; marketing; public affairs research; and survey management. Ipsos researchers assess market potential and interpret market trends. They develop and build brands. They help clients build long-term relationships with their customers. They test advertising and study audience responses to various media and they measure public opinion around the globe. Ipsos has been listed on the Paris Stock Exchange since 1999 and generated global revenues of €1,780.5 million in 2017.

The author(s)

  • Sean Simpson Vice President, Canada, Public Affairs