Why Don’t a lot of Homes in Hawaii Have Air Conditioning?

One question that is often asked particularly by Mainland buyers is, “Why are there so many houses in Hawaii that don’t have air conditioning?” On an island with a climate that is hot almost year round, this doesn’t seem to make much sense. There are, however, two understandable reasons for this.

Design. First, many of the homes without A/C were built prior to the 1950’s. Following the post-war economic boom, air conditioning installation became common practice. However, prior to this, it was almost non existent. In Hawaii, the plantation style homes unique to the islands were built to be able to ventilate and cool themselves naturally. The jalousies or slanted windows common in most homes here are not only an architectural nuance, they also promote airflow, utilizing trade winds to keep homes cool. Newer homes that are built without A/C tend to not have jalousies primarily due to personal preference.

Price. Many newer homes are built with multiple ceiling fans as it costs much less than installing A/C. Installing central A/C for a 2,000 sqft home can cost around $3,500-4,000. Including the cost of electricity at 45c/KWH, it definitely adds up. The option that is most common is split A/C, which allows separate A/C units to be installed in a select amount of rooms and are able to be controlled individually.

More Information

Whatever option you decide to look for in your new home, there are many different options out there to fit your preference and financial needs so you can be comfortable. With summer approaching, I hope that everyone finds different ways to keep cool. If you would like more information on the Hawaii lifestyle, or are interested in Oahu real estate opportunities, please contact me.

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Chris borreca

October 7, 2019

The question asks “what do I think?” Here is what I think (my opinion of course)….i think this is the craziest logic I have ever heard!!! Im visiting from houston. We have gawd awful weather (ie HOT and HUMID!!!) and believe me we have air conditioning. I’m sitting in a lovely house on the coast of the big island and there hasn’t been any sort of wind here all week long! Your temps don’t go down at night like most of the civilized portions of the US and a house without a/c at night here is miserable!Right now we have a tariff , it appears, on the trade winds as they simply aren’t blowing and our house faces the northeast. Put some a/c in your homes for GOD sake , it was invented a long time ago and it’s an invention, I’m sure, that would be appreciated!! Light bulbs in lamps cost some amount of money but would you like to use candle light??? Please, get out of the fifties and modernize with a/c and you will appreciate the technology!


December 10, 2020

Such an amazing information about Hawaii lifestyle and why they are not using air conditioning at their homes. Thanks for sharing these types of information. Here is my own website have same niche please have a look:

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