Gargaro's World: Is Air Conditioning a Luxury or Necessity?
The research center randomly surveyed a nationally-representative sample of 2,000 adults and gave them a list of items to classify as either a necessity or luxury. Air conditioning had the fourth highest necessity total of 70 percent. This is a 19 percent increase from when the survey was first taken in 1996. Some of the items air conditioning “beat” included microwave (68 percent), television set (64 percent), and home computer (51 percent). The only items that outscored air conditioning were car, clothes washer, and clothes dryer. I would rather be cool in my house while my clothes were baking in the sun outside, but whatever.
To read the entire results, http://pewsocialtrends.org/assets/pdf/Luxury.pdf