(p. A11) SEATTLE — For two decades, Becky Lichenstein embraced a custom of the Seattle area: doing without air-conditioning. . . .
But summers in the Pacific Northwest aren’t what they once were. With more regular bouts of soaring temperatures, Ms. Lichenstein a few years ago surrendered and bought a portable air-conditioning unit. This year, considering a changing climate and how it’s hitting home, she decided to turn to a more powerful solution — a permanent system installed just this week.
“I’m very grateful that I’m getting it done,” said Ms. Lichenstein, as workers finalized the installation at her split-level home in Tacoma, south of Seattle.
. . .
. . . , like many parts of the country where air-conditioning was once considered an afterthought or a luxury, the region’s relationship with air-conditioning has started to change. In 2013, just 31 percent of households in the Seattle metro area had some sort of air-conditioning, according to data in the federal government’s American Housing Survey. Just six years later, that had risen to 44 percent, accounting for hundreds of thousands of new units.
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(Note: the online version of the story was updated June 30, 2021 and has the title “Air-Conditioning Was Once Taboo in Seattle. Not Anymore.”)