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the necessity of ac in los angeles

Is Air Conditioning Required in Los Angeles?

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At Universal Heating & Air, our team of expert technicians and specialists, which has a combined total of over 20 years of experience, prides themselves on being prepared and properly equipped to handle all of your heating and air conditioning (known in the business as HVAC) needs. When you choose our team of HVAC contractors at Universal Heating & Air, you select a team that is more than ready to handle all types of residential and commercial HVAC-adjacent repairs and/or maintenance.

From air conditioning installationmaintenance, and repairs to thermostat repair to furnace installation and repairs, and so much more, the Universal Heating & Air team promises to be there for you when you need us most.

los angeles heat
Despite being one of the warmest corners of the country, there is no legal requirement for properties to fit AC units

Is AC required in Los Angeles?

Following California building codes and laws, residential units must maintain an internal temperature of at least 70 degrees during the winter months. Legally speaking, this ensures that residents within such residential rental units are kept safe during the colder seasons.

While this makes perfect sense, inhospitable cold fronts are rare in LA. Instead, this city is much more commonly affected by tremendous heat waves. Yet, no California habitability laws state a unit must feature air conditioning or any other type of cooling unit for your home. Thus, there are currently no laws that require LA residential rental units to have an air conditioner.

debate on ac installation los angelesThe Debate Over Cooling Appliances Legislation

This has become an increasingly hot topic as of late, as extreme weather events, which bring extreme heat waves, have been becoming commonplace in LA recently, leading to public outcry for alterations to the legislation surrounding this issue.

LA residents (with an exceptionally high influx of residents from low-income households that do not have air conditioning units) set a South Los Angeles record last year, with more emergency room visits throughout several heat waves than ever before in the city’s history.

Nury Martinez campaign for mandatory ac unit installation
Nury Martinez has been one of the leading figures in the campaign for AC units to be essential building requirements

campaign for ac installationsNury Martinez and her Crusade to Save Residents from the Heat

With this South Los Angeles record and the increasing commonality of such extreme weather events, City Council president Nury Martinez has introduced a motion that would collaborate with reports from the city’s Housing Department. The Climate Emergency Mobilization Office (whose Climate Vulnerability Assessment Report is perhaps the most crucial report of them all) and the Chief Heat Officer in an attempt to find solutions to these issues by changing the city code and requiring “sufficient cooling apparatuses” within all residential rental units.

Such an alteration to the city code, to require such sufficient cooling apparatuses, would be monumental and absolutely go a long way toward relieving the mounting pressure and overwhelming harm being done by the LA heat.

As of right now, the only part of the city code that even references home cooling is a mandate that all homes be equipped with proper ventilation.

In the eyes of California’s habitability laws, proper ventilation means that all rooms must either have a fan, a vent, or a window that can theoretically assist in circulating the movement of air through the room. This same legislation goes on to outline that any window in question must measure at least 20 by 24 inches and must be able to open at least halfway so that they may theoretically house window air conditioners.

types of ac units offered by UniversalTypes of AC Offered by Universal Heating & Air

Whether you’re looking for some window air conditioners or a central air conditioning system or simply need repairs and/or maintenance performed on your current air conditioning units, our team at Universal Heating & Air is here for you.

We know how extreme weather events and the devastating effects of climate change can have such grave effects on Los Angeles residents, which is why we’re here to help. From the Northeast San Fernando Valley, reaching all the way out to Hollywood, the City Administrative Officer of Los Angeles has found time and time again that more emergency room visits throughout this record-breaking heat are coming from primarily older housing units that house low-income families, low-income households, and low-income neighborhoods.

Simply put, this is because energy bills are expensive, and other HVAC companies can load their work with hidden fees and surprise charges that gut low-income households by raising their energy bills even higher.

While the city works to assist low-income households through legal means, our team at Universal Heating & Air aims to do so through our actions right now by offering our efficient and reliable services at the best price in the market.

possible to live without ac
Is is possible to live in LA without air conditioning? Technically, yes. Can you live comfortably? Absolutely not.

Can you live in LA without an Operable Air Conditioning System?

While it is theoretically possible to live in LA without air conditioning (for the time being, there are no laws in place, though many in Los Angeles are pushing for new laws to be passed soon), both renters and property owners alike will continuously find it in their best interest to have an air conditioner in the home.

Cooling appliances such as AC and proper ventilation systems are just about the only way to combat the extreme heat in Los Angeles in the wake of climate change, so renting out a home in LA without an AC system is growing increasingly more difficult.

While California law does not state anything in-specific about LA rental units having to have cooling appliances or AC, it does state that if there are operable cooling appliances in the rental unit upon a tenant’s arrival and signing of the rental agreement, then it is the landlord’s responsibility to maintain said cooling appliances. Thus, if your air conditioning system breaks down after you move into a rental unit, it is the property owners’ responsibility to fix said cooling appliances and get the system operable again within a reasonable amount of time.

la needs ac units
With temperatures rising each year due to climate change, compulsory AC units installed in every residence would greatly ease the burden of residents sweltering under the Southern California sun

Why does LA not have AC?

That is the million-dollar question. With insufferable extreme heat now becoming increasingly frequent in Los Angeles, CA, as a result of climate change and other factors, the need for legislation concerning the implementation and maintenance of air conditioning from the Northeast San Fernando Valley to Hollywood has never been more apparent.

California has habitability laws that require things such as heating systems and gas systems within a rental unit, yet has zero legislation concerning the one element that most affects its residents, necessitating a cooling system. As a result, low-income neighborhoods have been left to suffer in this record-breaking extreme heat, trying to survive off of window air conditioners. But sadly, window air conditioners just aren’t cutting it anymore.

Times have changed along with the climate, and just as temperatures in San Fernando Valley are now reaching heights of up to 110 degrees, Los Angeles has never been in more desperate need of air conditioning.

For all of your AC needs, call our team at Universal Heating & Air at (323) 763-5777. In these dire times, we are here to help you!

Picture of Peri T.
Peri T.

I'm Peri, the owner of Universal Heating & Air, and I'm here to save the day (or at least your AC). Our team got the skills and knowledge to handle any AC repair, installation, or maintenance job. My goal is to make sure my customers are comfortable, no matter the weather. So, if you need superheros for your AC problems, look no further!