Heat Illness Metadata: Adults with Air Conditioning Access


Adults with access to air conditioning data are from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS).

Dates Available:

2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2019

Geographic Resolution:

State, Public Health District, County


This data set contains information on the percent of adults with air conditioning in Maine. Data are stratified by geographic location and whether they own or rent their home.

The dataset contains the following measures:

  • Percentage of adults with air conditioning in their homes


This data set supports efforts to improve public health in Maine and contributes to the U.S. CDC’s National Environmental Public Health Tracking (EPHT) Network. A key activity of participants in this network is to track and make available environmental health measures on state and national portals. Measures derived from the data set described here can be used to compare air conditioning prevalence across the state, over time, and in relation to heat illness hospitalizations and emergency department visits.

The Maine Tracking Network (ME Tracking), a member of the National EPHT Network, connects communities, public health professionals, policy makers, state agencies, and others to the data they need to monitor public health, respond to health concerns, prioritize resources for public health action, and evaluate prevention activities. Maine tracks certain health effects, exposures, and environmental hazards that have known relationships, as well as some health effects and environmental hazards that have suspected relationships.  By making health and environmental data available through the Maine Tracking Network, more people have access to data they need to think critically and hypothesize about health outcomes and their relationships to conditions in the environment.

Supplemental Information:

The percent of adults in Maine with air conditioning varies geographically. Maine residents living in areas with a lower prevalence of air conditioning may be more vulnerable to increased temperatures than areas with a higher prevalence of air conditioning.

The BRFSS is conducted nationally in 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam. In Maine, more than 4,000 adults are interviewed each year. Air conditioning questions were first included in the survey in 2011 and have been asked annually.

Statistical weighting is an analytical technique used to account for survey non-response, in addition to  known distributions of age, race and ethnicity, gender, geographic region and other characteristics of populations.  From 1984 to 2010, the BRFSS used a technique called post-stratification to weight BRFSS survey data. In 2011, a new statistical method called raking replaced the older method because it could help record additional population characteristics such as education level, marital status, and home ownership status of respondents. Changes in the estimated percentage of BRFSS measures from year to year could be due to changes in survey methodology.

Entity and Attribute Overview:

This dataset includes the following fields: weighted percent (with accompanying 95% CI’s) of homes with air conditioning, survey year, geographic resolution, and household status (own, rent).

Data Limitations:

  • Maine adults who are institutionalized, do not have a phone, or cannot communicate over the phone are not interviewed by the survey.
  • Data are based upon self-report, and individuals may or may not be able to report accurately that their household has an air conditioning system.
  • While the prevalence data are statistically weighted to be more representative of the general adult population of Maine and to adjust for non-response, statistical weighting methods are not always perfect in accomplishing this.
  • Lack of air conditioning within the home environment may suggest vulnerability to heat related illness, though access to other air conditioned environments (e.g. occupational and commercial spaces) may also be protective.

Access Constraints:

Publicly available data are suppressed in accordance with the Maine CDC Privacy Policy to protect confidentiality.

More Information:

Suggested Citation for Data Displays:

Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Maine Tracking Network. Heat-related Illness: Adults with Air Conditioning Access. Available online: https://data.mainepublichealth.gov/tracking/ Accessed on [date accessed].