issue: September 2007 APPLIANCE Magazine
Overview of the World Air-Conditioning Market
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by Wasaku Ishida, Japanese correspondent and president, JARN (Japan Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration News)
With estimated shipments of about 70.6 million units, the global market of room air conditioners (RACs) (window models and ductless split models) and packaged air conditioners (PACs) used in light commercial applications or in whole houses (unitary air conditioners and ductless split PACs) hit a record high in 2006. The record high is a significant accomplishment considering the rising prices of copper and oil during this period.
China, the largest air-conditioner market in the world, grew during the four consecutive years from 2001 to 2004. A plateau in 2005 resulted from a saturated market in big cities and an immature market in rural areas. With stricter requirements on energy efficiency, air conditioners with new technologies may become a new profit-making opportunity. However, it will most likely take several years for the market to mature.
The RAC market in the United States experienced remarkable growth in 2006 with about 9 million window RACs shipped for an 11% increase over 2005.
Approximately 7.5 million RAC units were shipped in Japan in 2006, up 0.5% over 2005. PACs numbered some 800,000 units in 2006.
Japan completed the switch over to HFC refrigerant several years ago. All the RACs sold in Japan use highly efficient R410A. Most PACs also use R410A.
The total European market for splits, mobiles, and window units was 6.8 million units, a 10% growth compared with 2005. Seven countries—Spain, Italy, Turkey, Russia, France, Greece, and the UK—account for about 81% of the total market. The fastest-growing markets are Turkey and Russia. Turkey’s market size in 2006 was about 1.2 million units, a 58% growth over the 759,000 units recorded in 2005, which puts Turkey in the top three in the area. A 2-million-unit market is expected for Turkey in 2010.