According to a new study by Freedonia, an international business research company, the demand for consumer water purification and air cleaning systems is projected to increase 4.7 percent per year to U.S. $1.7 Billion in 2010. Gains will be driven by consumer concerns about the quality of air and water in the home, and greater awareness of the healthful and aesthetic benefits of these systems. Market penetration will also be spurred by the development of quieter and more user-friendly systems. Existing owners of purification systems are continuing to upgrade to higher value versions with specialty features. The addition of specialty features such as the use of multiple technologies on a single unit will also fuel increases in demand in value terms. The aftermarket plays an important role in the industry with sales of replacement filters and membranes forecasted to reach U.S. $2.5 billion in 2010.
The company reports water purification systems that feature conventional filtration media accounted for the majority of demand for water systems in 2005, with 76 percent of sales and value. Faster growth will be registered by higher value reverse osmosis and distillation systems, although from significantly smaller bases. These systems can process a broader range of contaminants compared to conventional filters. In general, growth is largely dependent on the quality—or the perceived quality—of local tap water supplies.
Among air cleaners, conventional filtration systems accounted for the largest share of value demand with 44 percent in 2005, Freedonia’s study finds. However, electrostatic air cleaners are projected to achieve the most rapid gains through 2010. Electrostatic air cleaners offer improved efficiency and a low operation cost.
The study also finds that point-of-use water purification systems, which are installed at a single outlet, had the larger share of demand for water systems in 2005, and are also expected to post stronger annual growth rates through 2010 in comparison to point-of-entry systems. Similarly, portable air cleaners, which are designed to treat the air in a single room, accounted for the larger share of sales of air cleaners. In general, sales of both POU water systems and portable air cleaners benefit from factors such as lower initial costs, a wider range of available purification technologies, more user-friendly operation and, in most cases, do-it-yourself installation.
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