CLEVELAND - According to a study released by the Cleveland-based Freedonia Group Inc., world demand for HVAC equipment is projected to rise 5.8 percent per year through 2012, reaching a total of $83.7 billion. The study reported that demand in the United States is expected to exhibit recovery by 2012 after a period of sluggishness resulting from the housing crisis. Gains should also exist in Western Europe, as air conditioning is becoming more common in residential buildings.

The report also predicted that demand in the Asia-Pacific region will outpace the global average, rising 6.9 percent annually through 2012. “China will be the fastest growing national market, comprising 40 percent of global demand growth through 2012,” pointed out the study.

India is also looking at above-average growth due to solid gains in the numbers of households and rising per capita incomes.

“Due to the lower penetration rates of air conditioning equipment in Western Europe, cooling equipment is expected to continue to outpace heating equipment gains through 2012,” said the study. “Room air conditioners will post the strongest gains worldwide because of their low cost and ease of installation.”

The report also predicted that the rising income levels in Asia, especially China, will bolster demand for room air conditioners.

“China has grown into the largest supplier of HVAC equipment, due to its inexpensive labor pool, which has made the pricing of Chinese goods especially competitive,” detailed the study. “China has become a leading producer in the room air conditioner segment, exporting products to the United States, Western Europe, and throughout Asia.”

In addition, the United States and Japan are also considered major producers, each with 2007 shipments of more than $5.5 billion. Other sources of supply include Germany and Italy, with 2007 shipments of more than $2 billion.

Publication date:06/23/2008