The 2021 review of the air conditioning sector

appareils de climatisation
For the air conditioning market, the year 2021 was a mixed result. Industry players had to deal with government measures due to the health crisis, but also with bad weather conditions in some parts of the world. Nevertheless, the 2021 figures for the air conditioning market increased by 3% compared to 2020. Let’s look back at a challenging but successful year. 


Positive results despite poor conditions

After a difficult year 2020 in terms of global economy, the air conditioning sector has been able to recover in 2021.

Helped by the improved health situation, not even the weather and the shortage of components could reverse the positive trend that the sector has been experiencing since the beginning of the 21st century.

Sales of RAC (room air conditioners) are estimated to have increased by 3% in 2021, which corresponds to 126.1 million units sold in the year.

Only the Middle East and Japan saw a decrease in sales between 2020 and 2021. India, on the other hand, ends 2021 with an impressive 27.7% increase. Other regions of the world such as North America and South America have increased their sales with 6.9% and 10.3% respectively, thanks in particular to the high temperatures during the year. The largest market, China, achieved a 2.6% increase, close to the world average.

In Europe, sales of RAC/PAC increased by 4.8%. Summer temperatures came late in one part of Europe, while the other part experienced dull weather throughout the year. Despite this, the market development remains very good, with sales in 2021 amounting to almost 8 million units.

France is experiencing the same trend as other countries

Uniclima, the French trade association for HVAC industry, has published its results for 2021. 

The growth of the air conditioning market (outdoor units) over the year is only 3%, below the expectations of the sector’s professionals. Despite a very promising start to the year with a 50% increase over 2020, the year slowed down significantly from May onwards (-13%).

The report also indicates that on the air conditioning market (in outdoor units), it is devices with a capacity above 7 kW that show the strongest growth rates: 18% increase for mono-splits between 7 and 12 kW; 18% for those between 12 and 17.5 kW; 28% for multi-splits between 7 and 17.5 kW. On the other hand, outdoor units with a power of less than 5kW are in decline.

Sales of indoor units, on the other hand, have increased by 5% compared to 2020. Ductable air conditioners stand out, with an increase of 19%. Even if they do not experience a significant increase over the year, in terms of volume, wall-mounted air conditioners contribute significantly to the good result due to their share in the market.

Thus, we can see that the air conditioning market is not left behind, it continues to develop and remains extremely promising for the years to come.

The hope of a double-digit growth

The global air conditioning market was doing very well until the end of 2019. Unfortunately, the health crisis has caused most players to lose this momentum. Now it’s time to rebuild everything and it seems to be going well already. Today, health policies have been relaxed and countries are ready to revive their economies.

The good news is that production of finished products has already resumed. In addition, carbon neutrality policies will be put in place. For the HVAC sector, this will include the adoption of new energy standards and the replacement of existing equipment.

The prospects remain good for the air conditioning market in France for the current year. With the 2020 Environmental Regulations (RE2020), new buildings will be equipped to improve energy performance and comfort. This will give hope to the French economy.

Sources: Uniclima, JARN

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