HVAC sector: world demand to rise by 6% annually through 2018

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According to the research “World HVAC Equipment” by Freedonia, global demand for HVAC equipments is expected to rise roughly by 6 percent per year to $113 billion in 2018. Gains will be aided by continued expansion in building construction activity worldwide and improved spending in developed areas as the global recession of 2009 and subsequent slow recovery limited the market during the 2008-2013 period. Growth will also be driven by increased market penetration, stimulated by rising personal incomes that enable a wider array of individuals to purchase comfort equipment. Additionally, expanded infrastructure, leading to improved access to the electricity in developing countries, will provide the energy sources required to power HVAC equipment. Product development is extremely important and will continue to grow at a rapid pace in light of rising interest in more efficient systems and regulations requiring both greater efficiency and, in the case of cooling equipment, the use of more environmentally friendly refrigerants. To this end, HCFCs (e.g., R-22) are increasingly phased out in favor of HFCs (e.g,. HFC-410a), hydrocarbons (e.g., propane), and “natural” refrigerants (e.g., ammonia).

Asia/Pacific region gains market shares
The largest regional market for HVAC equipment in 2013 was the Asia/Pacific region, with half of the global total. Advances will be propelled by the continuing development of the Chinese market, which will account for 59 percent of regional sales in 2018 and nearly one-third of additional global demand through 2018. India is expected to post the most rapid gains worldwide with double-digit growth of HVAC equipment sales through 2018 aided by expanding electric power infrastructure and HVAC distribution networks, rising incomes, and greater construction spending. However, in many of the least developed countries in the region, growth for HVAC equipment will be restrained by inadequate personal incomes, unreliable power supplies, and limited product availability.
In 2013, North America was the second largest regional market, accounting for one-fifth of global sales. The US is the world’s second largest national HVAC equipment market, accounting for 16 percent of global demand in 2013. The enormity of the US market reflects the immense size and advanced nature of the country’s economy. The US market, along with Western Europe and Japan, will see improved sales rates through 2018 as these areas continue to recover from subdued construction activity, non-residential investment, and consumer spending associated with the 2009 global recession.

Heat pumps will see the fastest growth
Room air conditioners accounted for approximately one-quarter of global HVAC equipment sales in 2013. Minisplits will achieve the more rapid gains, as these units are generally more energy efficient than window units due to the common inclusion of inverter technology. Heat pumps are projected to register the fastest gains through 2018. Heat pumps are valued for their energy efficiency and ability to provide both heating and cooling capabilities. Market penetration of these products is relatively low throughout the world, and demand often is dependent on government incentives (e.g., low interest loans, rebates, tax breaks) and low electricity rates (where electricity is the primary energy source).

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