Demand for Unitary Air Conditioners to Reach $11 Billion in 2021

Demand for unitary air conditioners is forecast to expand at a 4.9% yearly rate through 2021 to $11.0 billion, continuing to outperform air conditioning equipment sales as a whole.  The replacement of units that have reached the end of their operational lives will remain the primary driver of sales.  In unit terms, unitary air conditioner sales are projected to increase 2.7% per year through 2021 to 5.9 million units. These and other trends are presented in Air Conditioning Equipment Market in the US, a new study from The Freedonia Group, a Cleveland-based industry research firm.

Split unitary air conditioners will remain significantly more popular in the US due to the widespread use of warm air furnaces.  Split systems utilize the furnace’s blower and ductwork to cycle and distribute air.  Split units locate the compressor and condensing coils outside the building, while utilizing an evaporating coil and air handler inside the building to distribute cooled air. 

Demand for split type unitary air conditioners is expected to rise 5.4% annually through 2021 to $8.2 billion, slowing from the 2011-2016 period but continuing to take share away from packaged units due to the ease of adding a split system to a building that has a warm air furnace heating system.  Even faster increases will be limited by competition from split system heat pumps, especially ductless mini-split units, due to their greater operating efficiency and ability to better control room temperatures.

Air Conditioning Equipment Market in the US (published 05/2017, 123 pages) is available for $4900 from The Freedonia Group.  For further details or to arrange an interview with the analyst, please contact Corinne Gangloff by phone 440.684.9600 or email

Related studies include:

#3536 HVAC US Market Forecasts (Coming in June 2017)

#3521 Heating Equipment Market in the US (April 2017)