Almost All Imported Room Air Conditioners Come From China

US shipments of air conditioning equipment from domestic suppliers reached $8.5 billion in 2018, when they accounted for 75% of domestic air conditioning equipment demand. However, the US has a sizable trade deficit, which was equivalent to 22% of demand in 2018.

More information about the study is here:


Room air conditioners and unitary air conditioners comprise nearly 90% of all air conditioning equipment imports:

  • Almost all imported room air conditioners come from China, where low production costs help keep prices down, as the small size and low cost of room air conditioners make pricing an important competitive factor for these products.
  • Unitary air conditioner imports comprise only a small share of demand in a given year, but the substantial size of the market for this equipment results in a high value of imports in dollar terms.


Shipments of air conditioning equipment are projected to advance 2.7% annually to $9.7 billion in 2023. Domestic manufacturers will continue to supply the vast majority of air conditioning equipment used locally. However, imports are expected to continue to account for a larger share of demand, especially as equipment manufacturers evaluate the cost savings of relocating production operations to nations with low production costs such as Mexico. Such activity will result in a widening US trade deficit.

US demand for all heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment is forecast to increase 3.9% per year through 2023 to $25.1 billion, a deceleration from the rate of the 2013-2018 period. The majority of expected demand increases will continue to stem from the replacement of existing equipment that has reached the end of its operational lifespan with better performing, and typically higher value, equipment.

HVAC Equipment (published 04/2019, 257 pages) is available for $5600 from The Freedonia Group. Please link citations to