As Climate Warms, Western Europe Poised to Become Major Growth Market for Air Conditioners

According to a new Freedonia Group analysis, Western Europe potentially represents a major growth market for residential air conditioning equipment, as the region includes many wealthy nations where this technology has historically been under-penetrated, especially in comparison to the US:

  • In recent years, unusually severe summer heat waves have driven spikes in sales of room air conditioners, and the threat of climate change presents the possibility that similar heat waves will be increasingly common going forward.
  • As a result, sales are expected to remain elevated compared to historical norms, but cultural interest of air conditioning is expected to remain low in many areas.
  • This represents both a challenge and an opportunity, as significantly stronger growth may be achievable if the industry can succeed in shifting attitudes toward residential air conditioning.

Through 2025, residential demand for HVAC equipment in Western Europe is projected to slow from the elevated sales levels of the 2015-2020 period. While growth in residential building construction activity is expected to be sluggish, rising acceptance of AC and efforts to replace older equipment with more energy-efficient units will provide opportunities for growth.

Global Demand for HVAC Equipment to Near $50 Billion in 2025

Global demand for residential HVAC equipment is forecast to increase 4.0% per year through 2025. Sales will improve relative to the 2015-2020 period as residential building construction activity rises. Factors contributing to sales will vary across regions:

  • Higher income regions, where a significant amount of equipment is currently installed, will continue to generate large shares of demand from the replacement of existing units.
  • Demand gains in lower income areas will typically be associated with either new construction or the addition of HVAC systems to existing buildings lacking these features.

Want to Learn More?

Global Residential HVAC Market, now available from the Freedonia Group, examines the global market for HVAC equipment used in single-family houses, apartment and condominium (i.e., multifamily) buildings, and manufactured homes. Demand for residential HVAC equipment is segmented by product and global geographic region. Historical data (2010, 2015, and 2020) and forecasts for 2025 and 2030 are presented in current US dollars (including inflation) at the global, regional, and country regions. Analysis of leading global producers including market share is also provided.

HVAC equipment discussed includes:

  • room air conditioners (both window units and through-the-wall air conditioners): heat pumps (air source heat pumps and geothermal heat pumps)
  • unitary air conditioners (including split, multi-split and single package units)
  • central heating boilers, including cast iron and steel types and district heating boilers
  • warm air furnaces, also known as forced air furnaces
  • other HVAC equipment, including absorption chillers, dehumidifiers, humidifiers, liquid chillers, packaged terminal air conditioners, and room and zone heaters