Global air conditioning market: figures and trends

The stagnation of the market in 2022 masks strong contrasts depending on the region. The transition to R32 and the multiplication of measures promoting energy efficiency are strong trends. 

According to the JARN (1), after an increase of 3% in 2021 compared to 2020, the global air conditioning market recorded a very slight drop of 0.4% in 2022. Globally, 125.6 million room air conditioners were sold, including 47.7 million (38%) in China.


This relative stagnation of the market at the global level hides strong variations depending on the region.


Strong increases were recorded in the Indian subcontinent (+27.6%), the Middle East (+21.1%) and the United States (+8.7%). 


On the other hand, fairly marked declines were recorded in Latin America (-9.3%) and China (-5.1%).


At the national level, these are India (+35%), Saudi Arabia (+30%), Vietnam (+30%), the United Arab Emirates (+29%), Malaysia (+27%) which have experienced the strongest growth in their markets.


Beyond these figures, the following trends should be noted: 

  • In terms of refrigerants, the transition to R32 is intensifying: the percentage of split air conditioners using this refrigerant (GWP of 704) in the Chinese market exceeded 70% in 2022. This percentage reaches around 85% in India and even 90% in Europe and Australia. It is also growing strongly in Latin American countries such as Brazil and Chile. On the other hand, the share of R32 remains quite low in the Middle East and Africa. 

The other main refrigerant used is R410A (GWP of 2100). R290 (GWP less than 1) is proposed quite frequently in portable air conditioners but very marginally in split air conditioners, only by some Chinese or Indian manufacturers. 

  • In terms of energy efficiency, incentive measures are multiplying, mainly minimum energy performance standards (MEPS) and energy labelling. Thus, according to the IEA (2), 85% of the final energy consumed by air conditioners is covered by MEPS worldwide and this ratio exceeds 95% in North America. 

(1) JARN Magazine, January 2023 Special Issue 

(2) IEA (2022), Energy Efficiency, License: CC BY 4.0