The French air-conditioning market is growing significantly
According to Clim'info, in France, sales of individual air conditioners (with capacities below 17.5 kW) have undergone a very strong progression - about 40% - in 2003 compared with 2002. Sales of small mobile units, in particular, have benefited from the heat wave of August 2003 since the number of units sold (60 000 in 2003) has increased by 30% over the same period. The number of interior units sold has also significantly increased and has reached, in 2003, over 350 000 units. This market has nearly tripled since 1997, increasing from 120 000 units to 350 000. Sales of outdoor units have also increased 39%, rising from 198000 to 277 000 units. With 207 000 units sold, reversible units represent 75% of this market, which is increasing due to the narrowing of the price difference between reversible systems and air conditioners, as well as their good performance coefficients (COP). The COP can also be improved using the inverter technology, which makes it possible to vary the compressor's capacity by operating it during a limited time frame below or above its nominal capacity. The proportion of inverters within the split systems sold has increased from 27% in 2002 to 35% in 2003. Most (75%) operate with HFC refrigerants, in particular R-410A, for low capacities. On the other hand, sales of air-conditioning cabinets with a capacity above 17.5 kW as well as sales of outdoor split systems and sales of chilled water units have remained stable in 2003 compared with 2002. The sales of rooftops and VAV systems with capacities of over 17.5 kW have, however, increased by 7% and 28% respectively.