green cooling initiative: Market overview

Market overview

Share of different UAC types according to value and to volume

The subsector UAC consists of different appliance systems types. Self-contained ACs comprise movable and window/through-the-wall units. Rooftop ACs and Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) systems are used to cool whole buildings. These larger units have a low share in the total volume as their number is low but because of their higher price they have a larger share in the total value.


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Global demand for residential and commercial UAC systems, divided by appliance system types (2012). Shows demand by value in US$.
Category %
Self-Contained AC 5.92
Ductless Split AC 66.30
Ducted AC 11.35
Rooftops AC 5.31
VRF 11.11


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Global demand for residential and commercial UAC systems, divided by appliance system types (2012). Shows the volume in units.
Category %
Self-Contained AC 15.69
Ductless Split AC 73.59
Ducted AC 8.70
Rooftops AC 1.17
VRF 0.85

Unit sales

Many units are sold in Asia, with China being the biggest market. The UAC market is growing rapidly.

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Unit sales of UAC systems including split ACs, window/through-the-wall-units and moveable air conditioners (2012).
China 38
India 3.4
Japan 8.5
Pakistan 0.8
South Korea 0.7
Taiwan 1
Malaysia 0.9
Vietnam 0.7
Indonesia 1.7
Phillipines 0.6
Thailand 1.2
Russia 2
Turkey 1
Italy 0.8
Spain 0.7
USA 13.6
Mexico 1
Brazil 3.2
Argentina 1.2
Iran 0.5
Saudi Arabia 1.8
UAE 0.6
Egypt 0.6
Nigeria 0.5
Australia 0.8
Other 14.2


Nearly 90% of the world’s UAC production capacity is based in Asia and Southeast Asia. The excess production capacities compared to the units sales show future sales expectations of the companies.

Production capacity

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Estimate of global distribution of production capacity for UAC systems in 2012.
Land million units
China 150
Japan 5
South Korea 5
Malaysia 4.5
Vietnam 2
Indonesia 2
Thailand 16
Turkey 3
Brazil 3
Saudi Arabia 5
Egypt 2
Other 21.5

Manufacturing activity of multi-national UAC manufacturers

A few manufacturers from China clearly dominate the global production of UACs.

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Unit sales and production capacities

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Land Unit sales (in million units) Production capacity (in million units)
China 38 150
India 3.4 0.5
Japan 8.5 5
South Korea 0.7 5
Malaysia 0.9 4.5
Indonesia 1.7 2
Thailand 1.2 16
Turkey 1 3
USA 13.6 6
Brazil 3.2 3
Saudi Arabia 1.8 5

More information:

Study by GCI: Green Cooling Technologies, chapter 4.4 (request PDF here)

Production capacity, market value and units sales figures

Additionally to the modelling approach, a detailed literature research was done to derive production capacity, market value and units sales figures for the most important countries and key subsectors. Various different sources have been used e.g. BSRIA reports and JARN articles.

Study on green cooling technologies

More information can be found in the Green Cooling Technologies study, chapter 4.4. Request a copy here.

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