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Top four emerging AC trends identified

A new report on the global air conditioning market has identified four key trends set to influence the market

Complied by Technavio, the report provides an analysis on the most important trends expected to impact the market outlook from 2016 to 2020.

  • · Increased popularity of smart thermostats

Smart thermostats such as the Nest and Ecobee3 have witnessed increased popularity in both the residential and commercial markets. These thermostats allow the monitoring of temperatures at home and in commercial spaces from mobile devices and PCs.

The thermostats monitor the indoor environment and modify heating and cooling cycles, resulting in energy and money savings. These thermostats are also advancing in terms of technology.

“Tado launched the Smart AC Control in early 2015, a device that turns remote-controlled air conditioners into smart devices.

This device works with over 85 percent of ACs globally, is connected through Wi-Fi, and controls ACs using infrared technology. This is expected to maximize the efficiency of ACs and have a positive influence on the global air conditioning market,” said Abhay Sinha, a lead research analyst at Technavio for the home, kitchen, and large appliances industry.

  • · Rapid adoption of inverter air conditioners

Inverter-type air conditioners reduce energy consumption by about 30 percent and are not as expensive to install compared to central air conditioning units, says Technavio. They utilize a variable speed compressor that switches off upon attaining the desired temperature and switches on when the temperature changes.

Japan has the highest ratio of inverter-type products, covering residential air conditioners. In Latin America and Europe, these products are gaining widespread popularity, and vendors such as Daikin are expanding their lineups to cater to this demand. Vendors have also introduced other features such as sleep-state technology, whereby a sensor detects when users fall asleep and controls the temperature settings to optimize comfort and efficiency.

  • · Demand for integrated systems

HVAC controls and building systems have become more integrated, driving demand among end-users who seek the benefits of streamlined systems that incorporate lighting and access controls.

This enables increased energy efficiency in managing building systems as it allows control from a single interface. These systems facilitate the elimination of redundancy in systems and provide better occupant comfort, owing to better building management.

For example, access controls integrated with HVAC controls allows the use of a single platform to monitor cooling and adjust the cooling based on the number of people in the conditioned environment.

These systems have already gained popularity in commercial offices, and they are also gaining popularity in hotels, health care facilities, schools, and retail stores.

  • · Introduction of air purifying technology

“Rising concerns related to the inhalation of polluted air have driven vendors to introduce separate air purifying technologies. Many vendors have integrated air purification systems in their air conditioners, eliminating the need to purchase a separate one.

They contain multi-layered filtration and active technologies that rid the air of impurities,” said Sinha.

Panasonic has integrated Nanoe-G technology into its air conditioners, which purifies air by neutralizing bacteria, viruses, and allergens through the release of small water molecules that have hydroxyl radicals.

Daikin has introduced an air purifier that uses streamer discharge technology to remove unpleasant odors and allergens such as mites, mold, and pollen. This trend helps provide value-added benefits to consumers and differentiates vendors’ products in the intensely competitive global air conditioning market.

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