The air conditioner industry is booming, but which companies are the hottest and which ones are making the most noise?
A new report by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers shows that while air conditioning has been growing in popularity, it’s not just a luxury item for those who want to save money.
It also seems to be growing more expensive, particularly as consumers become more aware of the high cost of air conditioning.
“In terms of affordability, the most important thing for people to understand is that there’s a huge difference between a cheap, high-efficiency unit and a really good one,” said John Hagg, the association’s senior vice president of consumer insights.
“And if you have a really low-efficiency air condition unit, you’re going to spend a lot of money on it.
If you have an efficient unit, they’re going for a lot less.”
While the overall trend in air conditioning purchases has been toward more efficient units, the study found that the biggest winners were the major manufacturers of air conditioning equipment.
The top three companies are:Air Conditioning Manufacturers of America (ACEA), which makes the popular Coleman air conditionors; North American Thermostat, which makes models like the Thermostatic and the Venti air conditionor; and AECI, which produces units that are made by companies like Venti and Air Thermostats.
The study noted that the ACEA and North American brands have been steadily gaining market share over the past few years.
“We’ve seen a huge shift in the way people are choosing to use their air condition,” said Michael Haskin, a senior vice President of marketing and consumer insights for ACEA.
“We have this growing consumer base that wants to save more money and buy better products.”
Haskin said consumers are more aware that air conditioning is more expensive than traditional heating and air conditioning systems.
He noted that most consumers still think air conditioning will only cost them $1 to $2 a month.
“People are seeing it as a luxury.
People don’t realize that it’s going to be cheaper and that they can have an effective product,” Haskins said.
In fact, ACEA estimates that the average cost of an air conditionee is $8.60 a month, compared to $9.90 a month for heating and $10.80 a month or more for air conditioning in the US.
“It’s not surprising that air condition is getting more expensive,” Hagg said.
“But if you compare the price of air conditions to other costs, it really is a bargain.”
Hagg said that while consumers will be more conscious of the cost of their air conditioning system, they will not be as careful when buying it because they don’t have the luxury of knowing the true cost of a unit.
“The price of a home air condition or furnace is usually higher than the price people pay for the air condition in their home,” Hagoin said.
“They are not going to make the same purchase because they know the price is higher.”
Hagoin added that air conditions have become more efficient over the years, and the ACEAs survey found that a majority of people said they were willing to pay more for a better unit.
“I think people are willing to spend more money, but they’re not going out and buying it, because they’re comfortable with the product,” he said.
As more people purchase air condition systems, Hagg says the industry could see a big uptick in efficiency, especially as people get more comfortable with using them.
“When I first started this business I was going to buy an air-conditioning system for my home, and now I’ve got more money than ever before,” Hag said.
Hagg also noted that ACEAs consumer research showed that a good number of consumers have been switching to a hybrid air condition system that is also an energy efficient device.
“So I think we’ll see a lot more people buying more efficient air condition units,” he predicted.
“When you look at the average price of an electric unit, we think the average value is around $7 to $8 a month.”