The demand for Air Con heats up.
As things get hotter and hotter across the UK and Europe, more of us are turning to air conditioning to stay cool.
In homes and offices across Europe, more and more people are now buying air conditioning units than ever before, to try and make their lives more bearable. Search traffic in the UK for “air conditioning” peaked on June 29, according to Google Trends data – for cooler heads and a cooler environment.
Department Store John Lewis has found that their online searches for fans and air purifiers are up 31 per cent as customers are looking for ways to keep their home cool for the summer months, and air conditioners in particular are in their top 10 most searched for items
(source: Po Lon Corrigan, partner and assistant buyer of small electricals at British department store John Lewis)
It’s not just in the last few months that people have sought ways to escape the heat. Air conditioning unit sales (including residential, commercial and industrial uses) increased 12 per cent in Germany and Italy, 27 per cent in Russia, 10 per cent in Spain and 11 per cent in the UK. “What is unusual is France, Germany and the UK. These are not traditional residential markets for air conditioning but they are seeing an increase in temperature and associated demand,” says Saziye Dickson of BSRIA, a building services consultancy that surveys European air conditioning manufacturers and distributors. Its 2019 report is currently ongoing and will be published in October. It’s also compounded by demographic changes, says Dickson. “With ageing populations and lowering birth rates, air conditioning is becoming more important necessary.”
In 2018, 8.4 million air conditioning units were sold across Europe – 11 per cent more than in 2017. More than 200,000 of them were sold in the UK. According to the Carbon Trust, 10 per cent of commercial floorspace in the UK was air conditioned. By 2020, that will rise to 40 per cent.
There are a number of contributing factors to the increase in demand for air con, says Tassos Kougionis, an associate at Currie & Brown, a carbon-focused building consultancy. “There’s the change in climate, changing standards and the unintended consequences of some of the decisions and their knock-on effects, along with a particular change in the trends of how we construct building are factors that contribute to an increase in cooling demand,” he explains.
Modern buildings being thrown up in cities across Europe are often designed with large panes of glass that attract sunlight that heats up rooms much quicker – requiring cooling. At the same time, new build homes are being constructed with much better insulation, meaning that they keep heat in more, and could require better ventilation. There’s also the fact our cities are becoming busier. “In cities like London and Paris we have high densities as well which produce a microclimate. All these factors influence the takeup of air conditioning need,” says Kougionis.
Article Source: Wired Magazine.