Some Indians still happy with window-type air conditioners

Some Indians still happy with window-type air conditioners
Window air conditioners, right, and split air conditioners, at rear, are on display at a home electronics retailer on the outskirts of New Delhi on Aug. 19.
PHOTO: Nikkei Asian Review

Window air conditioners are still in strong demand among low-income Indians and those living in old homes, but overall they are losing their appeal.

Window air conditioners are installed in windows or cutouts in walls. They straddle their perch, sitting half inside the home and half outside of it. They are cheaper than the air conditioners, called "Split AC," used in countries like Japan, which have one unit that sits on a porch or balcony and breathes in hot air plus another unit that is attached to a wall inside the home and exhales cold air. The units are connected via a duct.

Only 3 per cent to 4 per cent of India's households currently has air conditioning. Approximately 4 million air conditioners are believed to be sold in India each year, bringing in sales of 160 billion rupees ($2.42 billion).

Split air conditioners account for 75 per cent of the sales. South Korea's Samsung Electronics, the third-largest player in the Indian market, withdrew from selling window air conditioners at the end of 2011 and currently sells only the split type.

LG Electronics, also of South Korea, continues to sell the window type. Its units also have an ultrasonic wave that keeps mosquitoes, the cause of dengue fever, out of the home.

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