A majority of heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems of newly constructed houses in Qatar has been built to use the split AC system, making it the preferred cooling appliance in the market.
While both split and window ACs can be energy efficient, many prefer the split ACs for reasons such as aesthetics, functionality and availability in the market.
Mohamed Shahid, Cityscapes air-conditioning and contracting manager, told Gulf Times: “The air handler and condenser (which is stored outdoors) of split ACs are installed separately; hence, they are not noisy compared to a window ACs, which have the condenser inside the main unit.
“Around 90% of new houses in Qatar now use split-type ACs because they are easy to instal and do not require a large hole in the wall, which alters the interior design of the house.”
Shahid, who is now in his fourth year in Qatar’s HVAC industry, said he has seen a moderate demand in new AC units or a 10% annual increase in sales. However, the demand for repair and regular maintenance services regularly increases, especially before and during the summer season.
“It is usually before the onset of summer that many of our customers engage in cleaning, repair, or other maintenance services to avoid any hassles once temperatures are very high,” Shahid explained.
This was echoed by a merchandiser of a popular hypermarket, who cited product life cycle as a major factor why retail sales of cooling appliances, which include freezers and refrigerators, only gain a 10% to 15% increase during the summer season.
“Almost all cooling appliances have longer product life cycles. They also come with warranties, most of which range from five years or even longer thus, delaying the disposal rate,” the merchandiser said.
However, summer promotions or “best price” campaigns regularly launched by stores and other distributors have helped increase the sales of cooling appliances this
season, he added.
Shahid also said ACs with piston-type compressors are more suitable in Middle East countries where temperatures sometimes range above 50 degrees Celsius at the height of the summer
“In terms of durability, piston-type compressors outlast ACs using the rotary-type compressor in Middle East countries,” he said.
However, there are only two to three AC brands that offer piston-type compressors that are available in the market, the merchandiser said. He added that many customers still prefer the rotary-type
“For most expatriates occupying an unfurnished villa or flat, they are not bothered by the type of compressor when buying an AC. What matters to them is the price. And since piston-type compressors cost slightly higher, customers go for the rotary-type compressor,” he said.
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