Demand for cooling appliances including air conditioning (AC) units, air coolers and purifiers, and dehumidifiers, as well as electric fans has increased by 60% in the first quarter of the year, it is learnt.
For split and window type AC units, demand has increased by 15% and 35%, respectively, while sales for air coolers increased by 10%, an appliances section manager of a popular hypermarket said.
He said discounted prices and ‘summer promotions’ have helped push demand for cooling appliances, adding that the store gets “daily sales” for AC units from walk-in customers. 
The manager said a 1.5 tonne window type AC can go as low as QR999, while a 1.5 tonne split type AC can go as low as QR1,499. “Some air coolers are affordable at QR499, making them preferred cooling appliances among budget conscious shoppers,” he said.
Another manager of an appliance store said some customers are replacing their old AC units due to increased awareness on the advantages of energy-efficient appliances.
In July last year, the state banned the import and sale of all ACs that do not bear energy-efficient labels (star-rated) following an initiative of Kahramaa, in co-operation with the Ministry of Municipality and Environment, the Ministry of Economy and Commerce, and Qatar General Organisation for Standards and Metrology.
Air conditioning units sold in Qatar now should have at least three stars rating. The energy efficient ratio of these ACs should not be less than 8.5 British Thermal Units for the window units and 9.5 BTU for split-type.
Units bearing golden labels (eight stars) are considered the highest in the world in energy saving, with up to 51% saving in the energy consumption of these ACs, while the silver labels (seven stars) have up to 46.8% saving rate.
The manager also said health concerns have also increased sales of air purifiers and dehumidifiers.
“Because Qatar experiences extreme temperatures during the summer months, some homes and living quarters have limited ventilation, which could lead to moisture build up,” the manager explained.
He noted that humid environments could cause allergies among household members and children. “A humid climate, where mildew or moulds, as well as dust mites thrive, could trigger different kinds of allergies,” he added.
Aside from preventing allergies, dehumidifiers and air purifiers also help control or reduce unpleasant odours caused by mould or mildew buildup in places like the kitchen, toilet, or bedroom, the manager added.
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