Jun 27, 2016

Surge of Air-Conditioning in Manila

With El Nino baking up some of the hottest days ever in the country, Filipinos are turning to science's most welcome invention to combat the heat: air-conditioning.

This year recorded one of the hottest summers in history for the Philippines, as Metro Manila measured a scorching 37.7 degrees centigrade. Although nowhere as hot as India's asphalt-melting 51 degrees or the ultimate hottest 56.7 degrees in Death Valley, USA (the hottest temperature recorded in history), most Metro Manila residents will find 37.7 degrees unbearable with the combination of sticky, humid climate, the sheer heat and lack of wind.

Because of this, the surge in air-conditioning in Manila was up to record highs this summer of 2016. According to a study from GfK Global, a German market research company, the ownership rate for air-conditioners in Metro Manila grew exponentially in the last two years. The surveys conducted by GfK showed that air-conditioner appliance ownership in Metro Manila more than doubled from 12% two years ago to 30% at the end of 2015, meaning 20% of households (or one in every five households) bought a new air-conditioning unit in the last two years.

The study, which was first done in 2013, was conducted to gain a deeper understanding of various categories of product ownership, usage, replacement, and brand preferences in the electrical appliance market. The follow-up survey at the end of 2015 showed that there was a big change in household penetration for various electrical appliances. "Metro Manila households are finding relief from the hot climate through installing either their first or additional air-conditioners at home, although ownership is still lagging behind in some of the less affluent neighborhoods," said Benny Villanueva, the managing director of GfK Philippines. "With the rising global temperature, it won't be long before every household in the Metro Manila region is equipped with at least one or more air conditioners to counter the persistent heat."

Other than air-conditioning, the other highly-present appliance to combat the heat was the common electric fan. The more affordable electric fan went up from 98% in 2013 to 100% penetration in all households by 2015. Almost half of all households – 46% -- bought an electric fan in the last two years, and the ownership of fans went up from 1.41 units per household two years ago to 2.42 units from 2015.