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Air Conditioning Usage by Country 2024

In 2023, air conditioning is increasingly considered an essential part of life for many populations around the world, particularly those who regularly deal with hot, humid weather conditions.

However, the common use of air conditioning is not yet a worldwide phenomenon, and countries where it’s common tend to have their own approach. Here’s a closer look at which countries use air conditioning the most, as well as the differences in approach from nation to nation.


In 2023, China is the world’s leading user of air conditioning with approximately 0.8 billion units in use countrywide. The country’s formidable energy infrastructure, along with rising affordability, has helped to fuel the widespread use of cooling systems.

United States

In many areas of the United States, air conditioning is considered a crucial part of daily life, especially for those in regions like the Southwest and Southeast where heat and humidity can become unbearable.

However, air conditioning also accounts for a large amount of U.S. energy consumption, raising some concerns about sustainability and overall energy consumption, especially over the long haul.


In Japan, air conditioning use is widespread but also reflects the country’s ongoing commitment to energy-efficient solutions. Japanese air conditioners are known for balancing essentials like user comfort with frugal energy consumption.

Other countries that use air conditioning on a fairly widespread scale in 2023 include but are not limited to Korea, Saudi Arabia, and India.

However, there are also many countries where air conditioning is much less common. For example, its use is less common across several European nations, particularly Germany where it’s quite rare. In Switzerland, air conditioning use requires a permit typically only granted for health reasons or similar concerns.

Air conditioning is even less common in Pacific Island nations such as Samoa, Fiji, and Tonga with alternative solutions like open-design housing helping to keep people cool.

Factors Influencing Air Conditioning Use in 2023

In 2023, rising global temperatures due to climate change are among the biggest factors driving an increase in air conditioning usage. Other examples include the following:

Urbanization: Higher population density and a greater number of indoor venues make air conditioning usage more common in urban areas and big cities.

Cultural Values: The extent to which a country’s society adopts values like convenience, personal comfort, and energy efficiency will also affect the extent to which its people use air conditioning.

Economics: In richer, better-developed countries where people have higher incomes on average, the widespread use of conveniences like air conditioning is more common.

  • Unless otherwise noted, data include both residential and commercial systems. This encompasses packaged and split units, chillers, and other large space-cooling systems.
  • District cooling and solar cooling applications are not part of the posted estimates.
  • The European Union is a coalition of 27 (as of Dec 2023) European nations, including France, Spain, Germany, Italy, and Greece, but notably excluding the United Kingdom since its 2020 departure from the group. Global totals include 1622 million installed units (1093 residential, 529 commercial) with a total output capacity of 11673 (6186 res, 5491 comm), total annual unit sales of 135 million (94 res, 40 comm).

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AC Units (millions)
AC Units Residential (millions)
AC Units Commercial (millions)
AC Output Capacity (GW)
AC Output Capacity Residential (GW)
AC Output Capacity Commercial (GW)
United States3742411324,7262,2952,430
South Korea593029348129220
South Africa31122615

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Annual AC Unit Sales Tot. (Millions)
Annual AC Unit Sales - Residential (Millions)
Annual AC Unit Sales - Commercial (Millions)
Annual AC Sales Output Capacity Tot. (GW)
Annual AC Sales Output Capacity - Residential (GW)
European Union12934134
Middle East6421629
South Africa00010
South Korea4221519
United States24168129314

Air Conditioning Usage by Country 2024

Which country uses the most air conditioning?

Currently, China is responsible for using the most of air conditioning in the world. There are 0.8 billion air conditioning units in the country.

Which countries don't use air conditioning?

Several countries do not currently use very much air conditioning, but one famous example is Germany. The country does have some air conditioning available, but most areas of the country do not.

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