When Italians select air-conditioning solutions for their homes, they are looking for well-being and comfort. They’re not motivated by things like home improvement, selling their house or appearances, nor are they swayed by government incentives or grants. This is according to a study by Gfk Eurisko and commissioned by the Mostra Convegno Expocomfort and Expobagno trade shows.

Eighty-eight percent of the sample group interviewed said that their purchase of air-conditioning equipment was simply dictated by the need to keep cool and, to do it, they don’t appear to have paid any attention to environmental or structural issues, incentives or grants.

Responses regarding heating were more divided, with the main reason for new purchases being to replace obsolete or broken equipment (29 percent and 21 percent, respectively). But other motivations included the energy saving benefits and environmental friendliness of new products (21 percent), a need to better heat the home (19 percent) and appearances (11 percent).

The study, titled “Choices and purchase influencers in water, heating and cooling,” was conducted last April among a sample group of more than 400 people aged between 25 and 74 (representative of the approximately 18.8 million Italian families).

Over the last two years, 39 percent of the sample group had purchased air conditioners or split/multisplit systems, while 61 percent were planning to buy one within six months. The figures fell to 29 percent in the case of ducted systems (which 25 percent of the group planned to buy in the next six months), to 17 percent for portables (10 percent intended to purchase them) and to 16 percent for ducted floor units (8 percent intended to purchase them).

Plumbing, Heating Contractors Have Influence

The most important influencers in the decision to buy and choice of system were plumber/installers (23 percent in cooling, 25 percent in bathrooms and 32 percent in heating). In the area of cooling in particular, many people decided autonomously (22 percent), took the advice of sales people (18 percent) or asked acquaintances, friends or family (12 percent).

With heating and the bathroom, most people paid most attention to the advice of friends and family (23 percent and 21 percent, respectively) with fewer deciding on their own (12 percent and 17 percent, respectively).

Plumbers head the list of influencers when it comes to choosing the store to make the purchase: With cooling and heating, customers asked their plumber in 31 percent and 34 percent of cases. The situation was very different in the area of bathroom purchases, with almost half (47 percent of the sample group) saying that they chose specialized sales outlets.

The Gfk Eurisko study also looked at customer satisfaction and workmanship: In the area of heating, three-fourths (77 percent of the group) stated they were very satisfied with work performed in the bathroom and nearly two-thirds (64 percent) with cooling.