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CHINA: Images, like this, of air conditioning units festooned on the outside of buildings are likely to both excite air conditioning engineers and horrify architects in the West in equal measures but in China there may be another reason to be horrified.

There have previously been incidences of air conditioning units plunging to the ground but reports in the Chinese newspaper Metropolis Daily suggest that this might become a more common danger.

A survey of air conditioning units on one residential building in Wuhan City found more than 80% with signs of serious corrosion on the condensing units’ retaining brackets. Some brackets were said to be of poor quality, others not painted or showing any signs of corrosion protection and, in some cases, evidence of poor installation with insufficient anchoring points.

It is unclear whether the survey was representative of installations across the country but there is sufficient concern in Wuhan for the authorities, building owners and appliance industry associations, as well as Chinese ac manufacturers Gree, Midea and Haier, to quickly convene a meeting at the newspaper’s offices to discuss the problem.

There have been calls for regulations and standards to be introduced to regulate the air conditioning accessory maufacturers producing the brackets as well as calls for the original air conditioning unit manufacturers to take more responsibility.

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