NEW YORK - U.S. demand for residential heating and cooling systems, which was pounded by the long housing slump, may have hit bottom, the head of United Technologies Corp's Carrier air conditioner arm said.

I believe we've reached the bottom on the residential market, said Geraud Darnis, president of Carrier, which is the world's largest maker of air conditioners. We believe the market will be up this year anywhere between 5 and 10 percent.

Based on demand through the first few months of the year, he believes growth will approach the high end of that range, he told investors in New York, where Hartford, Connecticut-based United Tech is outlining its plans for 2010.

(Reporting by Scott Malone; Editing by Derek Caney)