The outlook for residential heating is mostly hot
Looking at gas warm air furnaces (Figure 1), April shipments dipped 8.1% compared to 1999. But March shipments were up 12.3%. The end result is that year-to-date this category is up 2.2%.
April shipments of oil warm air furnaces (Figure 2) dropped a sharp 15.6%. However, February and March shipments were both up even more sharply at 35.1% and 22.2%, respectively. This provides a year-to-date total that is up 7.2% over last year.
Boilers up and downGas cast iron boilers (Figure 3) jumped 33% in April over 99. The category has posted positive numbers each month this year and is up 16.2% year-to-date.
For steel boilers, oil and bare units had a precipitous drop of 40.3% in April. Although monthly shipments have alternated up and down, the downs have been steeper, and for the year this group has decreased 11.3%.
The April shipment number for gas steel boilers is not available and 99 numbers are incomplete, preventing a quarterly comparison. For the two monthly numbers that can be compared, these boilers are up 38.7%
Stoking the firesThe area of vent-free gas logs and fireplaces is up solidly across the board. Only the first three months’ data are available, but gas logs are up 26.6% for the quarter. Gas inserts, with February shipments increasing 167.9%, have grown 57% for the first quarter.
Gas fireplaces posted impressive numbers in February and March, 125% and 90.7% respectively, and are up 77.3% for the quarter.
Finally, vent-free gas stoves have increased 9.4% through the first three months, and vent-free fireboxes are up 20.2%.
Publication date: 08/21/2000