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According to ARI records, shipments of 7,401,067 air-source heat pumps and unitary air conditioners eclipsed the previous record of 6,897,262 units set in 2003 by 9 percent. Heat pump shipments surged ahead of 2003's total by 16 percent as a record 1,886,100 units were shipped in 2004.
"For the third straight year, manufacturer shipments of residential central air conditioners and air-source heat pumps set a record in 2004," said William Sutton, president of ARI. "The final shipments for 2004 broke the 7 million unit mark for the first time. This is proof that the economy is improving, buoyed by continued growth in housing coupled with a strong replacement market."
While interest rates are expected to rise moderately this year, Sutton maintains that a growing economy and the transition to the 13 SEER minimum efficiency level by Jan. 23, 2006, "should propel the industry to another record in 2005."
"In addition, after several years of lackluster performance, the commercial air conditioning and refrigeration market improved in 2004," he said. "The outlook for 2005 is brighter now than in past years, thanks to better prospects for the economy and the projected improvement in commercial construction and retrofits."
Furnace Sales Heat UpOn the heating side of things, Evan Gaddis, president of GAMA, remains positive about 2005. Gas warm air furnace shipments for 2004 of 3,519,024 units surpassed the total for 2003, which was 3,265,550. It is an increase of about 7 percent.
There was also an increase for oil warm-air furnaces. There were 126,741 units shipped in 2003, which went up 2.3 percent to 129,715 units shipped in 2004.
In the cast iron boilers category, both commercial and residential, 2004 was a very good year. The number of gas-fired steam boilers shipped in 2003 was 41,534, and the total of water boilers was 193,692.
The numbers for 2004 dropped slightly for gas-fired steam boilers (40,232), while the 196,732 units of water boilers shipped marks a slight increase.
In the oil-fired boilers category in 2003, 20,263 oil-fired steam boilers and 127,910 oil-fired water boilers were shipped. In 2004, those numbers jumped to 22,039 for oil-fired steam boilers (an 8.8 percent increase) and 140,429 for oil-fired water boilers (a 9.8 percent increase).
"If you look at the market, sales came to light in the second half of 2004," said Gaddis. "I think that's a good indication we're looking to be strong in 2005. Now the commercial side of things is starting to take off. It's pretty positive across the board."
Statistical ProfileARI's "Statistical Profile," released Oct. 7, 2004, paints an impressive picture in regards to this industry's people, finances, equipment, and distribution.
It is a comprehensive profile designed "to provide a convenient source of data on the scope, size, and growth of the industry." (Nonmembers can order a copy of the publication by visiting ARI's bookstore at www.ari.org/bookstore.)
Without spilling all of the beans, here are a few highlights from the report:
Online survey: What does 2005 hold in store for your business? Take the online a survey on www.achrnews.com and let us know your prediction for 2005. What is your forecast for your HVACR company in 2005? Will this year be a better year than last year? Look for the survey results in a future issue of The News.
Publication date: 02/07/2005