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The outlook for residential heating is mostly hot

August 16, 2000
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Figure 1. Monthly shipments of gas warm air furnaces, 2000 vs. 1999.
Overall, residential heating equipment is having a good year. Shipment statistics from the Gas Appliance Manufacturers Association (GAMA) show that, through April, furnaces and gas boilers are doing well, and gas logs and fireplaces are doing extremely well. Oil boilers, on the other hand, are down.

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.

Figure 2. Monthly shipments of oil warm air furnaces, 2000 vs. 1999.

Boilers up and down

Gas 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.

Figure 3. Monthly shipments of gas cast iron boilers, 2000 vs. 1999.
Oil cast iron boilers (Figure 4), though, slipped 11.7% in April. After having down months in February and March as well, the category has declined 5.6% 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%

Figure 4. Monthly shipments of oil cast iron boilers, 2000 vs. 1999.

Stoking the fires

The 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

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