ARLINGTON, Va. - Shipments of central air conditioners and heat pumps for March jumped 75 percent, as compared to February, according to the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI).

Combined U.S. factory shipments of central air conditioners and air-source heat pumps experienced a 7 percent drop as compared to 2007, in spite of the seasonal increase. Totaling 590,192 for March, the year-to-date total slipped seven percent to 1.2 million.

Heat pumps were responsible for a 4.5 percent drop in March and totaled 435,331 for the year, yielding a 3 percent overall drop as compared to the same period last year.

Gas and oil warm-air furnace shipments each dropped 26 percent in March as compared to 2007 totals. The overall gas furnace numbers totaled 528,153 - a 17 percent drop - and oil furnaces totaled 13,710, a 26 percent drop.

Room heaters, and residential and commercial water heaters also experienced percentage drops in numbers as compared to the totals of 2007.

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Publication date:06/02/2008