Mixed signals continue to be sent out regarding shipment data for heating and cooling equipment. The most recent statistics from September showed U.S. factory shipments of residential gas water heaters up 7.4 percent at 319,796 compared with September 2008, according to information released in late November by the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI).

Shipments of oil-fired, warm-air furnaces were 7,567, up 4 percent for the month compared with September 2008.

Combined U.S. factory shipments of central air conditioners and air-source heat pumps was 419,025 in September 2009, a zero percent change from the same month the year before.

Shipments of gas-fired, warm-air furnaces fell 2.5 percent in September to 243,190 versus the same month a year ago; residential electric water heaters fell 3.8 percent to 320,224; commercial electric water heaters, down 4.2 percent to 4,948; heat pump shipments were down 6.3 percent at 128,684; commercial gas water heaters were down 8.9 percent at 6,199.

Year-to-date numbers also show decreases when compared to the same period in 2008. Some of the percentages were 12.5 percent down for oil-fired, warm-air furnace shipments that totaled 1,471,644; oil furnaces, down 11.5 percent at 33,707 units; residential gas water heaters, down 10.3 percent at 2,778,644 units; electric storage water heaters, 13.4 percent drop at 2,814,035; commercial gas heaters shipped 57,500, down 19.1 percent; commercial electric water heaters, 43,165 units shipped, down 20.3 percent; central air conditioning and air-source heat pumps shipped 4,239,126 through September, a 15.8 percent drop; and heat pump shipments had a 14 percent drop with 1,332,911 units shipped.

But though many numbers were down, AHRI sees improvement ahead. “While the HVACR industry is currently facing a lot of challenges as a result of the global economic situation, when we look beyond the immediate, we still see tremendous growth opportunities for the industry, both here and around the world,” said Courtney Nogas, Manager of Public Affairs for AHRI.

Publication date:12/07/2009