Sales among HARDI members during April showed strong growth, according to the latest figures released by the group.

Growth among members of the Heating, Air-conditioning and Refrigeration Distributors International averaged 18.9 percent for the month — a big turnaround from the 6.9 percent drop in March. The figure was substantially higher than April 2012’s 8.3 percent gain.

For the year to date, the average HARDI member has seen a 6.1 percent growth rate.

“HVACR distribution continues to benefit from an improving economic environment in 2013,” said Andrew Duguay, a senior economist at ITR Economics, which compiles the statistics for the association. “Home values are rising at the fastest pace since 2006, driving a strong recovery trend in new home construction.” 

Adding to the growth trends were strong retail sales, Duguay added.

Heating and air-conditioning sales have been on an upswing, said Brian Loftus, HARDI’s market research and benchmarking analyst.

“HVAC equipment sales generated the strongest sales gains last month, followed by controls and then refrigeration,” Loftus said. “The cooling season appears to be off to a strong start, but the recent volatility will persist. May 2012 was unusually strong.”