Sales for HARDI members increased almost 15 percent in March, according to the group’s new survey.

The Heating, Air-conditioning and Refrigeration Distributors International’s Targeted & Regional Economic News for Distribution Strategies or TRENDS report said average HVAC sales were up 14.4 percent for the month.

For the year to date, HVAC market sales have increased 5.9 percent among members.

“The results suggest that the strength of the U.S. consumer, as evidenced in accelerating U.S. retail sales growth, is benefitting HARDI members,” said HARDI’s senior economist, Danielle Marceau. “The quickening rate of rise in Retail Sales at building material and supply stores — up 5.3 percent — is indicating that consumers are spending more on improving their homes and internal trends suggest additional growth is likely through the remainder of 2015.”

HARDI’s HVAC market research and benchmarking analyst Brian Loftus said the survey’s results were unexpected.

“March was a welcome surprise after the subdued results in January and February,” he said. “The results are particularly impressive when you see the good growth was shared among all seven reporting regions and versus 11.4 percent growth in March of 2014.”