The HVAC industry had a banner month in October. The Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute (ARI) reported October's combined unitary shipments were up 73 percent from October 2004. And 2004 was a record year for the industry. Total shipments for October were 714,793 units. Heat pump shipments were also up 47 percent, shipping 190,015 units.

"The big jump in shipments of central air conditioners and heat pumps could have something to do with October's sales of new homes," said William Sutton, ARI president.

"According to the Commerce Department's latest statistics, sales of new homes shot up 13 percent from September, the biggest one month gain in more than 12 years. The increase pushed sales to an all-time high seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.42 million units."

"It's also possible that the replacement market, due to hurricane damage in the Gulf States and Florida, is contributing to the surge in shipments, but we don't have that data yet," said Sutton.

Publication date: 12/12/2005