Steel Markets

Heating and Cooling Equipment Shipments Historically Low

Written by Brett Linton

May heating and cooling equipment shipments totaled 1.66 million units, down 17.7 percent from the same month one year ago, according to recent data from the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI). This is now the largest year-over-year decline since June 2009, surpassing last month. On a three-month moving average, total heating and cooling shipments were down 11.7 percent year-over-year, the lowest decline since February 2016. This is the seventh consecutive month total shipments have declined on a year-over-year basis.

Residential and commercial storage water heater shipments decreased 7.3 percent year over year to a combined 669,104 units; 654,600 units were shipped for residential use and 14,504 units for commercial use.

Shipments of warm air furnaces totaled 216,370 units in May, a decline of 26.1 percent compared to the same month last year. This is the 11th consecutive month that warm air furnace shipments have declined on a year-over-year basis, and last month saw the largest decline in over a decade.

Central air conditioners and air-source heat pump shipments were down 22.7 percent over a year ago to 777,815 total units; 522,624 air conditioners and 255,191 heat pumps were shipped.

The full press release is available on the AHRI website here.

Below is a graph showing the history of total water heater, warm air furnace and air conditioner shipments. To use its interactive features, view the graph on our website by clicking here. For assistance with either logging in or navigating the website, contact

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