Steel Markets

August Heating and Cooling Equipment Shipments

Written by Brett Linton

August heating and cooling equipment shipments totaled 2.01 million units, up 12.7 percent from the same month one year ago, according to recent data from the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI). Total August shipments declined 1.1 percent over the previous month, but recall that we are coming down from a recent record-high; June 2020 saw the highest monthly shipment level in SMU’s 12-year history.

As a three-month moving average (3MMA), total heating and cooling shipments were up 12.1 percent year-over-year, following a 1.9 percent increase in July. This is the second consecutive month that 3MMA shipments have increased on a year-over-year basis since last October. This is the largest 3MMA annual rate of change seen since September 2016.

Residential and commercial storage water heater shipments increased 6.4 percent year over year to a combined 812,216 units; 795,447 units were shipped for residential use and 16,769 units for commercial use.

Shipments of warm air furnaces totaled 325,837 units in August, an increase of 5.5 percent compared to the same month last year. This is the second consecutive month that warm air furnace shipments have increased on a year-over-year basis since mid-2019.

Central air conditioners and air-source heat pump shipments were up 21.8 percent over levels one year ago to 950,122 total units; 639,349 air conditioners and 310,773 heat pumps were shipped. This is the largest year-over-year percentage change seen since November 2016.

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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