Steel Markets

Heating and Cooling Equipment Shipments through February

Written by Brett Linton

February heating and cooling equipment shipments declined 9.3% from January to 1.68 million units, but were up 10.4% from levels one year prior, according to recent data from the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI). This is the ninth consecutive month that shipments have increased on a year-over-year basis. Recall that late 2020 saw record-high levels of water heater and central air conditioner/heat pump shipments.

As a three-month moving average (3MMA), total heating and cooling shipments rose 13.9% year over year, as shown in the chart below. This is the eighth consecutive month that 3MMA shipments have increased on a year-over-year basis. Note that the last four months of 2020 saw the largest 3MMA annual rates of change in SMU’s limited history, reaching a record +26.3% in November. Prior to 2020, the previous record 3MMA annual rate of change was 16.6% in February 2015.

Residential and commercial storage water heater shipments decreased 2.8% year over year to a combined 739,948 units in February; 721,979 units were shipped for residential use and 17,969 units for commercial use.

February shipments of warm air furnaces totaled 306,219 units, an increase of 49.5% compared to the same month last year.

Central air conditioners and air-source heat pump shipments were up 14.1% over levels one year ago to 637,772 total units; 363,045 air conditioners and 274,727 heat pumps were shipped in February.

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

By Brett Linton,

Brett Linton

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