Steel Markets

April Heating and Cooling Equipment Shipments Linger Near Record Levels

Written by Brett Linton

April heating and cooling equipment shipments declined 4.1% from March, now at 2.15 million units, according to recent data from the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI).

This is the fourth-highest level in SMU’s history, with the record occuring in June 2020 at 2.28 million units, followed by June 2018 then March 2021. April levels are up 49.1% from one year prior (due to the COVID-19 decline in April/May 2020), and this is the 11th consecutive month that shipments have increased on a year-over-year basis.

As a three-month moving average (3MMA), total heating and cooling shipments rose 25.0% year over year, as shown in the chart below. This is the 10th consecutive month that 3MMA shipments have increased on a year-over-year basis, and the third highest rate in SMU’s limited history. Recall that October and November 2020 saw the two highest rates, reaching a record +26.3% in November. Prior to 2020, the previous record 3MMA annual rate of change was 16.6% in April 2015.

Residential and commercial storage water heater shipments increased 26.2% year over year to a combined 819,868 units in April; 799,583 units were shipped for residential use and 20,285 units for commercial use.

April shipments of warm air furnaces totaled 345,483 units, an increase of 119.5% compared to the same month last year.

Central air conditioners and air-source heat pump shipments were up 55.2% over levels one year ago to 983,801 total units; 602,723 air conditioners and 381,078 heat pumps were shipped in April.

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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