Steel Markets

US Heating and Cooling Equipment Shipments Jump 24% in March

Written by Brett Linton

US heating and cooling equipment shipments jumped 24% from February to March to 2.28 million units, up 2% from levels one year prior, according to recent data from the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI). This is the third highest monthly shipment rate in our history, with June 2021 holding the record at 2.32 million units and June 2020 holding the second highest rate at 2.28 million units.

On a twelve-month moving average (12MMA) basis, shipments averaged 2.04 million tons per month over the past year, again climbing to the highest 12MMA in our recorded history. Shipments averaged 2.03 million units per month in 2021, up 9.8% compared to 1.85 million units per month shipped in the same period of 2020.

As shown in the chart below, total heating and cooling shipments on a three-month moving average (3MMA) basis are up 3% year over year. May and June 2021 hold the record high 3MMA annual rates of change at 31.9% and 27.2%, respectively. Prior to 2020, the record high was 16.6% in March 2015.

Residential and commercial storage water heater shipments increased 3% year over year to a combined 966,731 units in March. This is the second highest level in our 14+ year history, just behind the 967,773 unit level in March 2015. This month 945,630 units were shipped for residential use and 21,101 units for commercial use.

March shipments of warm air furnaces totaled 364,200 units, a decrease of 3% compared to the same month last year. This is also the second highest shipment level in our history, with March 2021 holding the record at 376,207 units.

Central air conditioners and air-source heat pump shipments were up 2% from levels one year ago to 945,983 total units in March: 583,253 air conditioners and 362,730 heat pumps were shipped. This is now the fifth consecutive month that shipments have increased on a year-over-year basis.

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

An interactive history of heating and cooling equipment shipment data is available here on our website. If you need assistance logging in to or navigating the website, please contact us at

By Brett Linton,

Brett Linton

Read more from Brett Linton

Latest in Steel Markets