Steel Markets

Heating and Cooling Equipment Shipments Rebound in August

Written by Brett Linton

US heating and cooling equipment shipments rebounded 12% in August to 1.99 million units, according to data from the Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI). Total shipments in August were down 3% from levels one year earlier. The average monthly shipments level for the first eight months of 2022 is now 2.02 million units.

Shipments fell 20% in July to an eight-month low of 1.79 million units, the largest monthly decline in shipments since late 2020, while June saw the fifth-highest monthly shipment rate in our 14-plus-year history.

Shipments remain strong on a 12-month moving average (12MMA) basis, averaging 1.99 million units per month over the past year. This is down less than 1% from the 12MMA for the month prior, and 2% less than the record-high 12MMA seen in March. Shipments averaged 2.03 million units per month in 2021, up 10% compared to 1.85 million units per month in 2020.

As shown in the chart below, total heating and cooling shipments on a three-month moving average (3MMA) basis are down 7% year-over-year (YoY) through August. This is tied with July for the largest YoY decline seen since June 2020. Prior to April of this year, we saw an annual growth rate between 2–3% for each month since November 2021. May and June 2021 hold the record high 3MMA annual rates of change at 32% and 27%, respectively. Prior to 2020, the record high was 17% in February 2015.

Residential and commercial storage water heater shipments decreased 15% YoY to a combined 666,000 units in August: 648,000 units were shipped for residential use and 19,000 units for commercial use. Water heater shipments were up 14% MoM.

August shipments of warm air furnaces totaled 365,000 units, an increase of 9% compared to the same month last year. Shipments for warm air furnaces increased 21% from July.

Central air conditioners and air-source heat pump shipments were up 3% compared to one year ago at 960,000 total units in August: 559,000 air conditioners and 401,000 heat pumps were shipped. AC and heat pump shipments were up 7% compared to one month prior.

Year-to-date (YTD) shipments through August 2022 total 16.12 million units. This is 452,000 units fewer than shipments in the first eight months of 2021 (16.58 million), but up from 14.61 million units in the same period of 2020 and also from 14.61 million units in 2019.

As seen in the chart below, 2022 YTD shipments for water heaters total 6.04 million units, 9% below the same period of 2021. Warm air furnace shipments totaled 2.69 million units YTD, down 1% versus last year. YTD air conditioner shipments reached 7.40 million units in the first eight months of this year, up 3% from the same period last year, and the highest YTD figure seen in our data history.

The full press release is available on the AHRI website.

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

By Brett Linton,

Brett Linton

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