The air conditioning, heating and refrigeration institute (AHRI) has 300 member companies that make up the contingent that is responsible for greater than 90% of commercial and residential air conditioning, space heating, commercial refrigeration and water heating equipment that is made and sold in North America. It is a trade association that represents these manufacturers and not only acts as an advocate but also helped to develop certification for the product performance and development of standards.
One of the responsibilities of AHRI is to assess the heating, cooling equipment shipment data for the country. This is broken down into four different categories; commercial water heaters, residential water heaters, warm air furnaces and lastly central air conditioners and air-source heat pumps.
For commercial water heaters, shipments have increased by 4% over the period from March 2009 to March 2010. This is an increase from 8119 units in 2009 to 8476 units by March of 2010. Interestingly, while the total number when up by 4%, the number of the electric water heaters that were shipped actually reduced by 4%. 5909 units were shipped in March 2009 and that number reduced to 5690 by March of 2010. For commercial electric water heaters, the dip was more pronounced. 15,200 units were shipped in March 2009, and that number has gone down to 14,157 by March of 2010. Commercial gas water heaters have seen an increase from 21,349 units shipped in March 2009 up to 21,997 units shipped in March 2010 for a 3% increase.
The number of residential water heaters that were shipped from the period of March 2009 to March 2010 increased significantly. In March 2009, a number of 347,852 units increased to 421,303 units by March 2010. This represents an increase of 21%. Instead of a reduction in the overall numbers of electric water heaters similar to the situation with commercial water heaters, residential electric water heaters had a less significant increase from the total; the total increase in electric water heaters shipped was just 16%. Over the course of the year, the total number of units shipped has gone up to 1,086,869 units shipped as a March 2010. This is up from a number 965,983 that were shipped for the year ending March 2009. That represents a 10% increase, while the increase in electric residential water heaters rose only 4% for the same period.
Shipments of warm air furnaces went up for both oil and gas warm air furnaces. The increases were substantial for both of these types, and the increase for oil warm air furnaces from March 2009 to March 2010 was 18%. This represented a total of 3950 units in March 2010. Year-to-date numbers for oil warm air furnaces have increased by 33%. For gas warm air furnaces, the numbers have increased by 17% from March 2009 to March 2010. The year-to-date numbers have increased 21% to a total of 506,856 units up till March 2010.
When air-source heat pumps and central air conditioners are combined, the numbers actually go down from March 2009 to March 2010. The reduction is 2% and the March 2010 total number is 461,446. The year-to-date numbers to show an increase however and went up by 7% for heat pumps for the year ending March 2010. The increase for air-conditioners was 6% for a total of 645,606 units by March 2010.