According to the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), December 2009 brought commercial gas water heaters a 2-percent increase in shipments from 6,182 units in December 2008 to 6,279 units in December 2009. However, shipments of commercial electric water heaters dropped 16 percent to 4,053 units in December 2009, compared with 4,844 units in December 2008. Year-to-date, U.S. shipments of commercial gas water heaters dropped 14.5 percent from 88,265 units in December 2008 to 75,487 units in December 2009. During the same time period, the number of U.S. shipments of commercial electric water heaters decreased 19 percent from 68,686 units in December 2008 to 55,625 units in December 2009.

Warm-Air Furnaces
December 2009 also brought gains for gas and oil warm-air furnaces. Gas warm-air furnaces had a 31-percent increase in shipments to 234,451 units, up from 178,856 units shipped in 2008. Year-to-date, U.S. shipments of gas warm-air furnaces dropped 4.6 percent from 2.28 million units in December 2008 to 2.17 million units in December 2009. In December 2009, oil warm-air furnace shipments increased 43 percent to 7,048 units, up from 4,942 units shipped in December 2008. Year-to-date, U.S. shipments of oil warm-air furnaces increased 1.9 percent to 55,619 units in December 2009, up from 54,608 units in December 2008.

Central Air Conditioners and Air-Source Heat Pumps

The total number of U.S. factory shipments of central air conditioners and air-source heat pumps in December 2009 was 342,948 units, 109,949 of which were heat pumps. The combined total of central air conditioners and air-source heat pumps increased 44 percent from 238,160 units in December 2008, and the total number of shipments for heat pumps increased 14 percent from 96,497 units in December 2008. Year-to-date, U.S. shipments of heat pumps dropped 12 percent in December 2009 to 1.64 million units from 1.87 million units in December 2008. The year-to-date total of air-conditioner shipments dropped 11.4 percent to 3.52 million units in December 2009 from 3.97 million units in December 2008.