22 May 2002
The U.S. market for heat pumps and air conditioning units for residential and commercial buildings continues to be one of the strongest in the world, with annual factory shipments of nearly 6 million unitary cooling units and approximately 1.5 million unitary heat pumps. Canada provides an additional market for 25,000 units annually. During 2000 and 2001 North American unit sales suffered due to colder summer temperatures and a weak economy. In the U.S., heat pump sales have been increasing as a percentage of total unitary shipments reflecting higher residential building activity in regions where heat pumps are an attractive choice and a growing replacement market. Concerns over future fuel availability and cost are also a factor in the increased sale of heat pumps (often in conjunction with gas or oil-fired heating units).