Residential cooling and heating equipment shipments are finally starting to show positive numbers.

U.S. factory shipments of both residential and commercial gas-fired heating equipment increased, as well as the number of year-to-date air conditioner shipments from February, according to the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute ( AHRI).

Residential Water Heaters

U.S. shipments of residential gas water heaters have increased 3 percent, from 643,452 units from February 2009 to 665,566 units in 2010; however, the year-to-date number of U.S. shipments of residential electric water heaters dropped 2 percent, from 634,232 units shipped by this point in 2009 to 623,027 units in 2010. 

Commercial Water Heaters

Year-to-date U.S. shipments of commercial gas water heaters increased 2 percent, to 13,521 units, up from 3,230 units in Feb. 2009. However, the number of U.S. shipments of commercial electric water heaters decreased 9 percent, to 8,459 units, compared with 9,291 units shipped by this point in 2009.

Warm Air Furnaces

The biggest increase was evident from U.S. shipments of gas warm air furnaces, which were up 24 percent - a total of 319,893 units, compared with 257,999 units shipped in Feb. 2009. U.S. shipments of oil warm air furnaces also increased 41 percent, to 9,361 units, compared with 6,651 units shipped in the previous year. 

Central Air Conditioners and Air-Source Heat Pumps

Year-to-date, U.S. shipments of heat pumps increased 13 percent in 2010, to 222,746 units, compared with a revised total of 198,070 units shipped in Feb. 2009. The year-to-date shipments of central air-conditioners also increased 17 percent, to 347,131 units in Feb. 2010 from a revised total of 297,759 units from the same time last year.