HARDI Unitary Market Report: 2018 Equipment Sales

BY Brian Loftus
2/14/2019 - HVAC Market Intelligence

HARDI distributors produced record top-line growth of 11.4% in 2018. This was the best sales growth from any twelve-month period in more than ten years. There were three reasons...

  1. Favorable weather pattern with unusually warm temps at the beginning of cooling season and unusually cold temps at the beginning of heating season
  2. Relatively easy comparisons versus 2017 in much of the country
  3. Price increases were passed through


Nearly 12 million unitary air conditioners, heat pumps, furnaces, boilers and ductless systems were sold during 2018. HARDI distributors who participate in the Unitary Market Report and the data subscribers see equipment sales by product line and by efficiency level at the national, regional or state level. The following are the unit sales growth per product line and some high-level observations from the Q4 2018 report:

  1. Furnace unit sales, about 30% of total, increased by 6.9% with strong demand in the important Great Lakes and Central regions
  2. Ducted AC unit sales, more than 40% of total, increased by 3.3% in 2018. Impressive heat-driven sales growth in the important Great Lakes, Central and Western regions offset soft sales in the Southwest and Southeast.
  3. Ducted heat pumps, mid-teens percentage share of annual unit sales, experienced 11.3% growth. The crucial Southeast region produced mid-teens unit sales growth that was offset by modest growth from the other regions.
  4. The balance of equipment sales are ductless systems that experienced mid-teens unit growth in 2018 while boilers improved by high single-digits.


Equipment price increases, as tracked in the Producer Price Index, were subdued in 2015 through 2016. A variety of culprits inspired price increases during the first half of 2018 that resulted in more than a 5% increase during the calendar year. Total sales growth of 6.5% to nearly 12 million ducted air conditioner, ducted heat pump, furnace, boiler and ductless units plus the mid-single-digit price increases were major factors to produce the 11.4% average distributor sales growth in 2018.

Access to the TRENDS report and Unitary Market Report are HARDI distributor member benefits. Distributors may have access to the information in exchange for voluntarily participating in the data collection process. They also receive the monthly HARDInomics report, with enhanced state-level insights, in exchange for participating. Other members can access TRENDS and HARDInomics with a membership at the Premier or Sustaining level, and there are a variety of options for subscribing to the Unitary Market Report data. Please contact me when you are ready for this distinctive market information.

This article was published in the February 2019 edition of the Data Driven Newsletter.