ARLINGTON, Va. - Combined U.S. factory shipments of 840,139 central air conditioners and air-source heat pumps for August were up 51 percent compared with shipments from the same month last year, according to ARI.

The Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute also reports that heat pump shipments of 204,588 were up 42 percent compared with August 2004. Total shipments of 5,903,337 units for the first eight months of 2005 are up 4 percent from last year.

Factory stocks for August were down 42,016 units from July 2005 and down 249,182 units for the same month last year. Distributor inventories for August were down 65,540 units compared with the previous month, but up 21,272 units from August 2004. August distributor shipments were up 22 percent from the same month last year, with year-to-date shipments up 7 percent.