Combined U.S. factory shipments of 703,234 central air conditioners and air source heat pumps for January were up 74.3 percent compared to the same month last year, according to ARI.

The Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute also reports that heat pump shipments of 172,347 rose 45.1 percent compared to January 2005.

Factory stocks in January were down 125,065 units from December 2005, and down 732 units for the same month a year ago. January distributor inventories were up 81,928 from December, and up 154,362 units from January 2005.

Distributor shipments for January were up 56.7 percent from the same month last year.