ARLINGTON, Va. - Combined U.S. factory shipments of central air conditioners and air source heat pumps totaled 551,459 units in February. This total is up 14 percent from the same month last year, according to the Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute.

ARI reported that heat pump shipments of 155,839 also rose 29 percent compared to January 2005.

Factory stocks for February were up 50,374 from January and down 129,107 units from February 2005. Distributor inventories for February were up 127,379 units from the same month last year, and up 58,141 units from January.

February's distributor shipments were up 23.8 percent from last year, with year-to-date shipments up 40.2 percent.