Combined U.S. factory shipments of central air conditioners and air-source heat pumps for March totaled 465,454, down 22 percent compared with March 2008, according to the Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute.

For the year, AHRI reported that combined shipments totaled 955,317, down 24 percent compared with the same period last year.

Heat pump shipments for March totaled 159,983, down 16 percent from the same month a year ago. For the year to date, heat pump shipments totaled 355,603, a 20 percent drop compared with the same period last year.

U.S. factory shipments of gas-fired, warm-air furnaces in March totaled 160,339, a 20 percent drop compared with March last year. For the year, gas furnace shipments totaled 418,338, a 20.8 percent drop compared with the same period last year.

Oil-fired, warm-air furnaces for the same month totaled 3,337, a 20.3 percent drop compared with March 2008 totals. Oil furnace shipments for the year-to-date totaled 10,147, a 26 percent drop compared with the same period last year.