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Research: Warm Air Furnace Demand Rose in 2016

Warm air furnaces comprise the vast majority of overall demand, with 64% of total value sales in 2016. Forced air heating is preferred in the U.S., installed in both commercial and residential buildings. These and other trends are presented in “Heating Equipment Market in the U.S.,” a new study from The Freedonia Group, a Cleveland-based industry research firm.

Demand for warm air furnaces was $2.6 billion in 2016. Warm air furnace demand recorded strong growth during the 2011-2016 period as both the U.S. economy and construction industry recovered from the Great Recession.

U.S. sales of heating equipment are expected to slow from gains recorded during the 2011-2016 period, as during this earlier period there was a higher level of replacement sales to alleviate pent up demand following the Great Recession. Replacement cycles are expected to normalize going forward, slowing the overall pace of growth.

Most buildings in the U.S are designed to utilize forced air heating. Warm air furnaces are less expensive to install and operate than boilers, further promoting their use. According to analyst Kyle Peters, “Natural gas is by far the leading energy source used, comprising 93% of demand in 2016.” Natural gas is also expected to record the fastest increase in demand through 2021, followed by electricity and heating oil. Due to higher operating and/or energy prices, demand for electricity and heating oil furnaces is largely limited to buildings where natural gas is not available.

The Freedonia Group, a division of MarketResearch.com, is an international industrial research company that publishes more than 100 studies annually.

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