It turns out that 2005 wasn't just a good year for manufacturers, it was also a terrific year for distributors. The Heating, Airconditioning and Refrigeration Distributors International (HARDI) believes the positive trend will continue. But there are some lingering concerns.
Following a rosy 2005, unitary manufacturers agree that the transition to 13 SEER is the biggest challenge and opportunity at the moment. Meanwhile, other concerns, such as raw material costs and R-22's phaseout, loom.
With the transition to 13 SEER, there is increased focus on making sure systems are installed properly. The same rules apply to 13 SEER as to 10 SEER: Follow all manufacturer's guidelines, and install the system as you would in your own home.
It seemed that everywhere you looked at the 2006 AHR Expo, there were new duct, grille, register, and diffuser offerings. Crowds flocked to see everything from fabric duct to sheet metal and plastic grilles to custom-fabricated registers.
The Windy City was the perfect place to showcase gas furnaces and heaters, as it was a little chilly at the 2006 AHR Expo. The crowds soon warmed, though, to the new energy-efficient products shown by a multitude of manufacturers.
It was quite fitting that the 2006 AHR Expo featured numerous fans, blowers, air handlers, and similar products. After all, the show was held in Chicago, so attendees were used to getting blown around during their stay in the Windy City.
As can be expected, there were numerous 13-plus SEER product introductions at the 2006 AHR Expo. Show attendees crowded into booths to see the latest high-efficiency air conditioners, heat pumps, and geothermal products offered by many of the big names in the industry.
Contractors going to the AHR Expo should also think about attending a few of the sessions presented at the ASHRAE meeting, which takes place Jan. 21-25 at the Palmer House Hilton. The theme of several of the sessions is integrated or sustainable design.