The weather outside was cold and snowy, but inside McCormick Place at the 2003 Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition (AHR Expo), contractors were interested in what manufacturers were offering in the way of new residential/light commercial air conditioners.
Coil manufacturers at the 2003 Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition (AHR Expo) were eager to show their wares. New product lines and enhancements to existing lines were the highlights of most coil exhibitors’ booths.
This year the Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition (AHR Expo) will be back on its old stomping grounds: McCormick Place. From Jan. 27 – 29, the vast convention center will once again be a temporary home for contractors and others in the industry who are looking for new products and new ways to do business.
The last year has not been easy for many Americans, but the second half of 2002 did bring some hope for Chicago contractors as business started to pick up again. Two Chicago-area contractors spared a few moments to talk about how they're doing.
Contractors are always looking for different ways to grow their businesses. How about offering a completely new product or service — one that is intertwined with the products and services a contractor already offers, but that many customers would find extremely beneficial if implemented correctly? That new product and service can be found in building automation systems (BAS).
There has been a lot going on in the world of building automation systems (BAS) in the last decade. Prior to that time, proprietary BAS were the norm. In these types of systems, the manufacturer controlled every internal aspect of the system, the components could only be purchased from the original manufacturer, and the system could not easily be linked to any other manufacturer’s system. Today, most manufacturers are emphasizing the need for “open” systems that use communication protocols such as BACnet®, LonWorks®, and ModBus.
What makes customers decide whether or not to shell out the extra money for a high-end furnace? Some contractors would probably give their right arms to have the answer to that question. But because each customer is different, their reasons for buying (or not buying) a more expensive furnace can also be different. Contractors probably won’t know which benefit will appeal to which customer. That’s why it’s important to spell out all the benefits of higher end furnaces during the sales call.
A premium or high-end forced-air furnace is typically thought of as having an annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) of 90% or above. These furnaces also usually come with other amenities, such as variable-speed motors, sophisticated controls, and longer warranties. For one manufacturer, a premium furnace encompasses all of the above, as well as improved igniter technology.