NEW YORK — Neither snow nor cold could dampen the excitement of the 66th annual 2014 Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigerating Exposition (AHR Expo), which took place Jan. 21-23 in New York. Attendees endured 10 inches of snowfall on the show’s opening day.

According to the International Exposition Co. (IEC), the show’s organizer, more than 61,000 attendees registered for the event. This included 42,991 visitors and 18,219 exhibitor personnel. At press time, actual attendance had not been announced.

“We were obviously very concerned with the weather forecast. Meteorologists predicted there would be a snow storm on opening day and arctic cold the last two days of the show,” said Clay Stevens, president, IEC. “However, we were encouraged when we saw thousands of people pouring into the show as if the weather wasn’t a factor.”

While the weather outside was freezing, the mood of the contractors in attendance warmed the manufacturers. After a few years of doom and gloom followed by a few more “cautiously optimistic” years, more than a few manufacturers commented on how bullish attendees were on the industry.

“We are really happy with the traffic. It is just phenomenal,” said Jerry Tomasello, director of marketing and plumbing sales, RectorSeal Corp. “We are hearing all positive comments from contractors. The market seems to be coming back to where everyone is happy. Business is just really good and we can’t ask for anything better.”

HVACR professionals from all 50 states and more than 130 countries attended to see the latest products and technologies on display from more than 1,900 exhibiting companies from around the world.

“We had a lot of traffic and a lot of good feedback,” said John Gibbons of Carrier.

It was announced before the show that the 2014 event had already broken the Northeast record for exhibit space reserved at 385,000 square feet. That total exceeded the old record by nearly 6 percent.

“We were very happy with the attendance, as were all the exhibitors and attendees we spoke with,” Stevens added. “However, I’m sure we would have blown away the all-time attendance record even more if the weather hadn’t been so severe.”

In other news at the show, Emerson Climate Technologies’ Next Generation Copeland Scroll variable-speed compressor line was honored as the 2014 AHR Expo Product of the Year during the Innovation award ceremonies.

The new Emerson product line was chosen as the Product of the Year from among the top Innovation award winners in 10 industry-related categories. The Emerson product was the winner in the Cooling category. Featuring the company’s second generation of variable-speed technology, the new product line can achieve cooling levels greater than 25 SEER and heating efficiencies up to 13 HSPF.

Anually, the entry fees from the AHR Expo Innovation awards are donated to a local charity in the city where the expo is being held. This year, a total of $12,525 was donated to the Youth Action YouthBuild organization in the East Harlem section of New York City.

“We congratulate Emerson and all the winners of the AHR Expo Innovation awards competition,” said Stevens. “These companies deserve recognition for the innovative products they are creating and for leading the way in achieving a more energy-efficient and sustainable future.”

Publication date: 2/17/2014

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