The NEWS recently recruited top HVAC contractors to sort through more than 100 submissions to honor 14 products as 2014 Dealer Design Awards (DDA) gold winners. We then turned the process over to you, the readers, and asked you to vote for your favorite DDA gold winner in the first-ever 2014 DDA Reader’s Choice Poll. Here are the results. 

First Place

In first place, with 41 percent of the overall vote, was the TXV Connect Kit from Emerson Climate Technologies Inc. This product emerged from the Components and Accessories category with a focus on efficiency.

“The TXV Connect Kit is a new valve replacement set designed to provide contractors with a quick and efficient way to service residential air conditioning and heat pump systems,” said Flavia Bader, marketing manager, flow controls, Emerson Climate Technologies. “The kit includes Emerson’s latest-generation thermal expansion valves plus chatleff and aeroquip adapters.

“We are pleased that ACHR NEWS readers are excited about this new product,” said Bader. “The TXV Connect Kit exemplifies Emerson’s focus on developing new products that make our customers’ lives easier and more efficient.”

Customer response for the TXV Connect Kit has been just as encouraging, as it garnered the most attention in the poll. “Our customers are enjoying the installation flexibility of the TXV Connect kits,” said Bader. “It’s allowing contractors to have the TXV replacement they need for a system, regardless of manufacturer, while providing easy replacement of fixed orifice for increased efficiency.”

Second Place

The HVAC VN Nitrogen Purging/Brazing/Testing Regulator from Western Enterprises, a Scott Fetzer Co., earned second place in the 2014 Reader’s Choice Poll.

“The Western 3-Step HVAC Nitrogen Purging Regulator has preset Purge, Braze, and Test settings to simply and effectively purge line sets during a/c and refrigeration unit installation,” said John Strobel, vice president of sales and marketing, Western Enterprises. “Unique features of the device include a regulator and flow meter in one and an easy handtight cylinder connection to reduce cost and increase efficiency.”

The regulator earned DDA Gold honors in the Hand Tools category and emerged with 29 percent of the popular vote in the poll.

“The response to the Western 3-step HVAC regulator has been extremely positive since its introduction,” said Strobel. “We have received a large increase in inquiries and purchases, so the word is getting out. We thank our customers for sharing their experiences with their peers.”

Third Place

VenturePro Software from, rounds out the top three. The product earned gold in the Contractor Services and Software category and proved to be a top choice of The NEWS’ readers.

Drew Wade, product manager,, described the product in detail: “VenturePro is field service and dispatch software that was born in the industry and is designed to improve the efficiency, transparency, and profitability of contractors. Industry tools in VenturePro include: quotes, scheduling, dispatch, full invoicing, MyDay digital assistant, team and personal calendars, a PDF library containing more than 10,000 pieces of HVAC literature, full customer history, automated service reminders, integrated customer reviews, QuickBooks integration, and user controls. VenturePro will help run the business and
the team.”

VenturePro’s array of industry tools has made it a popular choice in the marketplace.

“Our customers have been thrilled with the results since adopting the Mypointnow system,” said Wade. “Many contractors have been able to grow in ways they could not before, experiencing triple-digit increases in online search performance. They’re running a much smoother operation from the office.”

In regards to being honored by the readers of The NEWS with 16 percent of the vote, Wade said: “We are thrilled to be honored yet again as a result of the Dealer Design Awards. We strived to create a product that would resonate with contractors and industry professionals; it seems we met that goal. It’s a great feeling being recognized by readers and industry peers.”

The 2015 DDA contest is right around the corner. Manufacturers may begin nominating products in January 2015. For more information, visit

Publication date: 9/29/2014

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