CHICAGO — Tens of thousands of HVACR professionals from around the world will breeze into the Windy City later this month to attend the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration (AHR) Expo. Considered to be the premier event in the HVACR industry, the AHR Expo is the place where contractors, engineers, and other building professionals meet to learn about new products.

Indeed, according to an AHR Expo survey of last year’s attendees, 94 percent said they came to see what’s new in the marketplace, while 91 percent said attending the Expo was an important way to look for new suppliers. Attendees at this year’s AHR Expo — scheduled for Jan. 26-28 at the McCormick Place — will not be disappointed, as 70 percent of exhibitors said they will be showcasing new products.

Face Time

While HVAC contractors like to check out all the new products at the AHR Expo, exhibitors enjoy being able to meet face to face with customers. As Jeff Watson, vice president of product management and marketing, Trane, a brand of Ingersoll Rand, explained: “Attending the AHR Expo gives us face time with our customers. We get the chance to answer their questions and listen to concerns. Once we understand our customers’ needs, we can provide valuable solutions that improve energy efficiency and help them take a proactive approach to home and building management.”

Trane will be taking a different approach to its exhibit this year, said Watson, as the company will focus on showing attendees how taking an integrated systems approach to HVAC design can increase efficiency. “When Trane controls, systems, and services come together, we can help customers operate their buildings more intelligently. By connecting existing HVAC solutions and gathering building
data, we can use the information to proactively identify energy and cost-savings opportunities.”

Watson encourages attendees to visit the Trane booth (#4810), which will feature a cityscape design in order to demonstrate controls, systems, and services working to positively impact buildings. Some of the products that will be showcased in the booth will include the Tracer™ Concierge System, which is a simplified HVAC control system that can enhance building interaction; a water-source variable refrigerant flow (VRF) system; and TruComfort™ variable-speed systems, which offer energy-efficiency ratings of up to 21 SEER.

“The AHR Expo is really important for us to showcase all the new products we’ve developed or added since the last show,” said Jerry Tomasello, director of marketing, RectorSeal Corp., which has more than doubled the size of its HVACR division over the last four years through acquisitions and organic growth. One of the new products contractors will see at RectorSeal’s booth (#2331) is the Mighty Bracket, which is an installation support tool for mini-split air conditioning evaporator coils. Tomasello noted that this tool eliminates the need for a second person on a mini-split installation because it supports the evaporator, freeing up the installer’s hands to make other connections. Also on display will be the Desolv Cleaning Kit, which includes a custom-made bag that attaches to the evaporator coil in order to protect walls and floors from evaporator coil cleaning overspray and drainage. The bag funnels down into a 5-gallon pail that also serves as the apparatus’s carrying and storage container.

The staff at Semco LLC attends the AHR Expo to show a presence in the market and educate contractors, design consultants, manufacturer’s representatives, and building owners on the benefits of its energy recovery, chilled beams, and metal ductwork products, said Tom Rice, director of sales – desiccant wheel products division.

At this year’s Expo, the Semco booth (#7063) will feature a new desiccant wheel designed for the replacement market. “Our new replacement wheel for energy recovery equipment is a win-win-win because it offers reliability, it reduces energy use, and it improves IAQ for commercial building occupants,” said Rice.

Educational Opportunities

After attendees get their fill of new products, they should consider taking advantage of some of the educational opportunities available at the AHR Expo. More than 120 educational sessions covering a variety of topics will be offered in order to help HVACR professionals get the information they need to improve their businesses, perform their jobs more effectively, and stay abreast of new technologies and trends driving the industry. These educational offerings range from more than three dozen free sessions, nearly two dozen paid courses, and 60-plus new product presentations in the New Product & Technology Theaters.

Many of these educational sessions will be offered free-of-charge, including:

• The Radiant Professionals Alliance (RPA) will present “Commercial Cooling with Water-Radiant Cooling and Chilled-Beam Compressor-Less Cooling,” which will examine the energy savings and comfort factor of radiant cooling in comparison to conventional air-based systems. will present “Addressing the Skills Gap, Understanding that People are our Only Asset,” which will discuss how organizations can attract talent at a younger age by reaching out to them before they graduate. An example is to implement internship programs, so candidates can gain an understanding of the field and whether it is right for them.

ASHRAE will present “2015 Regional Standards and the Effects on Different Areas of the HVAC Industry,” which will focus on the new federal energy-efficiency standards that go into effect in 2015. These standards mandate different efficiency levels for residential HVAC equipment, and this session will look at the unique challenges and implications that the new regulations pose to the industry.

• The American Boiler Manufacturers Association (ABMA) will present “Properly Implementing Condensing Boilers In A Hydronic System To Greatest Efficiency,” which will explore how condensing boilers work and how they must be applied to help end users achieve optimum operational efficiency.

• The National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) will offer “HVAC System Cleaning and Energy Efficiency,” which will look at the cost savings that can be achieved through effective HVAC system cleaning.

• The Building Automation and Control (BAC) Showcase will also return this year, giving attendees the opportunity to learn about the latest building automation and controls technologies. Numerous manufacturers from around the world will be highlighting the latest BAC products and technologies, with many of these companies located in one convenient area on the exhibit floor. The Software Center will also return, showcasing both off-the-shelf and customized HVACR software solutions.

For all information regarding the AHR Expo, including exhibitor listings and educational opportunities, visit

Publication date: 1/12/2015

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