LAS VEGAS — Taco Inc. wins the best-of-the-best at the 2017 AHR Expo Innovation Awards ceremony held Tuesday, Jan. 31. Taco won the Product of the Pear award for its SmartPlug Smart Hot Water Recirculation Control.

In addition to Taco’s SmartPlug, there were nine other innovation award winners.

“The innovative and creative product development demonstrated by this year’s Award winners has served to confirm the HVACR Industry’s ongoing vitality and forward thinking. It is exciting to see all the emerging technologies that are bringing about better and better solutions to the challenges we face,” said Clay Stevens, president of International Exposition Company.

The complete list of 2017 AHR Expo Innovation Award winners includes:

Building Automation — Company: Danfoss (; 2017 AHR Expo booth No. C4506); Innovation: Danfoss Enterprise Services

Cooling — Company: Daikin Applied (; 2017 AHR Expo booth No. C2509); Innovation: Pathfinder® Air-cooled Screw Chillers with Variable Volume Ratio (VVR) Technology

Green Building — Company: Carrier (; 2017 AHR Expo booth No. C1510); Innovation: Dual Stage Relief Economizer (DSRE)

Heating — Company: Noritz America (; 2017 AHR Expo booth No. C5917); Innovation: Noritz CB Combi Boiler

Indoor Air Quality — Company: Nortec Humidity (; 2017 AHR Expo booth No. C4706); Innovation: Nortec GS Series - CS Model (Nortec GS CS) Humidifier

Plumbing — Company: Taco, Inc. (; 2017 AHR Expo booth No. N7926); Innovation: SmartPlug Smart Hot Water Recirculation Control

Refrigeration — Company: Danfoss (; 2017 AHR Expo booth No. C4506); Innovation: Danfoss CTM (Electrical Controlled Transcritical Multi Ejector)

Software — Company: Nidec Motor Corporation / U.S. MOTORS® (; 2017 AHR Expo booth No. C3924); Innovation: Rescue Select Programming App

Tools & Instruments — Company: PEXOLOGY, Inc. (; 2017 AHR Expo booth No. C6618); Innovation: PEXGUN

Ventilation — Company: Titus (; 2017 AHR Expo booth No. C3137); Innovation: Helios Digital Diffuser

“We congratulate those who have been recognized as 2017’s pioneers from across all areas of the industry, by proving there is always more to be achieved, and farther to be propelled, when it comes to HVACR innovation,” Stevens said. “This is the spirit that makes each year’s competition so fresh and exciting, and is what we are proud to see, year after year, as a cornerstone of inspiration for the HVACR industry’s ongoing creativity and advancement.”

In addition to the winners recognized at the award ceremony, a check in the amount of $22,500 was presented to Opportunity Village, a non-profit organization serving children and adults with intellectual disabilities. The proceeds from award submissions are collected each year and donated to an organization for HVACR upgrades. The donation will go toward upgrades for the three existing facilities and one new build for Opportunity Village.

Chris Drew, chairmen of AHRI, expressed his excitement and gratitude for the innovative achievements made by all the winners. “It is something we should all be proud of,” he said.

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