With thousands of products on display, the 2018 Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration (AHR) Expo is one of the best places for contractors to learn more about the latest equipment, systems, and technologies across every facet of the industry.

From complete systems engineered for large commercial and industrial buildings to labor-saving tools and profit-generating services for residential contractors, there is bound to be something of interest for everyone attending the show.

Professionals from all aspects of the industry — contractors, distributors, and manufacturers — look forward to the expo each year because it provides a unique forum for the entire HVACR industry to come together and exchange ideas, find peers facing similar challenges, and discuss new ideas that can be implemented at home.       

In addition, attendees will have the opportunity to see live demos, experience products hands-on, and compare the different solutions available to help inform major purchasing decisions.

As one of the largest events in the HVACR industry, the AHR Expo will host close to 2,000 exhibitors and bring in crowds of more than 65,000 industry professionals. This year, the AHR Expo will take place Jan. 22-24 at McCormick Place in Chicago.


HVAC contractors like to attend the AHR Expo because it gives them the opportunity to interact with manufacturers and learn about new products and solutions, many of which will be on display for the first time.

Manufacturers also enjoy meeting with contractors, as it gives them the ability to forge deeper relationships with their customers and find innovative ways to solve their problems.

“Attending the expo gives us a great lens on what our customers are talking about and what’s driving their businesses,” said Susan Kaufman, vice president of marketing, Daikin Applied. “It’s always insightful to see what others are bringing to market and engage in the thought leadership that shapes the HVAC frontier.”

Daikin Applied has exhibited at the AHR Expo since 2009, and, this year, the company will be showcasing technology and solutions from its applied, commercial, and light commercial lines. This includes the latest enhancement of the Rebel® rooftop unit with inverter compressor and dPoint technology; Daikin’s Intelligent Solutions®; and the PreciseLine™ large capacity blower coil, which is designed to match a building’s air-handling demand at a blower coil price point.

“The AHR Expo is the one time each year that all the industry players are gathered under the same roof,” said Kaufman. “That’s what makes it so exciting — we can see the trajectory the industry is taking as a whole and our collective commitment to driving the future of HVAC.”

Bard Mfg. Co. has been exhibiting at the expo since the early 1970s because it offers a wonderful opportunity to meet both key customers and potential customers in one location, said Pam Bard Steel, chairman of the managing partners, Bard.

“It also gives us the opportunity to meet with engineers, architects, and international customers to review the product lines and answer questions,” she continued. “Personally, I enjoy spending time with our customers and sales representatives, many of whom are second- and third-generation families that we have partnered with for many years.”

This year, Bard will be exhibiting the FUSION-TEC™, which is a complete discharge air controllers (DACS)-based economizer system with an ultra-high-efficiency, multi-stage, mechanical cooling system fused into it as well as the MEGA-TEC™, which is the big brother of the MULTI-TEC unit and also contains all the enhanced features of the FUSION-TEC. The MEGA-TEC, MULTI-TEC, and FUSION-TEC can be mixed and matched throughout a building and linked to a single LC6000 control via a two-wire connection, said Steel.

This will be the seventh consecutive year Mitsubishi Electric Cooling & Heating is exhibiting at the AHR Expo, and, during that time, the popularity of ductless systems has exploded.

“Two years ago, we counted just over 10 ductless and VRF [variable refrigerant flow] manufacturers exhibiting at the show; last year, we counted 20,” said Kevin Miskewicz, director of commercial marketing, Mitsubishi Electric Cooling & Heating. “The AHR Expo allows us to not just see and hear the industry buzz but to also experience the tremendous growth and excitement in the marketplace. It also gives us a chance to showcase our latest product innovations to the entire HVAC industry — our peers and customers.”

The residential innovations Mitsubishi will be showcasing this year include the kumo suite, which consists of the kumo station and kumo cloud™. The kumo station optimizes the use of auxiliary systems, such as ventilation, secondary heating, dehumidification, and humidification, and, when connected to the kumo cloud, can enable residents to control their home environments via smart devices.

On the commercial side, the company will highlight its CITY MULTI® ceiling-cassette indoor unit, which features the new 3-D i-see Sensor™.

Regal Beloit has exhibited at the expo for 20 years. This year, the company will showcase DEC Star®, a full line of high-efficiency blowers that use axial flux motors to enable furnaces and air handlers to be more electrically efficient in a smaller package using a quieter system. Also featured will be the Browning® Toolbox Technician™ app, which allows users to quantify efficiency differences between different generations of integral horsepower electric motors.

“As a manufacturer of residential HVAC motors and blowers, it is important to be present at the AHR Expo and share our technology with the entire HVAC channel as well as being a source of education,” said Paul Selking, business leader, Regal Beloit. “We also enjoy having a dialog with customers on ways to bring new innovative products to market that will make homes more comfortable and contractors more money. Unfortunately, this dialog is sometimes muted, but at the AHR Expo, both parties get to dream a little bit.”


Attendees will be excited to note the Expo expanded its seminar program, making it the largest-ever education and training agenda in the show’s history. The expansive program features more than 120 sessions, including free best practices and industry trends seminars, professional certification opportunities, and continuing education programs from the ASHRAE Learning Institute (ALI).

“Contractors, engineers, and other show attendees always give us high marks for the value our education program delivers, and this year we have surpassed ourselves,” said Clay Stevens, president of International Exposition Co., which hosts the AHR Expo. “The show has become ‘the place’ where industry professionals can earn CEUs [continuing education units], complete certification exams, and learn about the latest developments and best practices in free and paid seminars.”

More than 70 of the free, one- and two-hour sessions will be presented by experts from prominent industry-leading organizations in several different tracks. Some of the options include:

General industry-wide focus:

• Building Automation Systems 101;

• Radiant Cooling in the Windy City; and

• Global Trends in HVAC.

Engineer focus:

• Cooling Tower Fundamentals;

• The Future of Building Automation — Data at the Open Intelligent Edge; and

• Health Impacts of Indoor Air Quality.

Contractor focus:

• The Future of The Billable Hour;

• Solving Moisture Mysteries with a Psychrometric Chart; and

• Solve Hidden Maintenance Issues Using Testing and Balancing.

In addition, attendees will see what’s new from exhibiting manufacturers in the New Product and Technology Showcase presentations offered by exhibitors. With no cost and no reservation required, more than 100 20-minute product presentations will be delivered in rapid-fire succession in special theaters on the exhibit floor.  

A complete list of 2018 AHR Expo educational opportunities can be found at ahrexpo.com/education-overview. For registration and additional information, visit ahrexpo.com.

Publication date: 1/8/2017

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