I love the fall season. In my opinion, it’s the best season of the year. The weather cools down, the kids head back to school, coworkers return to work, nicely tanned and brimming with stories about the exciting trips they took over the summer, and my schedule is packed with travel plans for industry events all over the U.S. But not this year. Except for the weather cooling down, most of these other things aren’t happening.

Thanks to the pandemic, most kids are learning remotely, coworkers never went anywhere this summer, and many in-person meetings have either been cancelled outright or else rescheduled to 2021, when organizers hope life will have returned somewhat to normal. However, a fair number of events are still going to take place online, which is a good thing, as it provides an opportunity to learn about important issues from the comfort (and safety) of our homes or offices.

I have to admit that on the one hand, I’m sad about not being able to attend some of these events, as nothing takes the place of interacting with old friends and meeting new ones in person. And for those with trade shows, there will be no opportunity to “kick the tires” and physically touch the HVACR equipment that may be displayed in a booth. But traveling to events is expensive and time consuming, and I inevitably catch a cold somewhere along the way, so I’m also somewhat relieved that I won’t be going anywhere in person this fall.

Part of that relief is tempered by the fact that because many events are moving online, I will still be able to soak up a great deal of knowledge from a variety of industry experts. For example, AHRI started hosting a series of five webinars this fall on various aspects of flammable refrigerant research. Topics include everything from air conditioning and commercial refrigeration applications to understanding refrigerant sensors and predictive tools for refrigerant behavior.

On October 6, Honeywell started offering a new remote learning series designed to help existing and aspiring HVACR professionals navigate the complicated world of refrigerants. The series covers a wide range of topics including the history of refrigerants, refrigerant classifications, and the vapor-compression refrigeration cycle. Industry experts inside and outside Honeywell will present material to both HVACR students and industry professionals.

Danfoss will host its first-ever Cooling United Live on October 7 and 8, a virtual conference designed specifically for air conditioning, commercial refrigeration, food retail, and industrial refrigeration audiences. The event will focus on the various ways the cooling industry is growing and evolving and will include a wide variety of session types, such as live panel discussions, keynote speakers, and product demos.

From October 13-15, SMACNA will host the Edge Conference: A Virtual Education Forum, which will offer HVACR professionals the opportunity to learn, network, and interact with service providers and suppliers. More than four hours of educational sessions will take place each day of the event, along with a virtual product show filled with demos and presentations.

ACCA is offering a Fall Webinar Series, from October 19 to 23, which will focus on how contractors can adapt to current circumstances in order to grow their businesses. Ten webinars will be offered over five days, and topics include Flammables - Why Train Your Team; How to Manage People with Numbers Not as Numbers; and Training Your Own Team.

And of course, The ACHR NEWS offers a whole host of on-demand, educational webinars that are readily available on our website. Topics include Prepare for the Trend of Flammable Refrigerants in Commercial Refrigeration; VRF Systems: Installation to Execution; and How to Stay Profitable During the Shoulder Season. Plenty of interesting videos and podcasts are available on the website as well.

Even though I will only be an armchair traveler this fall, I’m excited about all the educational opportunities that will be available online in the coming months. I look forward to attending as many as I can, and I hope you take the opportunity to do so as well.

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