You know how an experience in your life can refocus you on a truth that you always knew? It is not teaching you anything new, but rather reminding you of its importance.

I had such an occurrence at the recent AHR Expo is Las Vegas. Maybe it was because this was the first in-person expo in two years, but the genuine enthusiasm that surrounded the introduction of all these new products helped me refocus on something I already knew.

And it was two-fold. Every booth I stopped in to gather information could not talk enough about their company’s new products. They inevitable focused in on how ‘smart’ the product was or how easy it was to be installed. The same goes for the contractors that were visiting the booths. They were eating up all the new toys at the convention center.

And I can tell you after walking around the show floor for three days, there are a lot of great new products being introduced in the HVAC industry.

Which is a perfect segue to talk about The ACHR NEWS’ Dealer Design Awards contest. Every July, the magazine highlights the best HVAC equipment that has been introduced over the last year. This contest is a little different than your normal product awards showcase. This is because the winners are chosen by a panel of independent HVAC contractors who have generously given their time to study up on the products. Gold, silver, and bronze Dealer Design Award recognition will be awarded in 14 categories. The categories include everything from commercial equipment to hand tools. This is the 19th year of the contest, so we have gotten pretty good at running it.

First, for all the manufacturers reading this article, let me invite you to bring your HVACR product to a long-standing competition of excellence: The ACHR NEWS’ 2022 Dealer Design Awards. This prestigious awards program showcases the most innovative products that can be conveniently installed, maintained, and serviced. This is a great opportunity to get your product noticed and recognized. It is indeed a high honor that is worthy of display. I can’t tell you how many times I have visited a manufacturer and seen a Dealer Design Award being proudly displayed in the office.

Products entered into the competition must have been introduced to the market after January 1, 2021 and must be available to the market no later than April 30, 2022. The Dealer Design Award submission process is now open, with a final deadline of March 31.

And there is something for our contractor readers too. Every HVAC contractor I talk to can’t get enough information about new products. The shows up in the web traffic to our new products section on

If I am talking about you, it would make sense for you to become one of the Dealer Design Award judges. This will provide the opportunity to get a close-up look at the items you are most interested in — cutting-edge products. Please consider being a judge in this year’s contest. Being a judge would offer you a first look at the newest products from manufacturers this year. It also, obviously, allows your voice to be heard. We will try to match you with the product category you are most interested in judging.

If you are interested in being a judge, please email me at If you would like to enter the contest, visit

Good luck to all who enter.