ANAHEIM, Calif. - Contractors planning to go to the International Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exhibition (AHR Expo) should also think about attending a few of the 100 sessions that will be presented at the Winter Meeting of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), which takes place Jan. 24-28 at the Anaheim Convention Center.

In recent years, ASHRAE's technical program has focused on emerging trends and new technology. Ron Shelton, chair of the ASHRAE Program Committee, which selects the program, noted, "While those sessions have been helpful, we have heard from attendees that they want practical, useful information that they can use on a daily basis. This year's program will provide that guidance." That's good news for contractors, who are usually more interested in the practical side of the business.

The grand lobby of the Anaheim Convention Center will be a great place for attendees to plan their visits to the AHR Expo and the ASHRAE Winter Meeting. (Photo by Tim Hursley, courtesy of AOCVCB.)

Some Of The Highlights

The technical program is comprised of 63 seminars (presentations on a central or related topic with no published papers), 11 symposia (presentations with papers on a central subject), 24 open-discussion forums, one technical session (paper presentations), a poster session, and a public session. A total of 66 papers will be presented.

A number of the sessions should be of interest to contractors. These include:

  • "Issues Regarding the Use of R-410A in A/C and Heat Pump Systems," Sunday, Jan. 25, 8:00 to 10:00 a.m. With the pending phaseout of R-22 in new equipment in the United States in 2010 and earlier phaseout in other regions such as Europe, more air conditioning and heat pump equipment is being produced with R-410A. This seminar covers equipment and system issues related to the use and application of R-410A.

  • "The Hows and Whys of Residential Ventilation," Sunday, Jan. 25, 8:00 to 10:00 a.m. This session addresses residential ventilation with an emphasis on climate-specific needs and solutions. An introduction to ventilation through the perspective of ASHRAE's residential IAQ standard, 62.2, is given, followed by an analytical comparison with Canadian code requirements. Presenters discuss the benefits and limitations posed by climate-specific ventilation systems and provide strategies for taking advantage of regional characteristics.

  • "Factors Influencing the Energy Performance of Forced-Air Systems," Sunday, Jan. 25, 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. This symposium focuses on factors that affect heating and cooling system energy efficiency. Single-number rating systems such as AFUE, HSPF, and SEER may not adequately address the actual energy efficiency of the system. This program focuses on related issues and approaches.

  • "Silver Lining Found in Poor Operation and Maintenance Procedures," Monday, Jan. 26, 8:00 to 10:00 a.m. This seminar discusses a variety of facility types having problems with IAQ, excess energy consumption, and occupant complaints due to improper or poor operation and maintenance procedures. The papers presented address solutions that improved the operation of the facilities and their performance after the completion of retrofits.

  • "Residential Filter Pressure Drop Issues," Monday, Jan. 26, 11:15 a.m. to 12:05 p.m. The in-creased use of higher-efficiency (MERV) air filters in residential and light commercial applications can result in problems with higher system pressure. Equipment malfunction and premature failure, increased energy consumption, and poor indoor air quality can be caused by lower flow rates. The session is designed to discuss these problems and the potential need for an ASHRAE standard or guideline.

  • "Improving Residential HVAC Energy Efficiency," Monday, Jan. 26, 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. Speakers will focus on the major areas of achieving energy efficiency in residential construction for both new and existing housing. This session will explore balanced, accurate, cost-effective energy efficiency opportunities. There will be five speakers covering four areas: residential and light commercial tuneups, high-efficiency air conditioners, the impact of house envelope changes, and the impact of duct leakage.

    The AHR Expo will be held at the Anaheim Convention Center Jan. 26-28. (Photo courtesy of AOCVCB.)

    Public Session

    As noted earlier, ASHRAE will once again be offering a free public session during the AHR Expo. This year's session is titled "Improving Residential HVAC Energy Efficiency," and it will take place from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 26, at the Anaheim Convention Center. Admission is free, and registration is not required. The public session is sponsored by ASHRAE's technical committee on residential and small building applications.

    The session will focus on major areas of achieving energy efficiency in residential construction for both new and existing housing. Energy, implementation costs, cost savings, and health benefits related to energy savings measures will be discussed. Examples of measures that will be discussed include replacement of air conditioners, which normally last 10 to 15 years.

    Speakers will discuss how homeowners, business owners, and contractors can reduce energy costs from 10 to 30 percent. Savings can be obtained by sealing cracks, windows, and doors; repairing and sealing ductwork; and through other measures that can be effectively implemented.

    Speakers and topics include:

  • "Residential and Light Commercial Tuneups" will be presented by John Proctor, P.E., Proctor Engineering Group, San Rafael, Calif. Obtaining rated efficiency from air conditioners is not automatic, according to Proctor. Air-conditioning equipment efficiency is affected by factors such as refrigerant charge, refrigerant purity, evaporator airflow, and condenser airflow. This session will cover diagnosing system inefficiencies and verifiable methods of performing system efficiency improvements.

  • "High-Efficiency Air Conditioners" will be presented by Jim Mullen, Lennox, Carrollton, Texas, and Roy Crawford, Ph.D., The Trane Co., Tyler, Texas. In many cases, high-efficiency air conditioners are now a viable option for reducing operating cost and improving comfort. The session will cover the practical implementation issues found in installing, operating, and maintaining these units.

  • "Impact of House Envelope Changes" will be presented by Glenn Hourahan, P.E., Air Conditioning Contractors of America, Arlington, Va. This session explores various tradeoffs made during new construction and upgrading existing construction impact the performance, comfort and the cost to the occupant.

  • "Impact of Duct Leakage" will be presented by Mark Modera, Carrier-Aeroseal, Piedmont, Calif. Leaks in duct systems can result in the loss of significant amounts of energy and adversely impact occupant comfort. This session will cover design, installation, sealing, diagnosing, and retrofitting for energy-efficient duct systems.

    Technical Tours

    ASHRAE is also offering a wide variety of technical tours.

    A tour of the CSULB central plant will be held Sunday, Jan. 25, from 2:30 to 5:00 p.m. A variety of engineering challenges were faced in development of this central plant. Design requirements specified that it not be recognized as a central plant and not generate ambient noise. Because of restricted space requirements, ice storage was accomplished by building a three-story room in the hillside filled with ice cubes at night. The cost is $20 per person.

    Another option is to tour the Anaheim Convention Center on Sunday, Jan. 25, from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m., or Monday, Jan. 26, from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Visitors can take a walking tour of the 1.7-million-square-foot facility. With the recent expansion of the central plant, the roof was outfitted with an array of photovoltaic panels. The center includes five mechanical plants with 13 chillers supplying 9,000 tons of cooling and 40 air handlers providing 24,000 cfm. The photovoltaic array, in the form of solar tiles, covers 12,500 square feet of roof area and has an output of 102 kW. The cost is $5 per person.

    Ralph's Ice Cream Plant can be toured Monday, Jan. 26, from 2:40 to 4:40 p.m. This plant produces 6 million pounds of ice cream a year. Ralph's uses an ammonia system for refrigeration. The cost is $20 per person.

    The National Fuel Cell Research Center (University of California, Irvine) can be toured Tuesday, Jan. 27, from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. This tour provides a look at the cutting edge of electrical power generation technology including microturbine generators, more efficient burners for boilers and turbines under development, fuel cell research, combined fuel cell/turbine generator concept. The cost is $20 per person.

    A final option is to visit Ford Motor Headquarters on Tuesday, Jan. 27, from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. The building is the first in Orange County and the third in California to secure LEED certification. Features include a natural gas fuel cell, a raised-floor air-distribution system, and a green roof on the product development wing. The cost is $20 per person.

    For more information or to register, visit For a complete listing of technical program sessions, go to

    Publication date: 01/12/2004