Angela D. Harris

March Madness college basketball showdowns start this week. Fat Tuesday has passed. An hour was lost to Daylight Savings Time. St. Patrick’s Day is on the horizon. And, the Dealer Design Awards program has begun. It is open season on one of the HVAC industry’s more sought-after prizes, the DD.

The Dealer Design competition is in its eighth year, and it shows no signs of slowing down. Last year, over 100 products faced off to prove that they were the best in their category. This year, even more are expected to enter the honorable battlefield of the Dealer Design Awards.

The purpose of the Dealer Design Award is to honor the design efforts that manufacturers put into making products desired by dealers. Innovation, easy installation, and convenient service and maintenance place a Dealer Design Award-winning product at the head of its class.


For manufacturers, the Dealer Design Awards competition is a prestigious arena for their products to enter the market, earn recognition, and demand respect from contractors and peers. Entrants provide photos, videos, and detailed product descriptions that center around how a product is most useful to the contractor. In an effort to make the entry process easier for manufacturers, a completely electronic entry system is online and available 24/7 at


Contrary to popular belief, Dealer Design participation isn’t strictly for manufacturers. The NEWSsearches for and screens contractor judges willing to take a hard look at the information each entrant provides. We ask that judges check their bias at the door and consider the features being highlighted by the company. Multiple contractors rate each product, which provides an average score based not on brand, but on entry details and real-world experience.


Meet DD. It is a sleek glass trophy presented to the Dealer Design winners. More than just an award, DD is the symbol of design excellence and achievement that winners can display at their headquarters, in their office or in a trophy case. The top three scores in a category receive a DD. It is a beautiful prize to be sought after and should likely be given a place of honor once achieved.


The Dealer Design Award program is more than a competition and a trophy - it is a collection of new and inventive products that have specific features designed to make a contractor’s job easier.

To honor both the manufacturer’s design efforts and the contractor’s need for new product information,The NEWScovers the Dealer Design Awards in two ways. The first is in a special print edition, where winners in each of the 14 categories are highlighted and pictured. This year’s Dealer Design issue comes out July 11.

The second is on the Dealer Design microsite. The microsite has multiple features including product giveaways, videos, and a special winners’ gallery. The online photo gallery contains an easily navigable catalog of winning products, accompanied by descriptions and photos.

Perhaps one of the greatest features of this site is the Reader’s Choice bracket competition. Last year was the first timeThe NEWSpitted the Dealer Design winners against each other in a final match to see which product would receive the most votes and bragging rights for the year. To see last year’s online coverage, go


This year’s bragging rights are up for grabs again, but only for manufacturers that enter their products by March 30. The $50 entry fee per product will be waived for entries received by March 22. Go tohttp://dda.achrnews.comto begin an entry.

Contractor participation is needed as well. If you are a contractor and would like to be considered for judging the Dealer Design competition, send your contact information to

The season of Dealer Design is here again. Get excited. Get involved. Get started.

Publication date:03/14/2011