Angela D. Harris

Congratulations are in order for the winners ofThe NEWS’eighth annual Dealer Design Awards program. Judged by contractors from the HVACR industry, the products chosen proved that they were dealer desirable. Their names will be added to a long list of competitors who ran the program’s gauntlet and emerged victorious.

What makes the Dealer Design Awards so special is its emphasis on manufacturer designs that look out specifically for you - the contractor. The overall test that each product must face is whether or not it will help contractors do their job more efficiently and with ease.


One way a product advances to the top is by changing the way contractors work or do their job. Some controls and diagnostic devices have proven to be something a contractor can’t work without. When a piece of technology is able to improve installations, reduce callbacks, or assist service calls because of the way it was designed and implemented, that breakthrough is often rewarded by our judges.


For some products it is not the technology innovations, but the design genius that makes them winners in the Dealer Design Awards. In its early history, the HVACR industry often focused on function over other design concepts. What the package looked like and how easy it was to access, clean, or repair was considered, but not to the extent that it is now. Cleaning or repairing components and systems has been known to require taking half of the machine apart. These time consuming projects eat into profit margins and the new designs lauded in this competition have often singled out products that cut service and maintenance time in half. With the slide of a panel or the quick turn of a thumbscrew, contractors benefit from these design features.


Whether high-tech, low-tech, or no-tech, the Dealer Design Awards bring honor to the great ideas of small and large manufacturers alike. It is not the size that matters to the competition; it is the ingenuity. A component or an entirely new system can turn the heads of judges. Some of the winning products can be so innovative that not only do they win an award, but their usage also becomes more widespread among industry professionals.


Now that the winners have been chosen and the awards given, it is time to take these products and their principles of excellence into the field and apply it to the daily work environment of the HVACR industry. As contractors, you have a duty to continue to provide feedback about the products being produced; and as manufacturers, there is a duty to continue to strive for design excellence.

Each innovation brings new opportunities and responsibilities to our industry and as it continues its pursuit of comfort it is important to recognize achievements along the way. So, hats off to the manufacturers and designers of this year’s award-winning products.The NEWSapplauds you, the judges applaud you, and the industry applauds you. Well done.

Publication date:07/11/2011