Sometimes, working for a weekly publication can feel a bit like the movie “Groundhog Day.” Do you remember that Bill Murray classic? In it, Murray is a television weatherman who is caught in a time lock and repeatedly relives the same day. Of course, that day involves covering the local Groundhog Day event.

Getting a magazine out every Monday — every one of them gold, of course — can become a bit of a blur. But I truly look forward to our award issues. Recognizing excellence in the HVACR industry is always a good time. In January, we awarded the Best Contractor to Work For in different geographical regions. You can read about the winners here.

Now we turn our attention to the Dealer Design Awards, which will be announced this summer. So why am I writing about this while there is still snow on the ground outside my office? Well, it takes some time to put this together.

In case you are unaware, let me tell you about the Dealer Design Awards. Every July, The NEWS highlights the best HVACR 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 HVACR contractors who have generously given their time to study up on the products. That is why our contractor readers can trust the products that are recognized and why manufacturers strive to win one of these awards.

Gold, Silver, and Bronze recognition will be awarded across 13 Dealer Design Award categories. The categories include commercial controls, components and accessories, contractor services and software, electronic and hand tools, HVAC commercial equipment, HVAC high-efficiency residential equipment, HVAC light commercial equipment, HVAC residential equipment, indoor air quality, residential controls, refrigeration and ice machines, testing and monitoring products, and ventilation products.

The judges rate the products on ease of installation, use, and maintenance; application/repair; reliability; and competitive difference.

This information should interest both our contractor and manufacturer readers. For our manufacturers, 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.

The Dealer Design Award submission process is now open, with a final deadline of April 8. Any product that was released between Jan. 1, 2018, and April 30, 2019, is eligible for the competition. To enter the contest, visit

For our contractor readers, we 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 for the Dealer Design Awards, just send me an email. And to all those who enter — good luck!

Publication date: 3/18/2019

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