Preparing for the 2003 Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition (AHR Expo) has kept the editorial staff atThe Newshopping. And, we will continue to be busy before, during, and after what show management says is shaping up to be possibly the biggest show ever.

Now, I refrain from being as optimistic as the show management or as fearful as those television weather forecasters. (For those who live in the East and Midwest, you know what I’m talking about. This is the time of year TV weather “personalities” predict blinding blizzards, hazardous driving conditions, school closings, and avalanches of snow. Yet, when push comes to shove, it seems 90 percent of the time the doomsday warnings from these Chicken Littles do not materialize.)

So, let’s just say the upcoming AHR Expo in Chicago has all the makings of an important event, both in terms of attendance numbers and what manufacturers will introduce. There is certainly plenty on tap, and we provide a sneak preview in this issue of what to expect to see inside spacious McCormick Place.

Even though there may be over 1,500 companies scheduled to exhibit, The News plans to visit each booth, kick the proverbial tires, and then report on our findings. Full AHR Expo show coverage is scheduled to begin with the Feb. 17 issue.

Onward Ho, Online!

Helping to keep things hopping is the factThe Newswill be providing online coverage from the AHR Expo Beginning the morning of Jan. 27,NewsWeb Editor Greg Mazurkiewicz will be placing important information from the expo online each day. Throughout the show,Newseditors will be providing quick reports and photos from scheduled news conferences, booth visits, and other newsworthy developments.

In fact,The Newsand our Web site will be doing more for subscribers in 2003. You can read all about what’s going on with our upgraded Web site in Mazurkiewicz’s report, found on page 5.

The bottom line: Please take the time to get acquainted with what The News is offering online in our “Extra Edition” coverage. We believe you will like what you see and read. It is all aimed to help you, the contractor. By all means, please let our Web editor know what you think. Greg Mazurkiewicz can be reached by phone (248-244-6459) or by e-mail (

Hopping Right Along

While reviewing our site, please make sure to answer our informal online survey about the 2003 economy. With all the “experts” offering differing opinions on 2003, we want to know what you think of the forecast for the industry in the year ahead. Our simple question is this: “Do you think that 2003 will be a better year for the HVACR industry?” A simple “Yes,” “No,” or “Not Sure” are the choices — but you have the opportunity to detail the reasons behind your answer.

Know that The News’ periodic online polls throughout 2003 are just another way to get a pulse on what’s going on in the contractors’ world. It is also our aim to supply results of each poll/survey, as we believe your answers are important to relay to fellow contractors. We can all learn from each other, right?

By the way, if you are going to be at the AHR Expo, by all means please stop by booth 5325. Hopefully, one of The News editors will be present. (We have lot of hopping to do, you see.)

Mark Skaer is editor-in-chief. He can be reached at 248-244-6446, 248-362-0317 (fax), or (e-mail).

Publication date: 01/13/2003