Boy, these expos are almost as exhausting to plan to go to as they are to attend — especially when you try to plan to see as much as possible, whichThe Newsdoes.

The heavy planning, incidentally, is why editor-in-chief Mark Skaer rather unwillingly relinquished his editorial space this week. It was not a bloodless coup; I just happened to be at the right place at the right time.

Mark: “You want to write an editorial this week?”

Me: “Does that mean I could stop reading pages this afternoon?”

Mark: “Yes.”

Me: “Okay.”

We’ve been reading and copy-editing here until we nearly went cross-eyed, in order to produce this outstanding issue of The News to bring to the Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition (AHR Expo), which is sponsored by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) and the Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute (ARI).

The reward for managing editor Chris King, art director Jaime Moy, and associate editor Cherie R. Preville, is the satisfied feeling of a job well done, and being rid of the rest of the editorial staff for the better part of the week. (Jaime will also be at the expo Monday, so if you stop by our booth, No. 5325, say hello.)

Anyway, getting back to the planning … there’s got to be a mathematical equation to figure it out. You start with 1,500 exhibitors divided by five editors, then factor in about two dozen booth invitations and a dozen or so cocktail receptions, plus a few breakfast invitations; carry the Super Bowl parties; add the ASHRAE technical sessions — and voila! You’ve got a headache!

Tagging Along

Wait, that’s just the formula for a normal year. This yearThe Newshas a few more things going on.

Training and education editor James J. Siegel will be reporting on a SkillsUSA/VICA event that will decide which student will represent HVAC at the international competition. (For a preview of the competition, see “SkillsUSA Competition Comes To AHR Expo,” Jan. 20, page 16.) Four competitors will go through a troubleshooting competition at this expo event. “A good handful of manufacturers have donated equipment to the event for the students to diagnose,” said James. “Along with the competition, many students enrolled in HVAC classes throughout Chicago will be coming to learn hands-on from some manufacturer reps.”

Regular expo participants will also get a shot at diagnosing the problem on each piece of equipment and prizes have been promised for these participants.

“I don’t know exactly how that part is going to work,” said James, “but this whole event is really open to everyone at the expo.”

Business management editor John Hall will take one day and traverse the show with an HVACR contractor to see the expo from the contractor’s perspective. We’ll have a photographer following the two of them to record it for posterity. Look out for the three of them, following each other like ducks in a row, and for the coverage to follow in the Feb. 17 post-show report. If some of you contractors wanted to know what there is to gain from attending this show, this article is for you.

Peter Powell and I will be reporting on ASHRAE sessions of note to contractors, in addition to product coverage and cocktail receptions. On Sunday, for example, the society is hosting two back-to-back forums on four-way reversing valves.

At forums, everyone is able to speak anonymously. That means they tend to choose their words a little less cautiously, and it often leads to what might be called “spirited” debate.

The first forum asks, “Are Internal Leakage and Heat Transfer Required in a Standard for Method of Testing for Capacity of Four-Way Reversing Valves?” The second one asks, “What Are the Relative Merits of Air vs. Refrigerant as a Media for Testing of Four-Way Reversing Valves?” Also walking the aisles at the AHR Expo will be contributing editor Joanna Turpin and, of course, our editor-in-chief, Mark Skaer.

I can’t wait!

And after the expo, we’ll come home and sort through press kits and try to decipher our notes. But I won’t think about that today. After all, tomorrow is another day.

Barb Checket-Hanks is the service/maintenance and troubleshooting editor. She can be reached at 313-368-5856, 313-368-5857 (fax), or

Publication date: 01/27/2003