The International Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition (AHR Expo) is returning to the Las Vegas Convention Center Jan. 30-Feb. 1, and show organizers are predicting record-breaking attendance at the industry event.
“Although current advance registration numbers don’t provide any guarantee on final attendance totals, it’s encouraging to note that [as of press time], visitor registration is running ahead of all previous shows when compared to the same number of weeks before opening,” said Clay Stevens, president of International Exposition Co., which organizes the show. “One of the factors that generally influences the number of visitors is the overall size of the show, and the 2017 event in Las Vegas will be the largest AHR Expo held in its 88-year history.”
The AHR Expo is one of the world’s largest HVACR and plumbing industry events and is held annually in key markets and major cities across the U.S., hosting close to 2,000 exhibitors and bringing in crowds of 60,000 or more industry professionals. The event is co-sponsored by ASHRAE and AHRI and is held concurrently with ASHRAE’s Winter Conference.
New products galore
Approximately 80 percent of exhibitors have indicated they will be displaying new or enhanced products, systems, and technologies at the AHR Expo. These new products will reflect numerous ongoing industry trends, including those associated with burgeoning growth across both the residential and commercial construction markets.
“It’s exciting to see such enthusiasm around the rebounding North American building and construction industry and the subsequent growth in demand for the latest evolution of products, technologies and services the HVACR industry has to offer,” Stevens said. “With this resurgence, a spirit of ingenuity and creativity has flourished among HVACR manufacturers, and we’re pleased to present the venue at which the results of this will be displayed for 2017.”
The new products that manufacturers intend to unveil at this year’s expo represent several major trends driven by the growing construction market, both in North America and the world over, according to show organizers. These themes include green building as a standard of design, a rapidly returning residential construction market, a strong focus on remodeling and renovation, an increasing pre-fab/offsite construction market, and skilled labor shortages.
“There’s no end to what will be new at the 2017 AHR Expo — new exhibitors from all over the world, new products, new technology, new methods, new networking, new ideas — and that’s just the beginning of the list,” Stevens said. “While each year’s show provides the opportunity to see, touch, and compare the best that the HVACR industry has to offer, this opportunity has a fresh, new, and exciting face, each and every year.”
A unique opportunity
For industry contractors and those otherwise involved in HVACR and plumbing, the AHR Expo is the year’s must-attend show.
“While our industry has the reputation of being slow to embrace new technology, I’m always astonished at the innovations I see every year on the AHR show floor,” BNP Media Plumbing Group Publisher Bob Miodonski said. “I’m particularly interested to see the advances in energy efficiency in pumps, boilers and related products.”
Al Levi, Zoom Franchise owner and author of “The 7-Power Contractor,” said the AHR Expo helps contractors stay relevant through exposure to new products, technologies, and information.
“It’s a meeting place for the best and the brightest, and only good things can come from immersing yourself in this type of environment,” Levi said. “I feel it’s always great to see what new products are coming to market.”
John Siegenthaler, a consulting engineer and principal of Appropriate Designs in Holland Patent, New York, will present “Common Errors in Hydronic Systems Design & Installation” during the PM Live Symposium on Jan. 31. At the event, he said attendees can expect to learn “what goes wrong, why it’s wrong, and how to avoid the error.”
Siegenthaler also touted the AHR Expo as being “the one event where I can talk with just about anyone in the HVAC industry” and said he is “looking forward to seeing new products aimed at the hydronics industry.”
Julius Ballanco, president of JB Engineering and Code Consulting in Munster, Indiana, highlighted the abundant educational and networking opportunities at the AHR Expo.
“The Expo is the largest gathering of HVACR systems and equipment in North America, and the educational sessions are great,” Ballanco said. “The networking is unbelievable. It always seems like everybody is attending. I also like to attend some of the standard committee meetings. This is where the latest in new technology is discussed.
“I look forward to the show,” he continued. “I am always interested in new technology. What are they doing with boilers? How have the pump systems improved? What computer technology is running our equipment? What is happening with new technology chillers? I also look forward to attending the seminar on low global warming refrigerants. This is an important issue facing the world in the near future.”
Matt Michel, founder and CEO of Service Nation, suggested that those attending the Expo do so with a plan in mind in order to get the most out of the event.
“Most people do not know how to attend a trade show,” he said. “I always go in with five to 10 exhibitors in mind. I hit these displays first and let the people in the booth teach me about their product or service. Look at each encounter as an opportunity for a mini seminar.
“Once I’ve visited my top ten, I walk the show,” he continued. “AHR is a large show, but it’s possible to walk the entire show and still spend some time with interesting exhibitors. Often, I find these in the remote areas of the show in the 10-by-10-foot booths. This is where some of the most innovative new companies can be found.”
Stevens said he hopes show attendees leave Vegas having learned at least one new thing on the show floor.
“We want all attendees to take away at least one unique idea, at least one new point of information, from what they will see on display at the Show — things that they did not previously know about and that will contribute to the success of their businesses and their general futures in the HVACR industry,” he said.
For additional information or to register for the 2017 AHR Expo Jan. 30-Feb. 1 in Las Vegas, visit www.ahrexpo.com.
AHR Expo Innovation Award Winners
The 2017 AHR Expo Innovation Award winners are listed here by category.
♦ Building Automation
Company: Danfoss (www.danfoss.us;
2017 AHR Expo booth No. C4506)
Innovation: Danfoss Enterprise Services
Company: Daikin Applied (www.daikinapplied.com;
2017 AHR Expo booth No. C2509)
Innovation: Pathfinder Air-cooled Screw Chillers with
Variable Volume Ratio (VVR) Technology
2017 AHR Expo booth No. C1510)
Innovation: Dual Stage Relief Economizer (DSRE)
Company: Noritz America (www.noritz.com;
2017 AHR Expo booth No. C5917)
Innovation: Noritz Combination Boiler
♦ Indoor Air Quality
Company: Nortec Humidity (www.humidity.com;
2017 AHR Expo booth No. C4706)
Innovation: Nortec GS Series - CS Model (Nortec GS CS) Humidifier
Company: Taco Comfort Solutions (www.tacocomfort.com; 2017 AHR Expo booth No. N7926)
Innovation: SmartPlug Smart Hot Water Recirculation Control
Company: Danfoss (www.danfoss.us; 2017 AHR Expo
booth No. C4506)
Innovation: Danfoss CTM (Electrical Controlled
Transcritical Multi Ejector)
Company: Nidec Motor Corporation / U.S. MOTORS
(www.usmotors.com; 2017 AHR Expo booth No. C3924)
Innovation: Rescue Select Programming App
♦ Tools and Instruments
Company: PEXOLOGY (www.pexgun.com;
2017 AHR Expo booth No. C6618)
Company: Titus (www.titus-hvac.com;
2017 AHR Expo booth No. C3137)
Innovation: Helios Digital Diffuser
Additionally, the following 24 companies have been recognized as finalists in each of the 10 award entry categories:
♦ Building Automation
BELIMO Americas (Belimo Energy Valve)
Daikin Applied (Intelligent Equipment for System Performance Measurement)
Delta Controls (eZNTW - Delta Wireless BACnet Thermostat)
BITZER US (CSVH Series Screw Compressor w/ Integrated VFD)
Johnson Controls (YORK YVFA Free-cooling Chiller)
Mits Airconditioning/AERMEC S.P.A. (NYB Chiller and Integrated Free Cooling Chiller)
♦ Green Building
Danfoss (Danfoss Turbocor TG Compressor)
Yaskawa America (Z1000U HVAC Matrix Drive)
Eichenauer (Eichenauer Duct Heater)
Honeywell International (Equipment Remote Module [ERM])
Samsung HVAC (Samsung DVM S Max Heat VRF System)
♦ Indoor Air Quality
ATAS International (InSpire Solar Air Heating Wall Panel System)
Friedrich Air Conditioning Co. (VRP Single Package Vertical Heat Pump System with Built-in Conditioned Make-up Air)
Orival Water Filters (Model ORZ Automatic
Self-cleaning Screen Filter)
RIDGID (STRAPLOCK Pipe Handle)
CAREL INDUSTRIES S.p.A. (EVD Ice Electronic Valve Driver)
Chemours (Opteon XP40 (R-449A) Refrigerant)
Coolfront Technologies (Coolfront Mobile - the zero cost flat rate pricing app)
Dwyer Instruments (PredictAir Application Software for the SMART Air Hood Balancing Instrument)
♦ Tools and Instruments
Mestek Machinery (Pro-Fabriduct Manufacturing System)
Milwaukee Tool (M18 FORCE LOGIC Press Tool)
Triatek (Stable Vortex II Fume Hood Conversion Kit)
DuctSox Corporation (DuctSox Silencer)
ebm-papst (RadiPac Blower)
This article was originally titled “AHR Expo is largest in history” in the January 2017 print edition of Plumbing & Mechanical.