The AHR Expo 2021 Innovation Awards call for entries is now open. Entries will be accepted through July 28. The competition is held annually in conjunction with the show to honor the most innovative and original products, systems and technologies to be featured on the floor in Chicago’s McCormick Place, Jan. 25-27, 2021. Exhibitors with a signed contract are encouraged to submit new or upgraded products. To request more information or to receive forms for entry, please email


The 2021 Innovation Awards and Product of the Year 

Debuted in 2003, the Innovation Awards provide an opportunity to highlight those in the HVACR industry who are pushing boundaries to create innovative solutions for new and existing challenges. What’s more, they honor the most inventive, useful and original products, systems and technologies disrupting the market today.

Winners are selected from ten industry categories, including building automation; cooling; green building; heating; indoor air quality; plumbing; refrigeration; software; tools and instruments; and ventilation. Entrants are evaluated and winners are selected by a panel of third-party judges representing ASHRAE. Recognition is then given to winners and finalists demonstrating true innovative design, creativity, application and performance, product and solution value and market impact.

In addition to category winners, one overall Product of the Year, selected from the pool of winners from all categories, will be named at the show in a special ceremony. This prestigious honor is awarded based on exceptional leadership in HVACR innovation.

“The Innovation Awards competition recognizes companies in the HVACR industry that demonstrate leadership in the design, construction and execution of products and technologies,” said Mark Stevens, manager of AHR Expo. “Winners within the designated categories continue to define the future of the industry and provide new and exciting avenues for growth. We look forward to celebrating those in the industry taking the lead with innovation.”

The 2021 Innovation Award winners, as well as the announcement of the 2021 Product of the Year Award, will be recognized in a special ceremony during the 2021 Show on Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021. Additionally, winners will receive acknowledgement in print and online features highlighting the Innovation Awards in major industry publications, on the AHR Expo website, and on all AHR Expo social media channels.


Submissions and judging

All confirmed exhibitors for the 2021 AHR Expo are eligible to enter the Innovation Awards and may submit one product in each category. Submitted products will not be considered if they have previously received an award. To be considered, products must be exhibited at the 2021 show and must be available for purchase by the end of February 2021. Completed entry forms, along with a non-refundable $100 entry fee, must be submitted by Tuesday, July, 28, 2020.


Entry fees donated to local charity 

Entry fees for the 2021 Innovation Awards (approximately $20,000) will be donated to a charitable organization serving the local Chicago-area community. The donation is generally used to provide HVACR repairs or upgrades. Each year, the AHR Expo works to select a charitable organization within the area where the show is held.

For more information about the 2021 AHR Expo or the Innovation Awards competition, visit Specific questions regarding Innovation Awards submissions can be emailed to