The International Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition — best known as the AHR Expo — has announced the winners of the 2024 AHR Expo Innovation Awards.

Innovation Awards winners, representing innovative products and technologies in the market, are chosen annually in 10 industry categories.

“There’s no shortage of innovation in HVACR right now,” show manager Mark Stevens said in a press release. “To be recognized as an award winner is a true honor and an indication that we as an industry are responding to real problems with creative solutions. The Innovation Awards aim to highlight this innovation trajectory and celebrate those that are pushing the bar.”

The Innovation Awards draw hundreds of manufacturers to enter designs for new solutions or improvements upon existing products and technologies. All entries are reviewed and selected by a panel of third-party judges made up of ASHRAE members. Evaluations are based on overall innovative design, creativity, the real-world application of the product or technology, and the potential market impact.

“It’s encouraging to see so many entries and the growth the awards program brings year to year,” Stevens said. “Manufacturers across the industry are responding with solutions for cost savings, energy savings, production efficiency, and are filling performance gaps in product and technology.”

The Innovation Awards strengthen the industry by helping fund the AHR Expo Workforce Development program, which aims to grow the industry through programming geared to inspire future members of the HVACR community, the AHR Expo said. Funds collected from the entry fees are donated to programming at the student level, including show field trips, curated introductions to professionals and manufacturers, laboratory equipment, and monetary donations to student programs in the hosting city.

The winners of the 2024 AHR Expo Innovations Awards are:


Building Automation

Winner: 75FInnovation: 75F HyperStat SplitAHR Booths: S6374, S6277

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The 75F HyperStat Split enables contractors to upgrade RTUs with advanced rooftop control with unprecedented ease. Using only two existing wires from the RTU to the thermostat, HyperStat Split provides a dual enthalpy economizer, demand-control ventilation, and VFD control. What’s more, an onboard PIR occupancy sensor enhances energy savings with auto-away. Devices like the HyperStat Split encourage the building controls industry to make two design considerations the norm. First, HyperStat Split’s ability to work with the existing two wires provided for a standard temperature sensor while still delivering advanced control sequences demonstrates that hardware can work with existing infrastructure without excessive complexity. Second, the device’s eight onboard sensors and native cloud connectivity for real-time analytics prove that rising demand for excellent IAQ management can be met in a straightforward, modern, and user-centric manner.

Finalists: Carrier, i-Vu Express Connected Building Automation Appliance (Booth S7510); Copeland, Copeland CC200 Case Controller (Booth S7110)


Winner: DanfossInnovation: DSG CompressorAHR Booth: N2510


The DSG has been specifically designed for low-pressure, low-GWP refrigerants such as R1234ze. Applications include chiller systems, with a wide range of compressor capacities available to support unit design requirements. These refrigerants would usually require a much larger compressor size to have the same capacity as high-pressure refrigerants. As chiller manufacturers will need to transition to lower-GWP refrigerants, they will need to move to medium and low-density refrigerants. The DSG will enable a smooth transition without a significant increase in physical compressor size. It is qualified for R1234ze, a replacement for the market that has been dominated by R134a for many years, but will be phased down due to its impact on the environment.

The DSG can also be used with other refrigerants with similar properties, so it offers a great deal of flexibility for manufacturers to choose without requiring a new compressor design. This will also support future refrigerant changes and regulations without requiring significant modifications.

Finalists: Daikin Applied Americas Inc., WMT (Booth S7549); Innovair, DuoTec (Booth N3060)


Winner: EphocaInnovation: Nextac - The next generation of PTACAHR Booth: S9914


Nextac transforms the PTAC into a tour-de-force of total comfort control. R32, twin rotary inverter compressor, heat pump performance to -10°F, integrated ERV, MERV 13, zero air leakage, self-cleaning coils, 27-decibel(A) operations, an STC of 40, and a sleek, all-metal, paintable cabinet. No drain is required for cooling or heating.

For years, PTACs have seen minimal advancement. Often considered a low-end product, installers have favored them for their affordability and ease of installation. However, those living with PTACs in their homes have endured poor performance with no better options to fit existing sleeves. Nextac aims to disrupt this status quo with this new high-efficiency and quality PTAC by compelling manufacturers to enhance their PTAC lineup, making them more efficient, aesthetically pleasing and adding more insulation for quieter operation and a better seal.

Finalists: Caleffi Hydronic Solutions, Caleffi XF (Booth S7981); Intellihot Inc., Electron iE1 (Booth S10323)

Indoor Air Quality

Winner: WellStatInnovation: WellStatAHR Booth: N3417


WellStat is an IAQ and energy management software platform used by property and facility management teams to responsibly assure healthy air conditions, lower operating costs, and increase operating revenue. WellStat is FCC tested and UL listed. It provides data beneficial for achieving various sustainability certifications such as LEED, WELL, and RESET.

WellStat is completely integrated, customizable, and provides a single, unified enterprise hardware, software, and mobile platform experience. With WellStat, customers can optimize their asset’s performance while promoting a safer and healthier work environment. Additionally, WellStat uses the highest-caliber sensors available and maintains systemic accuracy through persistent, over-the-air calibration that never requires maintenance. Monitoring systems are tested, calibrated, and always accurate, all the time, including IAQ sensors monitoring temperature, relative humidity, particulate matter, carbon dioxide, ozone, total volatile organic compounds (TVOC), formaldehyde, reset TVOC, dew point, wet bulb, light level, carbon monoxide, occupancy, pressure, dB, and duct flow.

Finalists: ECM PCB Stator Technology, Ultra-light, Premium Efficiency 6hp PCB Stator Air Blower Motor (Booth S10334); Sensirion Inc., SEN6x (Booth S6156)


Winner: Rheem Water HeatingInnovation: Triton Light Duty (50- and 75-gallon)AHR Booth: S7569


A smart, robust solution for small businesses, Triton Light Duty is the most intelligent high-efficiency commercial gas water heater on the market. Boasting built-in smart monitoring and precise leak detection, the unit prevents down time, manages water heater issues, and keeps businesses running smoothly. Perfect for retrofit or new construction. With changing regulations, Rheem designs with sustainability in mind. Triton Light Duty is designed to promote energy efficiency and environmental responsibility and holds the potential to drive transformative changes in the way water heaters are conceptualized and manufactured.

Triton Light Duty’s patented combustion system and helical coil heat exchanger provide maximum thermal efficiency and durability. The latest Triton offers up to 97% thermal efficiency and eliminates down time with the ability to detect and prevent water heater problems before they occur thanks to LeakGuard — an all-inclusive leak-detection and -prevention system capable of limiting water leakage outside the tank. The helical coil heat exchanger offers maximum thermal efficiency and energy savings. With porcelain-and-glass-coated steel, corrosion is minimized, extending the life of the tank while the unique minimum-weld joint construction increases durability. The unit features a built-in condensate neutralizer, which eliminates the need for a separate device to raise the pH of the condensate for safe draining.

Triton LD is part of a decarbonization portfolio to transition away from less efficient water heaters, thereby reducing carbon emissions and environmental impacts. Energy efficiency will take center stage as manufacturers strive to align with evolving regulations and meet strict carbon emissions reduction targets set by state and local governments.

Finalists: Bonomi North America Inc., LOCPOWER Energy Harvesting Control Valves (Booth

N2560); ECM PCB Stator Technology, Ultra-light, Premium Efficiency 3HP PCB Stator Pump

Solutions (Booth S10334)


Winner: AirGreenInnovation: AirGreen-BMIL Brine-Based DX Cold Room Heat PumpAHR Booth: S9377


The innovative AirGreen-BMIL brine-based DX refrigerant system essentially creates a low-dewpoint “heat pump” for cold room applications — providing <26F dewpoint supply air in a single process step. Because of its simplicity and efficiency, this packaged unit design provides up to 50% energy savings while also significantly reducing capital costs. Solid desiccant products can only achieve supply air at 55°F with a 40-45°F dewpoint, and to lower the dry bulb temperature to as low as 33°F requires three or more pieces of equipment at considerable capital and energy penalty. The unique low-temperature brine solution achieves this performance because it simultaneously cools and dehumidifies. For customers, it also eliminates the down time related to multiple defrost cycles, or worse, down time for cleaning if condensation forms.

Further, the AirGreen product only needs low regeneration temperatures (about 110°F), compared to solid desiccants requiring 180°F or more. This low-temperature hybrid brine system is uniquely suited for cold storage applications and addresses a $5.1 billion market.

Customers will benefit both from precise supply air temperatures and the demonstrated energy savings of this design approach.

Finalists: Honeywell, Honeywell Solstice N71 (R-471A) (Booth N2137); Mitsubishi Electric Trane HVAC US, Mitsubishi Electric Variable-Speed Scroll Compressors (Booth S7177)


Winner: Interplay LearningInnovation: SAM (Skill Advisor and Mentor)AHR Booth: S10537


SAM (Skill Advisor and Mentor) is the first AI-powered advisor for the skilled trades. SAM gives teams instant and personalized guidance so they can gain skills faster and more efficiently. Technicians can ask SAM questions and get immediate assistance while they’re learning, helping enhance comprehension and sharpen critical thinking. SAM is the first of its kind. Interplay’s unique approach to on-demand mentorship and training provides considerable value, such as:

  • Fast-track learning: SAM meets technicians where they are, providing assistance to suit their specific needs. It’s like an approachable study buddy who understands them perfectly and helps them learn faster.
  • Sharpens critical thinking: SAM doesn’t shortchange learning with easy answers. It guides them toward “aha” moments and helps develop problem-solving skills.
  • Saves time and boosts productivity: When newer techs ask SAM for help first, it can free senior techs and managers from answering basic questions and give them more time to grow the business.
  • Taps into expert knowledge: SAM uses data from SkillMill, which has been carefully crafted by seasoned subject-matter experts, to ensure techs learn skills right the first time.

Finalists: Conduit Tech, Conduit Tech Software (Booth S10064); IES Ltd., IESVE Software (Booth N3452)

Sustainable Solutions

Winner: Midea Residential Air ConditioningInnovation: Midea PWHPAHR Booth: S10371


Midea’s Packaged Window Heat Pump is a window-mounted cold-climate, air-source heat pump, designed for DIY installation and high-performing, energy-efficient heating and cooling. Developed to support the transition of multi-family buildings toward electrification, the Midea PWHP provides a cost-effective solution for building owners looking to quickly meet future sustainability requirements.

Midea’s PWHP stands out in innovation and uniqueness as a window-mounted unit. Unit performance is 9,000 BTU/hour heating and cooling, with the category’s highest CEER of 16.0, as of the application date, a 2.35 COP at 17°F, and up to SEER2 21.8 and HSPF2 11.6. This is done without the use of auxiliary heat.

While high-efficiency heat-pumps typically require professional installation, including new electrical circuits, the Midea PWHP operates on a 120V/15A circuit mounting to hung-type windows, allowing for DIY installation. The innovative saddle design allows window view and functionality while simultaneously reducing indoor noise levels. Distinguishing features include a telescoping center section that adjusts to various wall depths, and a hinged outdoor section allowing for rotation during installation. These, along with a footprint reduction of about 50% from the industry-first integrated inverter compressor, offer the ability to quickly install into windows while maintaining optimal performance.

Finalists: Blue Frontier, Blue Frontier, Liquid Desiccant DOAS (Booth N1440); Mitsubishi Electric Trane HVAC US, Mitsubishi Electric, Hybrid VRF (Booth S7177)

Tools & Instruments

Winner: INFICONInnovation: FLUE-Mate Combustion AnalyzerAHR Booth: N2934


FLUE-Mate Combustion Analyzer is designed to improve combustion efficiency and safety.

This tool is equipped with an integrated manometer, thermometer, CO tester, and cracked heat exchanger test, and provides draft analysis. FLUE-Mate provides a host of useful features for user convenience and safety, like the easily visible water trap and filter, easy operation, automatic pump shutoff, and ambient CO monitoring. The FLUE-Mate mobile app is a major advantage that allows the user to do even more with their combustion analyzer.

FLUE-Mate generates a QR code that can be scanned using the app for a quick analysis report, without the need for a Bluetooth connection. All important readings and information are on the tech’s smart device with just a quick scan of the code. The app also allows the user to save and share reports.

Unlike many other combustion analyzers, FLUE-Mate displays efficiency, O2, CO2, CO and flue gas temperature readings all on one screen. This makes FLUE-Mate more user-friendly and helps techs get the job done quicker.

FLUE-Mate’s water trap and filter assembly is designed to always be upright and easy to see, so techs know when to change the filter or empty the trap and keep the FLUE-Mate protected.

The automatic pump shutoff feature stops flow when a high level of CO is detected, saving the CO sensor from being poisoned and saving customers an expensive repair bill.

Finalists: MSA Safety, Legend Series HFC (Booth S6536); Snapdrill AS, Snapdrill (Booth N3165)


Winner: HVAC Manufacturing and Technology Inc.Innovation: SAV — Smart Air ValveAHR Booth: S9220


The SAV-Smart Air Valve is an economical self-commissioning air-control solution. Featuring a 100-1 turndown and precision airflow accuracy to within a few CFM operating as low .03” water guage. It matches the ventilation rate to the risk of hazard, featuring advanced Demand Control Ventilation and low EUI with a single unit size. The SAV adds value and mitigates risk by creating a new simplified and economical value chain leading to a paradigm shift by obsoleting fixed-orifice plate technology. The variable-orifice plate technology solves the complex fluid dynamics problem of measuring a fluid accurately over a wide dynamic range. Offers a variable-dimensional aspect ratio footprint. It solves current issues for end users, architects, engineers, and contractors. This innovation allows the controls companies and system integrators to supply and warranty the zone-level devices as part of their scope of work, optimize software and network architecture with self-balancing flexibility, eliminate garbage in-garbage out data, and mitigate risk for the lifecycle of the building. SAV-Smart Air Valve transforms an infrastructure into a user-centric, healthy, flexible space without mechanical infrastructure upgrades.

Finalists: ECM PCB Stator Technology, High-Performance, Lightweight 12hp PCB Stator Blower Motor (Booth S10334); LG Electronics U.S.A. Inc., LG Split Compact M3 DOAS with Multi V S (Booth S8345)

In addition to category winners, one overall Product of the Year winner will be announced and awarded in Chicago during the Expo. This honor is awarded based on exceptional leadership in HVACR innovation, the Expo said.

For more information about the 2024 AHR Expo or the Innovation Awards, please visit