Record-breaking 2012 AHR Expo loaded with new products and technologies. 

Photo credit: Lochinvar Corp.

The2012 AHR Expoat McCormick Place in Chicago featured no shortage of attendees and the latest innovations in the air-conditioning, heating and refrigeration fields.

This year’s show established a new attendance record of more than 58,000 (exhibitors and visitors combined) for the three days. Plumbing and mechanical contractors learned about a host of new products and technologies, many with sustainable features. Here’s a quick sampling from the show floor.

Lochinvarshowcased its Crest condensing boiler, which comes in five different models ranging from 1.5 million to 3.5 million Btu/hr. All models feature the Smart Touch operating control and fire-tube technology. The unit earned an AHR Expo Innovation honorable mention award in the heating category.

WaterFurnaceadvanced upon its 3 and 5 Series water heaters with the new 7 Series geothermal heat pump. The 7 Series introduces the new InfiniSpeed technology, a variable-capacity compressor for higher performance and quiet operation. 

Photo credit: Eternal Water Heaters

Tankless water heater manufacturerNavien showcased its premium and standard condensing water heaters. Each feature two stainless-steel heating condensers and provide users 96 cents for every dollar toward heating.

NIBCO’s S-1810 (fixed orifice balancing valve solder) and T-1810 (fixed orifice balancing valve threaded) improve flow measurement accuracy with + or - 5% from 100% to 25% open. Both are made from dezincification-resistant brass body, bonnet and trim.

Eternal Water Heatersdisplayed its up-to 98% efficient GU100 Eternal Hybrid. The unit combines tank and tankless technologies and weighs only 77 lb. Water pressure is not affected by the number of running fixtures, even if unit capacity is limited.

Laars’ Mighty Stack volume water heater is a new addition to its product line. Additionally, the company’s new NeoTherm boiler saves space and is 94% thermal efficient while operating at 1 million Btu. The direct-vent, sealed-combustion boiler is an ASME stainless-steel heat exchanger with low 10-ppm NOx emissions.

Photo credit: General Tools

Rheem’s H2AC Rooftop Unit with eSync Integration Technology unites an HVAC and water-heating system for better energy efficiencies. The unit is ideal for a restaurant and will take heat from the HVAC system, which normally is sent into the atmosphere, and uses it toward water heating. If the restaurant needs air conditioning and hot water, the unit will switch from a refrigerant-to-air to a refrigerant-to-water system.

The USB Humidity/Temperature Data Logger fromGeneral Toolscomes in three ranges (HT10/20/50) and makes long-term and unattended monitoring of HVACR installations easier and more cost-effective. Each series can record up to 8,000 pairs of ambient temperature and humidity readings over a period of days, weeks or months.

Tacointroduced the Viridian high-efficiency wet-rotor commercial pump, which can decrease energy use by 80% compared to a standard commercial pump of the same size. The pump’s variable-speed operation fully automates with Web-style controls and features capacities up to 385 gpm.

For AHR Expo videos and more new product information,