For the second time in three years, a major snowstorm on the eastern seaboard proved to be an unworthy adversary for the AHR Expo.

Despite many canceled flights due to Winter Storm Jonas, the 2016 AHR Expo — held Jan. 25-27 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla. — drew record-breaking crowds. The event saw 60,926 registered attendees walk the nearly 470,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space.

“A lot goes into making this show such a valued platform for today’s professionals,” says Clay Stevens, president of International Exposition Co., which produces the AHR Expo. “Based on early feedback, we’re already working on several aspects of next year’s show to accommodate more attendees and to make the experience even more worthwhile.”

PM columnist and hydronic heating expert Dan Holohan gave his final public speech for the industry Jan. 26 during PM Live!, which he co-hosted with PM columnist and Hydronics Editor John Siegenthaler. To show its gratitude for everything Holohan has given to the industry, Taco presented him with a framed baseball jersey. Holohan will continue to write monthly columns for Plumbing & Mechanical and other BNP Media trade magazines.

Caleffi hosted a book signing Jan. 25 of the latest work of Siegenthaler’s — “Heating with Renewable Energy.” Five lucky drawing winners were on hand to receive a free signed copy of the book.

In total, 2,063 exhibitors — including 334 first-time exhibitors — made the trip to Orlando to showcase the latest products and technologies for the heating and plumbing markets.

  • Navien showcased its new HotButton for on-demand hot water recirculation, which provides end-users immediate hot water and is an add-on accessory for Navien’s NPE-A units.
  • The show-going public got to see and touch Legend Valve’s new HyperPure PE-RT (polyethylene raised temperature) tubing for potable water systems. The flexible plastic hot-and-cold potable water tube is 100% recyclable.
  • Bradford White launched its ElectriFLEX HD field-convertible commercial water heater during the show, which comes with the Hydrojet Sediment Reduction System to provide the  best performance. The unit is available in 50-, 80- and 119-gal. capacities.
  • Bell & Gossett unveiled TechnoForce e-HV, a pre-engineered pressure booster package. It features direct-motor-mounted Hydrovar Multi-Master variable-speed drive/controllers that ensure continued operation should the drive fail.
  • The Whalen Co. displayed its upgraded Whisperline vertical stack heat pump line. The units range from 0.5- to 3-ton capacities and can be installed as part of a boiler/cooling tower or geothermal application.
  • Taco held a press breakfast on Monday and touted a litany of accomplishments and goals for the future. Taco President John Hazen White Jr.said the company would be focusing on research and development and getting into new markets. “We are ready for the future,” he says.
  • AERCO International touted The OriGen, an energy recovery system that converts waste heat into clean, renewable power for many applications, such as biomass, geothermal/solar and heat recovery for manufacturing facilities, offices and power plants.
  • Franklin Electric offered a new Little Giant EC-1-DV Series mini condensate removal pump. The unit delivers multivoltage operations — 115V, 208V and 230V — for residential and commercial applications.
  • Trimble showcased its TX8, a laser scanner that collects precise data from a 3D scan. Ideal for contractors, the TX8 can give users a 360° by 317° field of view and collects data at 1 million points per sec.

The 2017 AHR Expo is set for Jan. 30-Feb. 1 at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas.

This article was originally titled “Heating highlights” in the March 2016 print edition of Plumbing & Mechanical.