AHR Crowd enters AHR

AHR Expo Overcomes, for Another Great Event

The HVAC and Refrigeration industries are filled with change, new and more efficient products, and new and better ways to conduct business.

Another AHR Expo is in the books. The reported verified attendance of 45,078 unique visitors — based on precise, Radio Frequency Identiification — was lower than the usual 60-70,000 we’re used to seeing, but hey, that’s less people to dodge, right? I think weather and other travel issues might have put a dent in the final number. Freezes in the Midwest were off the charts. A contractor friend from Georgia told me traffic and road closures related to Governor Kemp’s Monday inauguration forced he and his associates to turn back.

Traffic near the Georgia World Congress Center was very congested. Changes are in order in how that city handles a convention as busy as this one. But in spite of  those snags, the show did go on. AHR Expo spokesperson assured me traffic for the next Atlanta show will be much improved.

(Next year’s AHR show will be held in Orlando, Fla., Feb. 3-5. Super Bowl LIV will be played in Miami, Feb. 2. Travel could be v-e-e-e-r-y interesting.) 

The HVAC and Refrigeration industries are filled with change, new products and new and better ways to conduct business, through the expansion of apps and software capabilities to streamline work and make more money faster. 

Technology continues to expand into new areas of efficiency. Both split systems and VRF/mini-split products are improved each  year, to make it easier than ever to dial-up interior comfort and superior air quality.

Research unveiled at AHR Expo and shared with attendees charted the best course for developments in “smart home” technology applications. That research finds that multi-dwelling units remain underserved due to a multitude of end-user requirements. As they combine elements of both single-family homes and commercial buildings, there is much room for the smart home movement to capture the multi-dwelling category.

BACnet International and Schneider Electric sponsored a tutorial case study on how to deliver energy savings, and sell additional services, by expanding balancing tests and remediation services. The presentation showed how adding inexpensive tests provided additional diagnostics information to identify problems and create opportunities to sell correctional services. The results can improve actual system performance from 50 percent to 85 percent of rated and deliver valuable energy savings. 

Rheem announced it is beginning a comprehensive sustainability platform, “A Greater Degree of Good.” It includes plans to develop and market products that minimize waste when in use, and incorporation of significantly more efficient manufacturing processes. This will culminate in a 2025 100th Anniversary launch of products that reduce greenhouse gas footprint by 50 percent.

Rheem is also investing in new recruiting and training initiatives, to foster a qualified workforce and educate the trade on how to best support its sustainability goals. By 2025, Rheem will commit to training at least 250,000 plumbers and contractors on sustainable products, sustainable installation and recycling best practices utilizing its six state-of-the-art Innovation Learning Centers across North America.

Many companies now use booth seminar presentations as a way to grab a share of traffic that might otherwise pass by. Leaders here were Sporlan, Johnson Controls, Emerson. The Daikin Roadshow trailer was busy all three days.

Danfoss, Emerson, LG and TACO hosted informative breakfasts for hungry editors. Great parties were packed — and I mean PACKED — with guests, by US Boiler, Emerson, LG, Rheem, Sporlan and Taco. 

Honeywell debuted its Resideo, Honeywell’s new Home Products platform. During the AHR show, the Resideo team demonstrated the new Honeywell Home T10 Pro Smart Thermostat, which is designed for consumers who prefer a professionally-installed solution. Both smart thermostats feature wireless, smart room sensors to help provide temperature control in any room, at any time. 

Many may not be aware that Karl Zellmer, Emerson’s vice president of air conditioning sales,  is retiring. During the show, Emerson hosted a farewell in the form of a panel discussion at the Emerson booth. There, Zellmer and panelists discussed five current industry issues. 

That was suitable for Mr. Zellmer, who was always interested in issues, trends and solutions. Among his other activities, he was a loyal supporter of our “Comfortech” Show during its long run, and we thank him for that. 

Best wishes, Karl! 

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