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AHR Expo Doesn't Disappoint

Originally published: 02.04.15 by Gary Gardiner

AHR Expo Doesn't Disappoint

2015 AHR Expo claims title for the best-attended event ever held in Chicago


The 2015 AHR Expo in Chicago did not disappoint the estimated 61,000 attendees this year — a new attendance record.

As a veteran of attending more than 20 of these shows, I immediately noticed the upbeat and optimistic feeling about the HVACR business for 2015. Everyone at the show seemed to be busy and engaged in conversation as vendors showed off what they had to offer.

McCormick Place was a perfect venue for this annual event with 465,000 square feet (that’s nine football fields) and more than 2,100 companies representing every segment of the HVACR industry. It's so large, I was approached by two people during the show who were lost and didn’t know how to find the exit. I carry a map with me every year so I can find the booths, displays I plan to visit and, luckily, the exits.

The HVACR industry is certainly abuzz with new activity.

This sentiment was also reflected by respondents to a pre-AHR Expo survey; 87 percent of respondents feel their prospects for business either are excellent (26 percent) or good (61 percent) for the

coming year. On the sales side, 96 percent of survey respondents believe 2015 sales will continue to increase with 47 percent expecting sales increases between 5 and 10 percent.

Additionally, 29 percent forecast sales increases of more than 10 percent. Only 3 percent expect sales to remain the same. This represents a 6 percent jump over 2014’s forecast and a 16 percent increase over 2013 survey results.

One trend I picked up on is that every manufacturer, in some way, is involving high-efficiency technology to improve system energy efficiencies.

In fact, Danfoss’ Turbocor VTT Series Compressor was selected as the winner of the 2015 AHR Expo Product of the Year during the Innovation Award ceremonies. The new Danfoss VTT (Variable Twin Turbo) Series Compressor was chosen from among the top Innovation Award winners in 10 industry-related categories. It is intended for commercial air conditioning or process cooling applications that require a high efficiency solution.

I watched as one controls manufacturer conducted a software applications demonstration, where he entered start-stop, setpoints, setbacks and other user-defined information into a sequence of operations program on his laptop. He then hit "enter" and the program started writing the code and program, which would seemingly then be ready to download to the system controller — very cool stuff.

I also visited the booth of a thermal energy storage systems manufacturer. Thermal energy storage is like a battery for a building’s air-conditioning system. It uses standard cooling equipment, plus an energy storage tank to shift all or a portion of a building’s cooling needs to off-peak, night time hours, when electric rates are lowest.

The system stores that energy onsite and discharges it, or melts it, throughout the building for cooling during the day — when rates are highest. In most ice storage systems, only a portion of the cooling requirements (typically 1/3) are shifted to off peak. That simple shift can take up to 40 percent off the cooling bill. Therefore, ice storage can lower cooling bills by up to 40 percent.

AHR Expo attendees also had ample educational opportunities with more than 120 sessions covering a wide variety of topics. The educational offerings ranged from more than three-dozen free sessions, nearly two-dozen paid courses and more than 60 exhibitor new product presentations in the New Product & Technology theaters.

AHR Expo is a great opportunity for a manufacturer to see the entire HVACR vertical market in one place. I was able to meet with system designers, installers and building owners, as well as contractors, consulting engineers and wholesalers.

Next year’s show will be January 25-27 2016, in Orlando — and it's certainly already on my calendar!


Gary Gardiner is the HVAC Recruiting Team Leader at Direct Recruiters, Inc. of Cleveland. He is a member of the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). To Contact Gary, 440-996-0057 or ggardiner@directrecruiters.com.



About Gary Gardiner

Gary Gardiner

Gary is the HVAC Recruiting Team Leader at Direct Recruiters, Inc. of Cleveland. He is a member of the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). To Contact Gary, call 440-996-0057 or email ggardiner@directrecruiters.com.

Articles by Gary Gardiner

AHR Expo Doesn't Disappoint

HVACR industry abuzz with new activity and optimism.
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