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AHR Expo 2017 preview

Jan. 8, 2017
The first place to go is the AHR website, You can also register at to use the official AHR show planner. AHR even has it’s own mobile app (  
There will be at least 60,000 attending industry professionals this year.

LAS VEGAS — Between Jan. 30 and Feb. 1, the Las Vegas Convention Center will host the 2017 International Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Expo (AHR). What began 85 years ago as a heating and ventilation show has grown into one of the biggest events on the mechanical contracting calendar.

The 2017 show will have more than 2,000 exhibitors and at least 60,000 attending industry professionals from every state in America and more than 150 countries world-wide.

The event is co-sponsored by the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) and the Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), with host of endorsing associations including the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO), the Green Mechanical Council, the Continental Automated Buildings Association (CABA), the Radiant Professionals Alliance (RPA), North American Technical Excellence (NATE) and many, many more.

With so many different industry segments represented, with more than 760 different types of products being displayed (and a new product demonstration practically every direction you turn), with more than 50 free seminars, 17 paid courses, and five separate certification exams — how to make sense of it all?

The first place to go is the AHR website, There you can find a complete overview of the show schedule, a list of exhibitors, and help getting registered and getting to the show and finding your way around.

You can also register here to use the official AHR show planner to find exhibitors, sort by location, and add conference sessions, all while avoiding scheduling conflicts.

AHR even has it’s own mobile app ( that allows the user to create a custom agenda, schedule appointments with exhibitors, and search education programs. It even includes an interactive floor plan.

While every attendee will have to pick and choose what suits their interests and their business model, following is a small selection of exhibits, events and classes the staff of CONTRACTOR is looking forward to.

See the Innovation Awards: The AHR Expo Innovation Awards is an annual competition that honors the most inventive and original products, systems and technologies showcased at each year’s AHR Expo. Products go head-to-head in the following categories: building automation; cooling; green building; heating; indoor air quality; plumbing; refrigeration; software; tools and instruments; and ventilation. Winners are selected by a panel of third-party ASHRAE member judges who evaluate all award entries based on innovative design, creativity, application, value and market impact.

This year the awards will be presented and the Product of the Year will be announced on Tuesday, Jan. 31, at 1:00 pm. The ceremony will be held in New Product & Technology Theater A – Room N253.

A complete list of the innovation award winners can be found here:

Watch some amazing product demonstrations: The innovative Viega SmartLoop uses a supply riser to insulate the internal recirculation line tubing, significantly reducing return line heat loss. The Viega SmartLoop system is part of the Viega water quality initiative, because its design reduces stagnation points in hot water systems, reducing the risk of waterborne pathogens such as Legionella. Visit the Viega booth at #C2529.

Weil-McLain will showcase the latest technology in boiler design and innovation. On display will be the recently launched AquaBalance Combi-Boiler, a state-of-the-art unit that combines the warmth of high-efficiency space heating and the convenience of on-demand domestic hot water; the award-winning Evergreen High-Efficiency Condensing Gas Boiler; and the SlimFit Commercial Condensing Gas Boiler. It’s all happening at booth #C1231.

GPS Insight is a fleet management solution designed for quick roll out, ease of use, high automation, and actionable information, all at a cost effective price point. Visit GPS Insight at booth #N712.

Gear up this year with hilmor’s newest tools, including benders, pipe cutters, gauges and more. Get hands-on experience with the company’s latest HVAC/R innovations at booth #C3938. As a bonus, you can test your speed and skills with these new tools in hilmor's 3rd Annual Fastest Hands in HVAC/R competition. Just for playing, the company will throw in a pair of hilmor gloves.

Titus, a leader in air distribution, will have a virtual reality experience available at their booth (#C3137), allowing users to see how individual components can fit into larger systems and their own projects. Virtual reality, once reserved for gaming, is now being ushered in as the HVAC industry’s next training platform, enabling building owners, contractors and engineers to test the performance, functionality and operability of specific products and systems in simulated applications, prior to installation.

A first in the industry, Uponor PEX pipe and ProPEX expansion fittings are available in 2½" and 3" sizes, offering professionals the ability to specify, design and install even more commercial plumbing and hydronic piping systems with Uponor PEX. See the new fittings and the new Milwaukee Electric FORCELOGIC ProPEX Expansion Tool in action at booth #C2943.

Check out some free seminars: The Radiant Professionals Alliance will present How to Sell Profitable Hydronic Radiant Systems on January 30, 8:00 am to 9:45 am in room N234. This panel discussion will detail successful approaches from the business side of radiant heating. Has a homeowner asked you, “Why should I buy a radiant system”? Dave Holdorf from Taco, Wes Sisco from Uponor, and Ellen Rohr will help you answer that question and more. will present The Future of Building Automation — The Self Learning Edge Revolution on January 30, 9:00 am to 10:00 am in room N239. The future of the building automation market is exceptional. Systems will be smarter, innovative and sophisticated. They will automatically configure and integrate new equipment, so they can optimize themselves, self-manage and self-heal. This session will provide insight into what the future holds for the building automation market. Moderated by Ken Sinclair, editor and founder of, speakers will be Brad White, P.Eng, MASc, principal with SES Consulting and Jim Sinopoli, PE, RCDD, Principal with Smart Buildings.

Women in HVACR will present Make More Money by Identifying Where Your Market Really Is and Saying “No” to Where it Isn’t on January 30 from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm in room N232. Although contractors may realize that all marketing — online and offline — works better when it’s in your backyard... most contractors don’t know where their yard ends. In this presentation David Squires and Michael Layton of Online Access, Inc. will go over the hard facts, surveys, and statistics that show why marketing to a limited area will make you more money.

Continental Automated Buildings Association (CABA) will host the Intelligent Buildings Town Hall on January 31, 9:30 am to 10:30 am in room N243. The Intelligent Building sector is undergoing major growth with the proliferation of cloud technology, data analytics, and Internet of Things (IoT). With this growth there are still issues to resolve such as standards interoperability, education and cybersecurity. This Town Hall will discuss the issues and opportunities that are facing the intelligent buildings sector. Ron Zimmer, president and CEO of CABA, will emcee.  

Get NATE-certified: North American Technician Excellence is the leading non-profit certification program for technicians in the heating, ventilation, air-conditioning and refrigeration (HVACR) industry. Technicians who have earned NATE certification are preferred among consumers, require fewer callbacks, and generate more income for their employers. 

Johnstone Supply of Las Vegas will proctor two sessions of NATE technician certification testing on Monday, January 30. Testing will run 8:00 am to noon and 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm. Separate registration is required. Those interested in testing should email [email protected]. Registration deadline is January 12, 2017. Fee is $135 per exam.

Come visit the staff! CONTRACTOR magazine and our sister publication Contracting Business will both be at the show in the Penton Media booth, Central Hall — C1132. Stop by to say hello, to tell us what you would like to see more of in our publications, and to share your AHR Expo 2017 experience with us.

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