AHR Expo
A floor shot from the 2022 Expo. More than 1,573 exhibitors from around the world made it to Las Vegas for the big show.

CONTRACTOR’s AHR Expo 2023 Preview

Jan. 1, 2023
Make the most of your time at the big show in Atlanta.

This year the Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration (AHR) Expo returns to Atlanta, GA, home of the new ASHRAE global headquarters. The big show will be held at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Feb. 6-8.

Since the first International Heating and Ventilating Exposition in 1930, the Expo has grown from a small section of the National Exposition of Power and Mechanical Engineering to what is now “the world’s largest HVAC&R marketplace.”

The size and scope of the event now make it the go-to show not just for HVAC/R professionals, but also for pros involved in plumbing, piping, radiant heating and hydronic systems, controls, tools, business support services, building automation and much, much more.

Last year the show made its post-COVID return in Las Vegas, and drew 30,678 attendees, including 1,573 exhibitors. This year’s show is expected to surpass those numbers. With so much to see and do, we hope this preview can give you some ideas to help make the best use of your time, on and off the expo floor.

Education Opportunities: Understanding Real-World Applications

Decarbonization and electrification. Low global-warming refrigerants. IT and the connected consumer. New demands for efficiency. Automation. Supply chain issues, new practices adapted out of necessity, and new ways of moving product across the chain. Forecasts and planning for this year and beyond. The new role of HVACR in the budget. Skilled workforce issues. Cybersecurity and the need to plan for a connected future.

Navigating these issues can be confusing and frustrating for today’s HVACR professionals—contractors, engineers, facility managers/owners, manufacturers, wholesale distributors, and manufacturers’ representatives. Luckily, they can discover new products and technologies, and learn new best practices to help them with their businesses this year’s AHR Expo.

The 2023 educational program features more than 200 free sessions, including a panel series, new product and technology presentations, professional certifications and continuing education courses. In addition, the program has been extended to include Dec. 8 sessions.

“The education program has grown tremendously in recent years,” notes Show Manager Mark Stevens. “The HVACR industry is changing and growing quickly and in ways that are new to us all. We’re talking about training a new workforce to replenish a wave of retirement while simultaneously taking on initiatives relating to environmental efficiency, indoor air quality, automation, cybersecurity, supply chain disruptions, new business practices, etc. There is no shortage of necessary discussions.”

2023 Expo Panel Series

AHR debuted the panel series at the 2022 show. This year, the series is back with five industry-related discussions.

2023 State of the Industry. This update with industry association leaders examines the current challenges, opportunities and forecasts for the year ahead in HVACR. Expected topics include changing regulations, the economic forecast (including inflation and tariffs), the green transition and the supply chain.

Decarbonization. HVACR professionals from engineering, government, owners and education lead the discussion regarding decarbonization and the industry’s role in preparedness, regulation and standard planning, opportunities, challenges and expectations.

Communication Across the Supply Chain. A conversation surrounding the flow of communication within the industry to better understand how shareholder audiences currently receive and understand information and identify the best places to source information. This discussion examines the current communication flow gaps, starting with standards writing to manufacturer implementation and following the chain through equipment installation and maintenance.

Basics of Refrigerant Changeover. Leaders discuss the breakdown of what changes are occurring, when they are happening, and the expectations at the manufacturer level and in the field.

HVAC and Social Media. The Dec. 8 session includes a panel of HVACR professionals.

A full list of panel discussions can be found at http://bit.ly/3FYcRNo.

Educational Sessions

This year, HVACR professionals can choose from 85 sessions led by industry experts (http://bit.ly/3WjzliP).

“Our sessions aim to provide diverse perspectives from all the voices that work and serve HVACR,” explains Kimberly Pires, AHR Expo education program coordinator. “This kind of insight supports cooperation within the community and progress in an individual’s professional growth, proving itself immensely valuable for the advancement of the industry as a whole.”

Topic categories include air conditioning, best practices/application optimization, building automation and control, building design, building solutions, certification, commissioning, energy conservation/efficiency, facility/building management, heating, HVACR systems and equipment, indoor air quality, plumbing, refrigeration, renewable energy, standards/codes, testing/balancing, trends and ventilation.

For attendees interested in energy-efficient solutions, these sessions are available: Why You Should Use Solar HVAC Units (Feb. 6), Energy Rating Labels: Resource to Increase the Efficiency of Pumping Systems (Feb. 6), Innovations in Thermal Energy Storage (Feb. 6), Fundamentals of Adiabatic Heat Rejection (Feb. 6), Geothermal Coupled Piped Infrastructure Upgrades Are Balancing our Energy Budget (Feb. 7), Resilient HVAC Systems (Feb. 7), and The Distribution Efficiency and Adaptability of Hydronics (Feb. 8).

IAQ sessions available: Improving Indoor Air Quality in Commercial Spaces (Feb. 6), Environmental Benefits of Circulating Fans (Feb. 6), Healthy Buildings and Indoor Environmental Quality (Feb. 7), and Best Practices for Education Facilities (Feb. 7).

Updates on standards, regulations and codes are covered in these sessions: Status Update on Refrigerant Classification, Specification and Recovery Standards (Feb. 6); Update on Fan-Efficiency Regulations (Feb. 6); UL Rated Ceiling Radiation Dampers: A Closer Look (Feb. 6); The Regulatory Report: 2022 Changes and What You Need to Know in 2023 (Feb. 7); and HVAC Regulatory Changes: What Can Companies Do to Prepare & Leverage Opportunities? (Feb. 7).

Attendees can participate in professional development courses through ASHRAE Learning Institute and short courses/professional development seminars approved for continuing education units.

ASHRAE Learning Institute courses charge a fee; the 20 sessions run from Feb. 4-7. You can find the course list at http://bit.ly/3FNlxGd.

New Product and Technology Theater

More than 145 exhibitor presentations are part of the New Product & Technology Theater, held on the exhibit floor in Building C of the Georgia World Congress Center. These are 20-minute sessions providing brief overviews of new product announcements and technologies found in exhibitor booths on the show floor. No fee or registration is required; you can find a list of presentations and times at http://bit.ly/3WCVjNl.

Five 2023 Innovation Award winners will offer presentations this year: Belimo Americas (IAQ room sensor), cove.tool (load modeling software), Emerson (Copeland ZPSK7 scroll compressor (heating) and ZFW variable-speed scroll solution (refrigeration)), NAVAC (Breakfree power flaring tool) and SmartD Technologies (Clean Power variable-frequency drive).

Each year, HVACR manufacturers spend time and money to improve HVACR equipment, tools or technology. Other 2023 Innovation Award winners you can view and visit on the show floor include Caleffi 536 Series PresCal pressure-relief valve (plumbing), Cielo Breez Max (building automation), Chemours Opteon XL41 refrigerant (cooling) and Taco Control Solutions’ System M (sustainable solutions).

Funds raised from the entry fees of the Innovation Awards competition will be donated to the Atlanta College and Career Academy, an Atlanta-based technical high school.

For an editor’s selection of some of the products being displayed and demonstrated at AHR, visit:


For a full list of the 2023 AHR Expo Innovation Awards Winners, visit:


Podcast Pavilion

For the third year as a show feature, AHR attendees can listen, watch and participate in live podcasts from the trade show. At the 2022 show in Las Vegas, the Podcast Pavilion was a fan favorite.

This year, 17 podcasters will broadcast from two pavilions over the three days: ACHR The News, Appetite for Construction, ASHRAE Journal, Commercial Kitchen Chronicles, HVAC Excellence, HVAC Jerks, HVAC R&D, HVAC Refer Guy, HVAC School, HVAC Uncensored, Make Trades Great Again, PHCPPros, Refrigerant365, Refrigeration Mentor, Service Business Mastery, Tool Pros and Tool Wife.

Both podcast areas are in Building C of the Georgia World Congress Center.


The AHR Expo has an official app for iOS and Android. Links to the app at the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store can be found at : www.ahrexpo.com/app

With, it, attendees can quickly navigate show information, browse an interactive show floorplan, and easily find exhibitors via product category search.

The App also offers an official show planner, to sync and manage their show and education program schedule. (A desktop version of the show planner can be found at ahr23.mapyourshow.com/8_0/login/login.cfm.)

The planner allows users to save sessions and appointments, to create a personalized calendar of show events, and even offers exhibitor and product recommendations.

The Georgia World Congress Center Authority has a guide on its website to both the Centennial Park District and the Greater Atlanta area for those who may be new to the city. It is available at: www.gwcca.org/explore.

Remember: wear comfortable shoes, stay hydrated, bring a snack (busy schedules and sometimes long lines at concessions stands can mean skipping lunch), and stay in your hotel if you’re feeling sick. And by all means, please stop by the CONTRACTOR booth; we will be in Building C, Level 1, Booth #C5764. We’ll see you at the show!

Kelly Faloon is a contributing writer to CONTRACTOR Magazine and principal of Faloon Editorial Services. The former editor of Plumbing & Mechanical magazine, she has nearly 35 years of experience in B2B publishing, with 25 of those years writing about the plumbing, heating, cooling and piping industry. Faloon is a journalism graduate of Michigan State University. You can reach her at [email protected].

About the Author

Kelly L. Faloon | Freelance Writer/Editor

Kelly L. Faloon is a contributing editor and writer to ContractorContracting Business magazine and HPAC Engineering and principal of Faloon Editorial Services. The former editor of Plumbing & Mechanical magazine, Faloon has more than 26 years of experience in the plumbing and heating industry and more than 35 years in B2B publishing. She started a freelance writing and editing business in 2017, where she has a varied clientele.

Faloon spent 3 1/2 years at Supply House Times before joining the Plumbing & Mechanical staff in 2001. Previously, she spent nearly 10 years at CCH/Wolters Kluwer, a publishing firm specializing in business and tax law, where she wore many hats — proofreader, writer/editor for a daily tax publication, and Internal Revenue Code editor.

A native of Michigan’s northern Lower Peninsula, Faloon is a journalism graduate of Michigan State University. You can reach her at [email protected].

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