HPAC Magazine

AHR Expo draws large crowds

January 24, 2024 | By Doug Picklyk

Crowded hallways and packed booths were a welcome sight for exhibitors and show organizers of the 2024 AHR Expo in Chicago.

Crowds lined up at the entrance on day one of AHR Expo in Chicago.

Despite near zero temperatures outside, crowded hallways and packed booths were a welcome sight for exhibitors and show organizers of the 2024 AHR Expo in Chicago that filled the space at the McCormick Center from Monday, January 22 through Wednesday, January 24.

The annual expo for the HVAC/R industry hadn’t been in Chicago since 2018, and the strong attendance was a great sign, revealing great interest from the contractor community to see the latest products available and gain insights on industry trends.

NTI was one of many exhibitors previewing an air-to-water heat pump.

It was no surprise to see a strong heat pump presence across many of the major heating equipment manufacturers, and this may be the show where the air-to-water heat pump begins gaining more traction based on the number of products revealed, some serving as previews of what’s to come.

Space Pac previewed a potential R290 (propane) air-to-water heat pump.

Electrification and decarbonization continue to be popular themes at exhibitor presentations, and although artificial intelligence (AI) is growing in interest, it wasn’t a main topic of discussions.

During an engaging State of the Industry panel seminar on Tuesday, the key messages for contractors centered around the need to encourage ongoing training among HVAC techs, and the ever important role of contractors as the conduits of educating homeowners and building owners on new technologies and how they can best provide comfort while meeting efficiency or environmental goals.

State of the Industry panelists (l-r): Greg Walker, ASHB; Steve Yurek, AHRI; Talbot Gee, HARDI. missing from photo: Dominick Guarino, NCI; and Ginger Scoggins, ASHRAE.

The upcoming refrigerant phase downs was also a hot topic, and keeping up to date on what is happening with refrigerants is very important for contractors. One panelist, Talbot Gee from HARDI insisted that the transition to A2L (mildly flammable) refrigerants is going to be unlike any other transition the industry has experienced before.

Steve Yurek of AHRI stressed the need for more industry training around that topic, and he also emphasized the growing importance of R410A recovery and reclamation going forward to support the large existing install base.

Look for more AHR Expo 2024 reports with more new product information and highlights in the weeks ahead.

AHR Expo 2025 will be taking place in Orlando, Florida February 10-12.





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