The 2024 Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Exposition (AHR Expo) returns to Chicago January 22-24. The show is the premiere event for the HVAC/R industry, and, due to its size and scope, attracts attendees from across a broad spectrum of the built environment—contractors, manufacturers, engineers, wholesalers, distributors—including a large contingent of plumbing and hydronic heating professionals.
There have been 75 AHR Expos since the launch of the event in 1930 in Philadelphia as a spin-off of The National Exposition of Power and Mechanical Engineering. Since its inception, the show has been produced by the International Exhibition Company (IEC).
In 1947, IEC brought in the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) as a show co-sponsor and in the early 1970s the Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) joined the co-sponsorship. Both esteemed organizations continue this partnership, with ASHRAE co-locating its Annual Winter Meeting with AHR to this day.
The 2024 Expo is expected to attract more than 50,000 attendees, include more than 1,600 exhibitors from around the world and offer more than 370 speakers. Following are just a few of the more highly anticipated show offerings. For a full list of features, exhibitors, and education offerings, visit the AHR Expo site at www.ahrexpo.com.
On the Show Floor
More than 1,600 exhibitors will occupy more than 1,000,000 square feet of space across the North and South Halls of McCormick Place, displaying products and services in hundreds of different categories ranging from Accumulators to Zone Controls.
Most exhibitors will be offering attendees the chance to get hands-on with their products and equipment, and will feature subject matter experts on hand to answer questions, present use-cases and discuss features and performance. Just a few highlights:
Ariston Group (Booth #N1140) will have on display the American Standard Hybrid Heat Pump Water Heater. The heat pump is available in 40, 50, 65, and 80 gallon capacities, has five unique operating modes to suit a variety of needs, and. Features i-Memory, a habit-learning algorithm that ensures hot water when needed, and energy savings when it is not.
Endeavor Business Media (Booth #S6716), the parent company of HPAC Engineering and sister brands CONTRACTOR Magazine and Contracting Business will be exhibiting at the big show. Drop by the booth to meet the editorial teams of all three brands!
Intellihot (Booth #S9977) will display its Electron Series, the world’s first tankless heat pump water heater. Using a CO2-based refrigerant with zero Ozone Depleting Potential, the Electron Series provides a sustainable, efficient, and legislation-proof commercial tankless heat pump water heating system.
Lochinvar (Booth #S7155) will be debuting its Commercial Electric Boiler, Lectrus, at this year’s AHR.
Rheem Water Heating (Booth #S7569) will be featuring its Triton® Light Duty, billed as the “most intelligent” high efficiency commercial gas water heater on the market. Boasting built-in smart monitoring and precise leak detection, the unit prevents downtime, manages water heater issues, and keeps businesses running smoothly. Perfect for retrofit or new construction, the Triton was the winner in the Water Heating category for this year’s Innovation Awards. For the full list of the 2024 AHR Innovation Awards, click here.
Watts Water Technologies (Booth #N2124) will be showcasing The IntelliStation® Jr. with IoT capabilities—a digital mixing valve that allows users to remotely control and monitor tempered water distribution.
For anyone with an interest in codes and standards, both IAPMO (Booth #N1313) and ICC Evaluation Services (Booth #S9013) will be in attendance to discuss coming code changes and what they can mean for your business.
The Expo floor will be home to two Podcast Pavilions, featuring key voices and lively discussions from around the industry live and in-person. For a full schedule visit https://www.ahrexpo.com/podcastpavilions.
Four New Product Theaters on the show floor will host more than 150 presentations from manufacturers. Each rapid-fire 20-minute session will highlight the essentials of a new product and how it can solve your customers’ problems.
The Expo will be offering more than 300 separate educational opportunities including free seminars, panel discussions, product presentations and ASHRAE Learning Institute courses (the last of which require payment). Industry experts will offer today’s best practices, industry trends, tips for improved ROI, and professional growth. Among free session, some stand-outs include—
Building Trust and Success: The Essential Role of Reputation in Home Services Businesses delivered by Heather Ripley, CEO Ripley PR, and Ryan Redding, CEO at Levergy. Monday the 22nd at 9:30 AM, Room S405a.
The Disruption of AI in the Trades. Learn how Artificial Intelligence is revolutionizing the trades industry and driving innovation. Presented by Joshua Crouch, co-host at Skilled Trades Syndicate, and Tersh Blissett, podcast founder at Service Business Mastery. Monday the 22nd, 11:00 AM, Room S401a.
Why Good Employees Quit. Learn why employees are currently quitting en masse and measures that can be implemented to make employee retention strong. Presented by Aleks Ozgur, Coaching Department Operations Manager at Service Training Evolution, LLC. Wednesday the 24th, 9:30 AM, Room S405a.
Among panel discussions, the one not to miss is Addressing the Workforce Talent Gap through Educational Partnerships. Discover the impact collaboration with an educational institution can have on fostering a robust workforce. Panelists include Alison Neuman, North American Workforce Development Program Manager at Johnson Controls, Bryan Feilen, at Lincoln Tech, Jose De La Portilla, Sr. Manager of Education and Training at Rheem Manufacturing, Scott Shaw, President & CEO at Lincoln Tech, Susan English, Sr. Vice President of Career Services & Industry Partnerships at Lincoln Tech, and moderator Dominick Guarino, President & CEO at National Comfort Institute. Tuesday the 23rd, 11:30 AM, Room E350.
Attendees take note: only paid sessions will guarantee you a seat—seating is on a first-come first-served basis.
Tips for the Show
Plan your visit to get the most out of the experience. The show is simply too big to just wander around visiting random booths. Ask yourself what you hope to get out of the show and make some keyword searches on the AHRExpo.com web site. Download the AHR Expo app from the Google Play Store or by visiting https://www.ahrexpo.com/app. Build your show schedule (and be sure to book time to eat and relax). The app will synch automatically with your MyShow planner account on the AHR Expo online directory.
If something you see or hear at a booth catches your interest, get your badge scanned. This will usually get you on the company’s email list for updates on their latest product and service offerings. You can always unsubscribe at any time.
Bring snacks. Food at convention centers is notoriously expensive. Lines are often long and if you have a busy schedule getting a bite to eat may be too time-consuming. Remember to stay hydrated.
Wear comfortable shoes—a million square feet is a lot of space to cover.
If you’re feeling sick, stay at your hotel. If you think you might be sick social distance and wear a mask. However you may be feeling wash your hands frequently and thoroughly. The pandemic may be over, but the endemic is here to stay and 50,000 people in one building means someone is going to catch something.
Safe travels, and we’ll see you at the show.