Over 60,000 visitors attended the 2016 International Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating (AHR) Expo to exhibit and explore innovations from around the world. The show offered attendees an opportunity to learn about new technologies and products through exhibitor booths, seminars, courses, technical papers, technical committees, as well as the ability to learn through interaction with others in the industry.
One of the things that stood out to me was the number of new manufacturers I saw at the show, as well as the number of Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) mini-split products displayed. These products experienced good growth over the last few years and it was quite obvious that the buzz carried through to the shows displays. While the number of VRF and mini-splits displays stood out, a few other products also caught my eye.
The first product is a residential zoning solution that provides zoning through automatically adjusting vents, sensors, and a Wi-Fi hub. The sensors provide a signal directly to the vents to adjust at the point of use, rather than having to run wires to the dampers. Another product that was interesting was a sensor that enabled Wi-Fi connectivity for room air conditioners and mini-split indoor units. The sensor allows users to control these units through an app via their smartphone, which offers better control than traditional room air conditioners.
Some displays at the show also created some excitement – the Milwaukee Tools booth had a demonstration with a few of their new tools. These types of demos are traditionally pretty boring. Obviously there was nothing boring about this one – crowds drew in close to investigate the noise and the flying wood chips. Another interesting display was at the Multi-Aqua booth, which had a hot tub that was very appealing after a long day of walking the show.
Beyond the displays and the new products, there were abundant discussions about cutting-edge technologies, modern residential systems, fundamentals & applications, international design, systems and equipment.
The show continues to be a large stage for innovations in the air-conditioning, heating and refrigeration from around the world. I look forward to more thought-provoking displays and products at next year’s show.