Innovation is the root of advancement in technology, products, and services. As High-Performance HVAC™ Contractors, you represent the root of Innovation in ensuring systems operate to the best of their design.

Ultimately, your strength is the ability to measure and test systems, discover what may prevent them from operating to their full potential, and then provide commercial and residential customers with solutions that fit their budgets and needs.

To accomplish all these things, we talk about the need for training. Training means ensuring your team knows how to collect and interpret measurement data. But it goes beyond that. Innovation also requires state-of-the-art tools and products and the know-how to apply them correctly.

With that in mind, consider that every year, the HVAC Industry gathers at the AHR Expo (International Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition) to see the latest product innovations and share ideas. This gathering has been going on since 1930.

There have been 75 AHR Expos since the inaugural launch in Philadelphia. In 1947, AHR Expo brought in ASHRAE as an endorsing sponsor, and in the early 1970s, AHRI also became an endorsing partner.

As part of this major event, AHR Expo holds a competition among all its exhibitors to pick out the year’s most innovative products.

Ten products in 10 categories win Innovation Awards before the show. One is chosen as the Innovation of the Year winner during the event.

Winning products represent what AHR Expo Show Manager Mark Stevens calls the most innovative products and technologies in the market.

“There’s no shortage of innovation in HVACR right now,” Stevens says. “To be recognized as an award winner is a true honor and an indication that we as an industry are responding to real problems with creative solutions.”

Stevens adds that the Innovation Awards draw hundreds of manufacturers to enter breakthrough designs for new and never-seen solutions or improvements upon existing products and technologies.

Two of this year’s finalists fall into the tools and instruments category and are of interest to High-Performance HVAC Contractors.

The first instrument is the FLUE-Mate™ combustion analyzer from Inficon. You can see it in their booth (#N2934) at the expo.

The instrument has an integrated manometer, thermometer, CO (carbon monoxide) test, cracked heat exchanger test, and provides draft analysis. It displays efficiency, O2, CO2, CO, and flue gas temperature readings. This helps techs get the job done quicker.