Insights on the HVAC Industry Directly From the Exhibition Floor
The AHR Expo 2023 was a roaring success, and it’s no wonder why: after the pandemic and its subsequent restrictions, in-person meetings are finally fully back and so valuable. It was a joy to see that the HVAC industry has bounced back to the same level of attendance that was seen in 2019, just before the pandemic. Visitors and exhibitors alike returned to the event, making it an exciting place to be. Spending time with industry colleagues and customers over coffee, beers, and dinners was priceless. The opportunity to mingle and talk face-to-face was invaluable, and our local teams have been busy following up on those discussions.
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Key Takeaways from AHR EXPO 2023
Energy Prices & Sustainability
One of the key topics discussed at AHR Expo 2023 was energy prices and sustainability. Building owners, facility managers, and property management companies all shared their common need to reduce energy consumption, while also optimizing their tenant’s comfort. It all starts with awareness – monitoring the energy consumption of your HVAC systems, identifying which spaces and systems are the biggest consumers, and then finding ways to optimize operation. Optimization can be achieved by setting regimens for working hours, setpoints, and modes, as well as by auto-detecting excess usage. At our booth, we showcased our energy-efficient HVAC solutions, which help reduce carbon emissions and energy costs. The booth was busy with visitors eager to learn about our solutions, and our team was excited to share what we have to offer.
HVAC Monitoring & IoT
Remote service and IoT were also hot topics at the expo. With so many HVAC systems and sensors now cloud-connected, it’s time to leverage that connectivity to deliver advanced technical services. With remote connectivity, the technician can start troubleshooting using remote tools, gaining an early understanding of the problem. In some cases, it can even save the trip to the site by offering simple guidance to the on-site engineer. If a trip cannot be avoided, the technician knows what tools and spare parts to carry with them, maximizing the efficiency of the trip without wasting time traveling back and forth. We spoke to many service companies and technicians at the expo, all of whom are looking for remote monitoring and analytic tools to allow them to provide much better service to their customers, increase the value of their service contracts, and optimize their own operations.
Building Management Systems for HVAC Management
Another topic that caught a lot of attention was building management systems (BMS) for HVAC management in small and medium-sized buildings. Many visitors came to the CoolAutomation booth to see how our solutions can help them better manage their HVAC systems, mostly driven by energy-saving initiatives and the need to move to a proactive maintenance approach. As HVAC takes up around 70% of a building’s energy consumption, efficient management of the HVAC system can significantly cut energy expenses and increase the lifespan of the system.
The market share of VRF (variable refrigerant flow) continues to grow, with a significant portion of it in the mini-VRF segment. Homeowners and commercial building developers are looking for energy-efficient systems, and with government and utility subsidies, VRF systems have become more attractive for new developments. The ability to control each of the VRF indoor units separately and efficiently is critical for the successful adoption of these systems, and we at CoolAutomation see a lot of interest in our products that allow for remote control and monitoring, as well as smooth integration interfaces to any home automation and BMS.
And of Course… Chat GPT!
Finally, every blog post nowadays seems incomplete without at least mentioning ChatGPT. It is becoming impossible to overlook the global excitement surrounding AI created by ChatGPT, which started a few weeks prior to the event. Despite AI being integrated into smart building solutions by various vendors for a few years, the fact that everyone can now converse with an AI agent through ChatGPT (and the Google competitor Bard) has opened up possibilities for AI to be accepted in almost any field, including the traditionally conservative HVAC service industry. With AI tools already built into CoolAutomation cloud solutions, we showcased how our cloud solutions can aid in saving energy and adjusting HVAC settings with the adaptive intelligence of machine learning.
We cannot forget to mention our customer appreciation event, which was a huge success. It was great to have the opportunity to mingle with our loyal customers and partners over drinks and enjoy the Atlanta skyline from the rooftop bar.
Building the HVAC Service Industry of the Future
In conclusion, the AHR Expo 2023 was a great event, highlighting the importance of the HVAC industry in everybody’s day-to-day life as well as its key position in the race to cut energy consumption and reduce emissions. It ultimately emphasized the opportunity to take advantage of new technologies and solutions and to take a giant leap in improving efficiency, sustainability, and profitability.
See you next year and stay COOL!
The CoolAutomation team
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