Canadian Consulting Engineer

AHR Expo offers HVACR education in Chicago

December 6, 2023

AHR Expo

Photo courtesy AHR Expo.

Co-sponsored by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) and the Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), the 2024 International Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition (AHR Expo) is expected to draw more than 50,000 attendees to Chicago, Ill., in January. (The annual show is never closer to the Canadian border than when it rotates to Chicago’s McCormick Place, so it wouldn’t be surprising if many of those attendees were to arrive from parts north!)

Over three days, from Jan. 22 to 24, AHR Expo will showcase more than 1,600 exhibiting heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVACR) product manufacturers, along with more than 370 expert speakers through more than 110 free seminars, panel discussions and more than 145 new product and technology theatre presentations, focusing on new trends, regulations, practices and industry forecasts.

“The education program has grown into a true complementary asset to the show floor experience,” says Mark Stevens, show manager. “It will offer discussions about real problems that are shared across the industry. By inviting our associations and community leaders to the table, we can spark important conversations that lead to smarter decision-making.”

The following pages preview just a few of the educational highlights of this year’s AHR Expo that may prove especially relevant to Canadian consulting engineers who work with HVACR systems. Canadian Consulting Engineer will be at the show too, so you may see us at some of these!

For full details, visit

Speaking with exhibitor

The expansive trade show floor will offer many networking opportunities. Photo courtesy AHR Expo.

Educational Highlights

Monday, Jan. 22

10:30 a.m.
Thermal Energy Storage: Current Technologies and Innovations
In this panel discussion, attendees will learn about innovations in thermal energy storage. The presentation will cover rooftop packaged units, chillers and campus-wide tanks, as well as economic and carbon-reduction benefits to users and to the grid. (Location: S403a)

1 p.m.
Fundamentals of Adiabatic Heat Rejection
This entry-level session will discuss how to compare various heat-rejection systems, how to determine when adiabatic coolers and condensers are right for a specific project, the different types of adiabatic units available and requirements for code compliance. (Location: S401a)

1 p.m.
Necessity of Filtration on Open Cooling Systems
This is one-hour entry-level course on the basics of HVAC water filtration. The course will discuss overall benefits in detail (including potential energy savings), system efficiency, various types of filtration typical to HVAC, basic applications and sizing. (Location: S401d)

1:30 p.m.
Indoor Air Quality: Understanding the Link Between Ventilation, Health & Industry Dynamics
This intermediate session will explore strategies to address indoor air quality (IAQ) challenges, including effective ventilation systems, air filtration techniques and humidity control, and discuss the pivotal role of source control in minimizing pollutants. (Location: S403b)

2:30 p.m. and 4 p.m.
Fan and System Curves with Fan Energy Index (FEI)
This two-part session will examine how fan and system curves are derived and interpreted, how static pressure and velocity pressure change as air moves through a system, how pressure loss is calculated and how the fan energy index (FEI) efficiency metric works. (Location: S404d)

3 p.m.
ACG Building Systems Commissioning Guideline Overview
This session will present best practices for executing the ASHRAE Standard 202 process, with details for commissioning specific types of building systems while overcoming common challenges encountered in both design and field settings. (Location: S402a)

AHR Expo booth

Exhibitors will showcase a wide range of HVACR products. Photo courtesy AHR booth.

Tuesday, Jan. 23

8 a.m.
Revolutionary Energy Management: Rethinking the Paradigm
This session suggests energy consumption, decarbonization and comfort could be revolutionized by preloading buildings with heating or cooling as a ‘reservoir’ to be tapped as needed, leveraging the Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI). (Location: S402b)

9 a.m.
The Engineer’s & Integrator’s Role in Creating Cyber Harmony
This presentation will introduce the concept of ‘cyber harmony’ and its relevance to the roles of consulting engineers and systems integrators, delving into hardware and software that must be integrated into designs to ensure the security of their deployments. (Location: S401bc)

11 a.m.
Trending and Driving Forces of Change for Smarter Buildings
In this session, attendees will learn how the Smart Building Academy has made a difference as a driving force in ASHRAE and joint working groups and how industry thinkers continue to change the building automation systems (BAS) business. (Location: S401bc)

1 p.m.
Heat Pumps, Electrification and the Grid
This panel will discuss deploying heat pumps in retrofits while addressing major barriers to electrification: how to avoid costly upgrades to a building’s electrical infrastructure; and how to prevent stress on the grid from added load during peak demand. (Location: E350)

3 p.m.
Application, Installation and Maintenance of Life-Safety Dampers
Fire and smoke dampers are integral to fire protection in commercial and industrial buildings, restricting the spread of flame and smoke. This session will address the finer points of these devices’ application, installation and maintenance. (Location: S404d)

AHR Expo speaker

Attendees can take in more than 110 seminars. Photo courtesy AHR Expo.

Wednesday, Jan. 24

9 a.m.
Air-Curtain Technology: Theory, Operation and Applications
This presentation will cover all facets of air-curtain technology, which is installed at a building’s entrance to minimize the cross-migration of warm and cold air from buoyancy pressures and wind, while repelling airborne dust, dirt, fumes, odours and insects. (Location: S404d)

10:30 a.m.
A Hybrid Solution to Heating, Cooling and Ventilating Schools
As centralized heating and air systems cannot adequately ventilate individual rooms in large school buildings, this presentation will cover decentralized strategies, the measurement of proper ventilation and the importance of indoor air quality (IAQ) to students. (Location: S404d)

12:30 p.m.
The Decarbonization Countdown: What’s in Store for Commercial HVAC Systems
This 60-minute session will highlight the top sustainability challenges on the horizon for the commercial HVAC industry and provide guidance for its professionals as they join the decarbonization movement. (Location: S404bc)

1 p.m.
Avoiding Impacts of System Design and Fan Accessories on Fan Performance
This presentation will cover the performance of commercial and industrial fans and address the factors that can diminish it. Attendees will gain insight into the impacts of design and accessories on fan performance and power consumption. (Location: S404d)

2:30 p.m.
Next-Generation Mega Air-Handling Units
Air-handling units (AHUs) are being enhanced with new, larger, electronically commutated (EC) motorized fan assemblies. Coupled with partial-width blades, motors can reach higher static pressures while diagonal-impeller designs realize higher efficiencies. (Location: S404d)


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