2024 AHR Expo

Danfoss, a leading global supplier of technologies for HVAC/R, will exhibit their broad portfolio of solutions to help their customers reach decarbonization goals at the annual AHR Expo, January 21-23, the premier annual event for the HVAC/R industry. With an expected 50,000 attendees and 1,600 exhibitors, the event provides an invaluable opportunity to showcase the company’s technologies Read more

Danfoss, a leading global supplier of technologies for HVAC/R, will exhibit their broad portfolio of solutions to help their customers reach decarbonization goals at the annual AHR Expo, January 21-23, the premier annual event for the HVAC/R industry. With an expected 50,000 attendees and 1,600 exhibitors, the event provides an invaluable opportunity to showcase the company’s technologies that enable customers to build energy-efficient heat pumps, data centers, rooftop units, Dedicated Outdoor Air Systems (DOAS), chillers and food retail refrigeration systems. Reflecting the growing push toward decarbonization, Danfoss HVAC/R solutions offer robust and energy-efficient performance to end users looking to reduce carbon emissions along with their energy and maintenance expenses.

On display will be the newest technologies, including the BOCK 6-cylinder CO2 compressor, its accompanying CO2 condensing unit, Turbocor compressors, the iC2 Micro family of drives and the EC+ technology for HVAC drives. Booth visitors will be able to see demonstrations of Alsmart and Alsense, Danfoss’ automation solutions for building HVAC systems and food retail, respectively. A feature this year will be a Lego-sized model of a Smart Store, utilizing the latest energy-efficient and low-carbon food retail solutions. Visitors to the booth will have the opportunity to enter to win a set of Legos by snapping a selfie next to the Smart Store display, posting the photo on LinkedIn and tagging the Danfoss North America page.

Also on display will be the new DSG compressor, winner of the Expo’s Innovation Award in the Cooling category. The DSG is specifically designed for low pressure, low GWP (global warming potential) refrigerants and provides chiller systems with a wide range of compressor capacities to support unit design requirements. It showcases Danfoss expertise in helping its customers make the transition to environmentally friendly refrigerants as HFC phasedown continues. As an award category winner, the DSG compressor is a finalist for Product of the Year, which will be announced at the Expo.

“Danfoss innovation in decarbonization and energy efficiency will be on full display at the Expo,” said Rick Sporrer, president of Danfoss North America. “With our broad portfolio of solutions, we have the expertise needed to become our customers’ preferred decarbonization partner. We are looking forward to highlighting our latest solutions and sharing our insights with the industry.”

Aidoo Pro integration with Nest thermostats ushers in a new era of Inverter/VRF HVAC control and interoperability.  Airzone Control, provider of HVAC solutions for zoning, automation and smart control, announces a revolutionary new integration with the full portfolio of Nest™ thermostats. The integration between the Airzone Aidoo Pro and Nest smart thermostats (Nest Thermostat™ and Nest Read more

Aidoo Pro integration with Nest thermostats ushers in a new era of Inverter/VRF HVAC control and interoperability. 

Airzone Control, provider of HVAC solutions for zoning, automation and smart control, announces a revolutionary new integration with the full portfolio of Nest™ thermostats. The integration between the Airzone Aidoo Pro and Nest smart thermostats (Nest Thermostat™ and Nest Learning Thermostat™) enables seamless bi-directional communication between the Inverter/VRF and mini split HVAC units that are soaring in popularity.

Two Expanding Categories, One Growing Problem

The Inverter/VRF solutions market is expected to reach $31.9 billion by 2025, with a CAGR of 12.7 % between 2021 and 2025. The global smart thermostat market is expanding in parallel and expected to triple by 2028 as more users gravitate towards innovative solutions that provide control over a critical component of indoor spaces: heating and cooling. While these are two of the fastest-growing categories in the HVAC industry, there is a costly roadblock.

The core problem stems from these two technologies developing and evolving in insolated environments. These systems fail to communicate complex instructions effectively due to inadequate two-way communication. Without a solution in between, Inverter/VRF and mini split solutions deployed with a smart thermostat are incompatible. The resulting communication breakdown between the two forces the HVAC system to revert back to single-speed operations, undermining the full potential and sophisticated features of the system.

Simplified, smart thermostats and HVAC unit speak different languages. Since Inverter/VRF and mini split HVAC systems are traditionally adjusted by means of their own communication protocol, and the output for the smart thermostat is a dry contact closure, the full picture is never effectively communicated back to the heating/cooling system and critical information is missing. Within this scenario, the smart thermostat is unable to provide information about how hard the system should be working or the deviation from the desired set point temperature. As a result, the system cannot modulate output to precisely match the temperature needs of an environment, and the air handling unit (AHU) becomes forced to operate at maximum capacity, creating inefficiency and discomfort.

The Solution Backed By Expertise

The Airzone Aidoo Pro is a simple-to-install system add-on that sits between the HVAC system and the Nest smart thermostat and serves as a conduit between the world of HVAC and IoT to preserve Inverter/VRF features, benefits, and functionality while meeting user demand for smart control.

Airzone’s exclusive library of manufacturer-certified HVAC protocols enables full bi-directional communication between the Aidoo Pro, the HVAC solution, and the Nest Thermostat or Nest Learning Thermostat. The Aidoo Pro receives smart thermostat data, interprets it, and then sends the appropriate commands to the Inverter/VRF or mini split unit via system specific, manufacturer-certified protocols. The Inverter/VRF solution continues to function at a variable rate, preserving the superior comfort and efficiency of the system.

Airzone has spent decades cultivating privileged working relationships with the industry’s leading HVAC Inverter/VRF and mini-split manufacturers. The Aidoo Pro has manufacturer-certified HVAC protocols from all leading brands, including Daikin, Fujitsu, Hitachi, LG, Mitsubishi Electric, and Panasonic. Now, with a dedicated integration with Nest, the industry’s most popular smart thermostat solutions can be connected to and properly control Inverter/VRF and mini split HVAC systems using the Aidoo Pro.

“Our integration with the Nest smart thermostats through Aidoo Pro represents an unprecedented leap forward for our industry,” said Antonio Mediato, founder, and CEO of Airzone. “This brings together two of the industry’s fastest growing sectors in a way that was previously thought impossible. With Nest as our valued partner, together we are setting a new standard for the industry and redefining what is possible in the world of HVAC and IoT.”

Both Airzone and Google Nest will be at the upcoming AHR Expo taking place in Chicago January 22-24, 2024. For the opportunity to learn more about the Aidoo Pro/Nest integration in person, be sure to visit Airzone at AHR Expo 2024 at booth S8659 and the Google Nest Pro team at booth N1549.

To learn more about Airzone, visit https://www.airzonecontrol.com/na/en/.

Google, Nest, Nest Thermostat, Nest Learning Thermostat, and related marks and logos are trademarks of Google LLC.

The latest heat pump technologies increase application range, empowering electrification and decarbonization Sophisticated digital platforms and smart technologies advance digitization, help optimize building performance and reach net zero goals Johnson Controls (NYSE: JCI), the global leader for smart, healthy and sustainable buildings, will highlight key trends facing the HVAC industry and solutions to meet evolving customer Read more

  • The latest heat pump technologies increase application range, empowering electrification and decarbonization
  • Sophisticated digital platforms and smart technologies advance digitization, help optimize building performance and reach net zero goals

Johnson Controls (NYSE: JCI), the global leader for smart, healthy and sustainable buildings, will highlight key trends facing the HVAC industry and solutions to meet evolving customer needs at the leading trade show for HVACR professionals, the AHR Expo, Jan. 22-24, 2024. To assist contractors and business owners in navigating the upcoming year, Johnson Controls will present innovative solutions that improve efficiency, promote electrification, advance digitization and ensure compliance with refrigerant regulations.

“The critical conversations taking place at this year’s conference will focus on the major transformations in our industry, driven by the demand for smart, healthy and sustainable buildings,” said Lei Schlitz, president, Global Products, Johnson Controls. “The most significant commitment any commercial or residential property can make is to incorporate more efficient and electrified systems into their building, all digitally connected for increased insight into system performance. This is more important than ever to address the world’s most pressing challenges.”

Greater Efficiency 

The HVAC industry’s focus on sustainability continues to grow. The speed of this growth is driven by multiple factors, including governmental energy efficiency regulations, corporate initiatives and an increasing number of environmentally conscious consumers.  In fact, according to a recent study by Johnson Controls and Forrester Consulting, one-third of respondents said they need to accelerate their efforts to meet pending net zero goals.

For homeowners, Johnson Controls offers numerous options for hybrid system including the YORK® YH5 15.2 SEER2 Single-Stage Heat Pump and Y92E 97% AFUE 2-stage furnace that allows homeowners to use the most efficient fuel source based on temperature conditions. As the primary heating and cooling source, the YH5 heat pump is optimized to meet 25C tax incentives through the IRA. During the few times a year when temperatures are too low for efficient electric heating, the Y92E furnace provides efficient backup heating and is also optimized to meet 25C eligibility requirements.

To help hyperscale data centers and improve cooling efficiency while maintaining uptime, Johnson Controls developed solutions that reduce energy consumption and total cost of ownership. Specified for the unique needs of mission-critical applications, the YORK YVAM Air-Cooled, Magnetic-Bearing Centrifugal Chiller is one of the most efficient options for data center cooling.

Widespread Electrification 

Electrification continues to gain momentum due to the acceleration toward decarbonization and the use of renewable energy sources. At the same time, incentives such as the IRA are making high-efficiency HVAC systems, including heat pumps, more accessible to a wider population. These factors are making it easier for contractors to talk to customers about new systems and get buy-in.

According to Schlitz, “Electrification is a critical pillar of decarbonization, and innovative heat pumps are essential to strategically electrify heating and cooling. Johnson Controls is at the forefront of evolving heat pump technology to push the limits of what is possible and reduce the use of inefficient backup sources even in the coldest climates.”

For example, Johnson Controls-Hitachi Air Conditioning will soon launch a new variable refrigerant flow (VRF) cold-climate heat pump. The air365 Max Heat Pump is designed to efficiently cool and heat buildings in cold climates down to -22°F for reduced energy costs year-round.

In partnership with the DOE Office of Manufacturing and Energy Supply Chains, Johnson Controls recently announced an initiative to accelerate the production of domestic heat pump manufacturing – including cold climate air source heat pumps – by expanding three of its U.S.-based factories. Combined, these facilities will be able to produce approximately 200,000 electric heat pumps per year. This substantial volume will help drive energy affordability and energy security, while helping combat climate change and creating new jobs.

Advanced Digitalization 

Homeowners and building managers are increasingly recognizing the advantages of integrating smart technology into building systems. In commercial buildings, operational technology (OT) systems, including chillers, BAS & Controls, video monitoring, and access control, as well as information technology (IT) systems and external sources such as weather forecasts and utilities, are seamlessly connected using Internet of Things (IoT) and secure cloud technology.

The suite of apps offered by Johnson Controls OpenBlue Enterprise Manager continuously monitors data streams, offering users informative dashboards that display system status and health. Leveraging AI, advanced analytics, digital twin technology, and insights from expert engineers, these apps provide valuable recommendations to customers to save energy, minimize costs, reduce carbon emissions, improve indoor air quality and enhance occupant comfort. The OpenBlue suite also incorporates predictive analytics and remote diagnostics, enabling system condition assessment, anticipation of service requirements, and accelerated troubleshooting. This proactive approach effectively mitigates failures, minimizes unplanned downtime, and prevents inconvenient – and costly – emergency repairs.

Verdantix, an independent industry analyst firm, recently recognized OpenBlue as a market-leading Energy Management Software. Additionally, OpenBlue’s strategic acquisitions, including FM Systems, a leading IWMS provider, further strengthen its ability to support customers on their path towards intelligent, sustainable, and healthy buildings.

Low-GWP Refrigerants 

The most significant phase to date of the American Innovation and Manufacturing (AIM) Act, which mandates an 85% reduction in hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) gases by 2036, went into effect at the beginning of January 2024. This phase reduces HFC production by an additional 30% (40% total reduction), directing the industry to transition to low-GWP refrigerants.

While Johnson Controls is helping industry professionals adapt to the refrigerant transition through its world class technical training and educational resources (on-line and in person), the company is adding product features that make working with these new low-GWP refrigerants even safer and easier to service. For instance, YORK commercial rooftop units utilizing R-454B refrigerant will offer a new refrigerant detection system (RDS) to detect refrigerant leaks within the unit cabinet. The RDS will be required by code in certain applications and optional in others, which will help customers understand when it is required. Johnson Controls has also developed a unique and innovative RDS Calculator tool that will be available in both the product selection tool and in the Ducted Systems Solutions App.

Johnson Controls has added additional ultra-low GWP refrigerant options to its applied products. For instance, the YORK YVWH Water-to-Water Dual Variable-Speed Screw Heat Pump was the first screw heat pump in North America to use R-1234ze refrigerant. R-1234ze has an ultra- low GWP of 1, which enables the YVWH to far exceed the EPA’s refrigerant regulations that go into effect starting Jan. 1, 2025.

To learn more, visit Johnson Controls at the AHR Expo at booths S6236 and S7529 or go to https://www.johnsoncontrols.com/events/ahr.

Airzone’s Inverter/VRF zoning solution reduces AHU demands, supporting ASHRAE 15 Compliance. Airzone Control, provider of HVAC solutions for zoning, automation, and smart control, will showcase their expanded Easyzone product line at AHR Expo, the essential event for HVACR industry professionals. This all-in-one zoning solution for concealed Inverter/VRF HVAC units is now compatible with the top Read more

Airzone’s Inverter/VRF zoning solution reduces AHU demands, supporting ASHRAE 15 Compliance.

Airzone Control, provider of HVAC solutions for zoning, automation, and smart control, will showcase their expanded Easyzone product line at AHR Expo, the essential event for HVACR industry professionals. This all-in-one zoning solution for concealed Inverter/VRF HVAC units is now compatible with the top seven leading manufacturers in the North American market, including Samsung, Daikin, Mitsubishi, LG, Toshiba, Fujitsu, and Hitachi.

Zoning is a powerful tool for engineers, contractors and owners in delivering decarbonization benefits to building designers, contractors and owners, while offering practical solutions that can help mitigate ASHRAE 15. Easyzone is Airzone’s uniquely effective plug-and-play zoning solution. There are compatible Easyzone prewired kits for all of the industry’s top providers, covering 90 percent of the North American market.

Easyzone by Airzone eliminates the need for bypass dampers, resulting in optimal energy savings. At AHR, the Airzone team will be showcasing projects from across the US and Europe that will demonstrate the efficiency results and ease of application and installation.

Leveraging Easyzone for ASHRAE 15 Compliance

The HVAC industry will navigate a complex minefield of efficiency incentives and regulatory changes over the next three years; zoning solutions will be essential to the industry’s future. The EPA has mandated a transition away from R-410A refrigerants to R-32. These newer, more climate-friendly refrigerants are far more volatile: To ensure system safety, ASHRAE Standard 15 will limit the amount of R-32 refrigerant each system may use. This leaves HVACR professionals with a paradox: how can they provide the same level of comfort from less powerful systems?

Easyzone is this answer. This solution allows HVAC engineers to use fewer and/or less powerful air handling units (AHUs) than an un-zoned solution. In addition, Airzone’s unique control board precisely adjusts the airflow and unit capacity, resulting in energy consumption savings of up to 30%.

Airzone leaders Borja Ferndandez and Victoria Garcia Massimo will offer additional guidance on navigating forthcoming regulations at the AHR session The No By-Pass Zoning Solution That Can Help Mitigate ASHRAE 15, scheduled for January 22, 2024 at 4:15 PM CT in Theater D. The presentation is free and open to all AHR attendees. This session will educate the design and construction community on simple, cost-effective zoning strategies for their next commercial or large residential project.

“The growth of Easyzone solutions comes at a pivotal moment,” says Antonio Mediato, CEO of Airzone. “As a global leader in innovative HVAC control systems with a headquarters in Spain, Airzone has already weathered the transition to R-32 refrigerant. Easyzone already enables engineers across Europe to deliver both superior comfort and compliant system designs. This is a proven solution North American engineers can rely on to effectively reduce the number of AHUs per project, supporting AHRAE Standard 15 compliance.”

Flexibility for Any Application

Easyzone offers the efficiency HVAC engineers will require for future designs – as well as the flexibility to integrate with practically any system. Easyzone is compatible with a broad range of fully programmable wired and wireless thermostats, and integrates with BMS such as BACnet and Modbus and home automation systems including Control4, Crestron, Lutron, ELAN, and Savant.

The full power of Airzone’s portfolio will be on display at AHR Expo 2024. Stop by booth S8659 for additional information, product demonstrations, or to connect directly with Airzone to learn more about how Easyzone can help you deliver efficiency and comfort with ease.

To learn more about Airzone, visit https://www.airzonecontrol.com/na/en/.