The last time the AHR Expo was in New York City, the Yankees were perpetual losers and “Les Miserables” and “Miss Saigon” were among the top shows on Broadway. It’s been a long time.

For the first time since 1991, the AHR Expo is returning to New York Jan. 22-24 for this month’s trade show. Organizers are upbeat about the 60th expo, citing the almost 22 million people that live in the city and surrounding four-state region, making it the largest HVAC market in the nation.

Show organizers the International Exposition Co. say the region is experiencing its largest building boom since the 1950s and with many major corporations calling the city home, they expect to see many new exhibitors and visitors.

“We are delighted to be back in New York because it is a very strong marketplace for HVAC and R products,” said exposition company President Clay Stevens.

In May 2007, organizers announced they were expecting to have to reserve more space at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center due to demand.

“We are extremely pleased that the 2008 show is off to such a strong and impressive start,” Stevens said. “This enthusiastic response from previous exhibitors and active interest from new companies bodes well for an outstanding event.”

Officials are reminding attendees and exhibitors that due to the Martin Luther King Jr. federal holiday, the show is opening on a Tuesday.

ASHRAE meeting

Held Jan. 19-23 and overlapping with the AHR Expo is the winter meeting of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-conditioning Engineers, which co-sponsors the expo.

As always, the society has a mix of dozens of technical sessions and seminars on topics such as indoor air quality, energy efficiency and green building.

This year’s public session, “HVAC Designs for Security and Sustainability,” will be held at 3 p.m. Jan. 22 at Javits Convention Center.

Ever since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C., protecting building occupants from terrorist incidents has been a major focus of many ASHRAE sessions. This year’s session, moderated by Harmohinder Singh, Ph.D., of North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro, will delve into chemical and biological attacks. ASHRAE officials say such incidents are so complex it can be difficult for building owners to protect themselves and the structures they manage. Members of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. military will participate in these talks.

Here’s a look at some of the other scheduled events. Locations for the sessions vary. Checkwww.ashrae.orgfor the most up-to-date list.

These seminars are planned for 8 a.m. Jan. 20:

“Refrigerant Emissions: What’s the Real Picture?” Upcoming plans to phase out the use of certain refrigerants, along with more regulations for manufacturers of products that use them, is making for a complex business environment. This session will explore what other areas, such as Europe, are already doing and try to predict what’s in store for America.

“Regulations About Re-circulating Air From Cleaning Devices.” The rules concerning the design and operation of welding fume exhaust systems will be explained. Although there is not a widely accepted industry standard of testing such filters, ASHRAE’s work will be showcased.

At 9:45 a.m. will be “New York City’s Sustainability Plan: PlaNYC.” This session will explain New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s recently launched program to make the city one of the world’s most sustainable by 2030. Goals include reducing greenhouse gases and energy consumption. City staffers from the office overseeing this effort will explain the program.

“Hazardous Biological Agents in Hospital Indoor Air: When the HVAC Plant Exacerbates Rather Than Mitigates Against Hospital-Acquired Infection” is set for 11 a.m. Jan. 20. The problems common to health care environments will be featured.

“Indoor Environments and Productivity” will be at the same time. ASHRAE-funded studies on the effects of IAQ and employee and student work will be examined by William J. Fisk, P.E., of the Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory. Ventilation rates and test schools will be among the issues discussed.

Perhaps especially appropriate for New York, “Codes for Tall Buildings: Are They Adequate?” will be a forum at 12:40 p.m. Whether or not skyscrapers over 1,500 feet need special codes is the subject of this talk.
“Clean and Green: New Development of Energy Conservation in Clean Rooms” will be at 1:30 p.m. Energy-saving initiatives such as avoiding supplying too much air to these special environments will be the focus of discussion. Nanotechnology is also on the agenda.

At 3:15 p.m. will be “Green Buildings: Practical Experiences With Commissioning.” The unique commissioning work on structures certified by the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design is the focus of this talk. All panelists contributed to ASHRAE’s Green Guide.

The reasonable life expectancy of HVAC systems will be explained at 9:45 a.m. Jan. 21 during the forum, “Expected Life of Systems.”

At 8 a.m. Jan. 22, the relationship between “Indoor Air Chemistry, IAQ and Health” will be explored. Outdoor ozone pollution could be contributing to the early death of some people, and affecting the air quality of buildings. Experts will discuss and debate the evidence.

At 9:45 a.m., “Integrating ASHRAE’s Standards 90.1 and 62.1: How to Save Energy and Improve IAQ” is planned. The two best-known society standards dealing with indoor air quality will be talked about by experts involved in their updating. Energy efficiency will be a focus.

It seems you cannot have a convention these days without discussing mold. “Mold: Where Do We Stand Now?” at 11 a.m. Jan. 22 is this year’s contribution to that trend. The latest information on the interaction between HVAC systems and buildings - and how mold sometimes results - will be the topic.
Contractors who think the society should work better with them may want to attend “Missing the Bus: What is ASHRAE Not Doing for the Contractor?” at 12:15 p.m. Jan. 22. The open session is designed to foster understanding.

The need for better training and certification will be talked about at 12:15 p.m. Jan. 23 during “What Accreditations are Needed Within the HVAC Industry?” Glenn Hourahan, P.E., of the Air Conditioning Contractors of America will moderate this forum.

For more information on the AHR Expo, contact the International Exposition Co., 15 Franklin St., Westport, CT 06880; call (203) 221-9232; fax (203) 221-9260;

For details on ASHRAE’s winter meeting, write 1791 Tullie Circle N.E., Atlanta, GA 30329; call (800) 527-4723;

Plenty of products expected on trade show floor

The AHR Expo never lacks for new products.

From building-automation systems to duct hangers, the expo includes thousands of items. Many companies hold back on releasing the newest versions of their machinery or equipment at fall trade shows, preferring to wait for the big event every January.

While there are far too many new products to list - and more than a few companies that like to keep them secret until the show opens - a few companies have contacted Snips about what they plan to exhibit. Here are some of the HVAC products scheduled to be on display.

Rawal Devices Inc. will showcase the APR-410 control, which provides modulation for direct-expansion HVAC systems using R-410A refrigerant. The company says it is ideal for variable-air-volume systems where fluctuating or reduced airflow can cause ice on coils.

New universal motor-starting relays from ICM Controls Inc. will also be on display. The company calls it a wire-for-wire replacement for all standard-potential relays that run single-phase motors. The relay is ideal for use in air conditioning, refrigeration and heat pumps, officials added.

The EC700 is the latest product from Zero Gravity Filters. Modular, it accommodates the largest cooling circuits, officials say. The company offers a complete line of automatic liquid-filtration systems for HVAC use. Patented technology allows full cleaning and continuous operation.

Space-Ray will have its full line of unit-style low-intensity, infrared gas-fired U-tube, straight-tube and other heater styles at the AHR Expo. The units are designed for use in airplane hangars, industrial plants, warehouses, machine shops, greenhouses and restaurants.

New York offers much to see

Even if you attended the last AHR Expo in 1991, there’s a lot that you probably haven’t seen before in New York City. This city of 8 million is always changing and growing.

One thing that may or may not affect you is the stagehands’ strike, which has shuttered most shows on Broadway. The strike might be over by the expo - the city’s theater district restaurants certainly hope so - but in the meanwhile, restaurants are offering special deals for diners.

The city offers so much it’s impossible to compile a list without leaving out something major, but here are some of New York’s best-known attractions, along with less-heralded ones.

And as attendees of the last New York AHR Expo know, the city in January can be snowy and very cold. The city is quite pedestrian-friendly and offers lots of reliable public transportation, but you’ll want to dress warmly.

Here’s a list of some things you may want to consider checking out.

The former World Trade Center site. Since Sept. 11, 2001, it might be hard to consider any visit to Manhattan complete without seeing the land where the two towers of the World Trade Center once stood. Two hijacked planes brought the skyscrapers down. Today, the once-bustling area is quiet as tourists come to pay respects at the site, although the noise of construction is there as well.

The Statue of Liberty. This site is operated by the National Park Service and is open 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., although hours vary with the season. The statue, formally known as “Liberty Enlightening the World,” was a gift from the people of France to America. Although tourists are no longer allowed in the body of the copper-clad statue, its base is open for tours and a clear pane allows visitors to see the skeleton.

See museums and skyscrapers with a CityPass. Like Chicago, Philadelphia and many other cities around the country, New York offers a $65 pass that includes admission to the American Museum of Natural History & Rose Center, the Guggenheim, the Museum of Modern Art, a sightseeing cruise and admission to the Empire State Building’s observatory deck. You can save almost 50 percent versus buying ticket attractions individually. The passes also include discounts at popular restaurants and department stores.

Experience the New York of “Seinfeld.” Comedian Jerry Seinfeld’s New York-set 1990s TV show was one of the most popular programs of all time. If you still watch the reruns that seem to rival “I Love Lucy” for their broadcast frequency, you may want to see the bars, diners and office buildings that were used for exterior shots on the show.

There are many Web sites that offer do-it-yourself guides, but you may want to consider taking Kenny Kramer’s “reality tour.” Kramer has long claimed to be the inspiration for the offbeat Cosmo Kramer character portrayed by Michael Richards. More information is available

Explore the other boroughs. If you have time, consider venturing off the island of Manhattan and checking out Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx and Staten Island. Each one has its own culture and ethnic makeup. The Bronx’s southern end is home to storied Yankee Stadium, and Brooklyn, connected to Manhattan by the famous Brooklyn Bridge, has the city’s most ethnically diverse neighborhoods and a growing arts scene.