After two years off, the geniuses working behind the scenes at HVACR manufacturing companies worldwide took a proverbial bow by showcasing their innovations at the 2022 AHR Expo, held Jan. 31 to Feb. 2 in Las Vegas.

From rooftop unit heat pumps and water-cooled centrifugal chillers to skid-mounted boiler solutions and more, the show served as a launch pad for manufacturers to introduce technologies sure to shape the future of the built environment. (Many of these innovations are featured in this issue’s Products section.)

But, from a design standpoint, which of these innovations are the best of the best? Which is favored by the engineers responsible for specifying the equipment in the field?

The staff at Engineered Systems magazine is committed to recognizing the time, dedication, and effort that goes into product development and is honored to showcase the impact such innovative thinking has on the industry through our third-annual Commercial Comfort Products of the Year Awards (CCP).

The CCP contest was established in 2020 to honor excellence in HVACR product design. The third-annual award program will honor products through eight categories: Commercial Controls/BAS/BIM, Cooling Towers/Chillers, Heating/Boilers, IAQ & Ventilation, Motors/Drives, Pumps/Flow Controls, Rooftop Units, and VRV/VRF.

While consumer features on many products are easily recognized and glamorized, the CCP contest recognizes the characteristics and benefits engineers are looking for.

All CCP entries will be judged by a panel of independent engineers, making the CCP the only product-centric contest in the industry judged exclusively by consulting/specifying engineers. The panel of judges will review each entry before making a selection, using checklists that cover criteria that answers the following questions and more.

  • Does the unit deliver notable energy savings?
  • Is it easy to utilize and install?
  • Is it supported by a strong local network?
  • Does it meet/exceed the applicable codes?
  • Does it offer value/competitive difference?
  • Can it be validated through existing projects?

Last year’s contest winners included Friedrich Air Conditioning Co.’s FreshAire PTAC, a 12,000-Btu heat pump that features active conditioned makeup air capabilities that allow engineers to decrease their reliance on whole-building dedicated outdoor air systems (DOAS).

Also selected was AAON’s RZ Series Rooftop Units. Available from 45-261 ton with air-cooled or evaporative condensers, the RZ series features variable-speed compressors that operate together to maintain an even, full-face cooling capacity across the evaporator coil. This allows for precise and efficient control of the supply air conditions. The full roster of winners can be viewed by clicking here.

Winners in each category will receive a decorative trophy commemorating the CCP achievement, a special editorial write-up in Engineered Systems’ August 2022 issue, online coverage at, use of the CCP logo for marketing purposes, and more.

The contest closes May 11. Early-bird entries received before April 20 cost only $50. Those received after April 20 and before May 11 will cost $150.

Eligible products must have been introduced after Jan. 1, 2021, and be available to the market no later than May 11, 2022. Manufacturers interested in submitting their products should visit

Engineers — we need your help as well. There are a couple of ways you can participate. First, please encourage the manufacturers you work closest with to submit their products. Secondly, if you’re interested in serving as a judge, please let us know. We’re on the lookout for a few engineers interested in helping us recognize the industry’s most innovative new technologies. You, and your opinions, will remain completely anonymous.

Manufacturers — is your product the best of the best? Prove it by entering it into this contest. When all is said and done, our engineering judges will select the products they deem superior.

If you have any questions about the contest, please don’t hesitate to contact me at any time.