A group of nearly 550 HVACR professionals charged with helping to build the HVACR industry’s future convened at the South Point Hotel, Las Vegas, NV, for the 2011 HVAC Excellence National HVACR Educators and Trainers Conference (NHETC). Nearly 1,200 schools in the U.S. have HVACR programs. Having nearly 550 people attend the NHETC is a testament to the dedication HVACR instructors have towards helping their student's succeed. The National HVACR Educators and Trainers Conference is an annual event dedicated to providing continuing education for HVACR educators and trainers. The train-the-trainer boot camp featured more than 70 sessions, and an equal number of exhibitor tables to visit. Sessions covered: new and changing technologies, changes in federal legislation, energy efficiency, best practices, training techniques that work, and green/sustainable technologies.

Gordon Holness, P.E., immediate past president of the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) delivered the keynote address. He revealed that 80% of the buildings that technicians will be working on in 20 years, already exist today. With the rise of China, India and other growing economies, energy consumption cannot keep up with our growing demand. The only way in which we will meet our goals is to change the mindset of technicians and building occupants, toward increased energy efficiency, Honess said.

Keilly Witman J.D., program manager for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) GreenChill Partnership program, provided an overview of the GreenChill program. She explained how commercial application users have long been allowed an annualized leak rate of 35%. This leak rate seriously effects; energy efficiency, system performance, and the environment.

Ryan M. Colker J.D., director of the consultative council for the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS), discussed how high-performance has become the latest buzzword in the buildings industry, what it really means, and how it translates to the actual work in the HVACR industry.

Nick Strickland, market development manager, E.I. du Pont Nemours and Company™ discussed ISCEON™ MO99™ refrigerant. MO99 can be used to replace R-22 in air conditioning and direct expansion (DX) refrigeration systems. It combines similar R-22 pressure-enthalpy characteristics, with mineral oil compatibility in a zero ozone depleting refrigerant compliant with the U.S. Clean Air Act.

Throughout the three-day event, classes were conducted by industry-leading manufacturers, including: Carrier, Daikin, Emerson, United Association, Genteq, International Code Council, and others. Soft skills training was also provided, by Steve Coscia, Coscia Communications.

During the conference over 100 educators took the time to take various educator exams, in an attempt to earn the prestigious title of Certified Master HVACR Educator (CMHE). HVAC Excellence took time during a general session to acknowledge the educators in attendance who had earned the prestigious title in the last year. Programmatic accreditation continues to grow, the HVAC Excellence accreditation teams traveled over 100,000 miles last year while visiting 26 campuses. There are now accredited programs in 23 states.

During a general session, HVAC Excellence took the time to acknowledge the programs in attendance that were accredited in 2010.

The 2012 HVAC Excellence National HVACR Educators and Trainers Conference will be held March 18-20, 2012, at the South Point Hotel, Las Vegas, NV. hvacexcellence.org