5 ways remote monitoring is improving HVAC efficiency for Facilities Managers

10th June 2021
A graphic of clocks in a cog

Heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) systems in commercial premises provide essential building services, ensuring that indoor environments are fit-for-purpose – from office buildings to leisure facilities, industrial facilities to processing plants and most importantly, mission critical sites such as data centres and hospitals. 

However, these vital services come at a price.  HVAC often accounts for the majority of energy usage in large commercial buildings.  Closed circuit systems (essential to the efficiency of HVAC plant) are particularly vulnerable to corrosion and scale. If these problems are neglected or mismanaged, they can cause blockages, system failure, long-term operational inefficiency and higher maintenance costs.

Finding the optimum balance between building performance and energy and cost efficiency is a primary concern for Facilities Managers (FMs).

How can remote monitoring boost HVAC efficiency?

In recent years, innovative real-time remote monitoring technology has been developed which provides FMs with an alternative approach to closed-circuit water system management.

Many FMs operate in reactive mode – monitoring, responding and correcting. Remote monitoring technology enables FMs to come up with flexible preventative solutions that improve HVAC efficiency across the board.

Real-time monitoring – Efficiency benefits for Facilities Managers:

  1. Time efficiency – Real-time monitoring technology benefits from high quality sensors and sophisticated data acquisition systems. Rather than waiting days or weeks for sampling result to return from the laboratory for analysis, water system condition and characteristics are monitored in real-time and FMs are notified instantly and directly if intervention is required.
  2. Energy efficiency – This preventative approach to ongoing maintenance means that critical plant can operate effectively and efficiently, free from corrosion, stagnation and localised deposition.
  3. Sustainability boost – armed with a true picture of water system conditions, interventions can be minimised and treatment targeted. While flushing is often necessary, real-time monitoring opens the options to include more sustainable methods. These include side stream filtration and non-chemical treatments which reduce chemical and water requirements.
  4. Save money – The consequences of inadequate water system management can be disastrous, with the price of unplanned engineering, downtime and litigation potentially running into the millions. The ability to pick up problems before they cause major damage is invaluable. With real-time monitoring these risks can be dramatically reduced – an investment that will save in the long run.
  5. Optimise man hours and reduce site visits – the challenges of the pandemic have strengthened the need for remote building monitoring. Having access to real-time data from the safety of home is of huge benefit to FMs. This reduces the need for unplanned site visits and travel and enabling do their job more effectively and efficiently.

Ongoing maintenance made easy

Managing complex HVAC equipment and systems can be overwhelming for incoming FMs, especially when faced with an aging system and surprises picked up during maintenance.  However, its worth getting it right. Small adjustments to maintenance and management can make a huge difference to overall energy usage and, consequently, cost.

Real-time monitoring presents FMs and building managers with the benefit of cumulative data and a true and accurate picture of system condition – an ideal basis to plan ongoing maintenance strategies that are lean, system specific and efficient.

Find out more about Guardian Water Treatment’s holistic approach to water treatment and monitoring