As an HVAC industry professional, its important to know where to put your limited time and resources when it comes to learning and adopting new strategies that will grow your businesses. It turns out that big national industry trends related to energy usage and technology do eventually trickle down to the guys on the service trucks. If you’re not up to speed, you’ll never be able to service the bigger more lucrative fish in your pond. But in 2020, what energy management strategies will make a difference in the commercial markets served by most commercial HVAC contractors?
What Is Hot in Energy Management?
It’s no secret that the manufacturing and industrial sectors have generally paved the way when it comes to energy management strategies. The reasons for this are fairly obvious as energy usage has a huge impact on their operating costs. Solutions to high energy costs have included the usual cast of characters including:
What is interesting however is that non-industrial, commercial businesses have finally gotten on board with at least 2 out of three of these strategies. Consider that in 2019 according to the EPA, commercial businesses accounted for 35% of US electricity usage, a full 8% more than industrial and manufacturing sectors. But the commercial sector is more fragmented and not all energy strategies available to say, General Motors, are available to small businesses, restaurants and other retail operators.
Thus with so many smaller commercial enterprises feeling the pinch, and the larger energy management players still focused on the big fish, the time is right for players in the energy industry to offer practices and systems that can benefit an emerging, but as yet underserved light commercial market.
Selling HVAC Solutions to Light Commercial Businesses
So what does all this means for the average commercial HVAC company trying be the best solution for smaller companies with increasing energy awareness? Here’s a few thoughts from the heating experts at Heat-Timer®
Here’s to the New Decade
At Heat-Timer® we think it’s a great time to be in the energy management industry. The challenges are great but the innovation going on is also tremendously exciting. A new generation is rising into leadership, and they value solutions that will both challenge our industry, but that bring a better roadmap for energy consumption and the planet.
We’re proud to be part of it. Have a great 2020 and beyond.
Original content posted on https://www.heat-timer.com/2020-hvac-trends-commercial-energy-management-is-getting-hotter/
As most HVAC professionals already know, tempering valves (sometimes referred to as hot water mixing valves or thermostatic mixing valves) are used to blend hot and cold water together in a domestic hot water delivery system. The resultant water at a reduced temperature is sent through the delivery system at exactly the right temperature for use at the sink, the shower etc.
Mixing valves like this solve a particular problem in the delivery of hot water in large buildings, during periods of peak demand. Hot water in the storage tank must be kept above 140 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. Yet water at this temperature would instantly scald and burn anyone putting their hand under it. By mixing the hot with cold water, and monitoring the “set point” temperature carefully, these valves ensure that water at the desired set point is delivered to users at all times and under all load conditions. See our discussion for a detailed explanation of the issues surrounding domestic hot water control and tempering valve operation.
In applications at hotels, nursing homes, hospitals, day care centers, schools, factories and universities, the mixing valve function is super critical, providing both tenant comfort and avoiding the injuries (and lawsuits) that come with a broken delivery system. In these applications, motorized tempering valve solutions with associated computer controls, are overwhelmingly preferred by commercial plumbing professionals due to their increased temperature accuracy, ability to adjust dynamically to load conditions, and better fail-safe capability.
How to choose a Motorized Tempering Valve Solution
Heat-Timer® introduced its first motorized tempering valve solutions over 2 decades ago and after thousands of deployments, we’ve developed a complete understanding of what professionals look for when designing or upgrading domestic hot water solutions. The ETV Platinum Plus is now the most sophisticated, and reliable motorized mixing valve in the world because it incorporates everything that professionals in the field have asked us for into its design.
Domestic Hot Water Solutions Designed with Plumbing Professionals in Mind
For busy plumbing professionals who want maximum ease of installation, Heat-Timer® also offers the Electronic Valve Station (ETS). This station effectively incorporates the ETV motorized tempering valve into a completely pre-plumbed assembly that includes the fully integrated control module. Simply connect hot and cold water and plug it in. Then program your set point and you are up and running. This solution is available in all standard piping sizes directly from the factory without need for special ordering.
For more information on our complete line of motorized tempering valves and domestic hot water system solutions, call our team today.
Original content posted on https://www.heat-timer.com/understanding-commercial-tempering-valve-systems/
As winter settles in over the northern USA, thoughts turn gingerly to the back breaking chore of shoveling snow off your driveway and walkway after each storm. Or if you own a business, paying the cost of having professional snow removal and hoping they’ll get to you before an employee slips and falls. Plus, constant plow snow removal wears down driveways and parking areas, destroys border blocking and landscaping, all leading to increased maintenance costs over time.
Hydronic Snowmelt Systems Are the way to go
For these and other reasons, many companies and homeowners, have turned to snow melting systems as an alternative to unreliable and physically difficult snow removal at homes and offices. While electric snowmelt systems are available, they are increasingly less popular than hydronic versions which are considered a “greener” and less costly solution to operate overall.
Hydronic snow melt systems in a residential application generally consist of a few parts as shown in the diagram below.
There are a few main components of your typical snow melt control system:
Commercial Snow Melt Systems
There are some additional features that are common to commercial snow melt systems like our SMC Snowmelt control as show in the diagram below:
Please contact the team at Heat-Timer® for more information on using our controls in your hydronic snow melt application.
Original content posted on https://www.heat-timer.com/what-is-a-snow-melt-control-system/
As technology in the heating industry marches forward, the complexity and options within commercial heating designs presents an interesting paradox. The systems are getting both simpler, and more complex at the same time.
How is this possible you may ask?
Plug & Play Boiler Control
For certain smaller commercial applications, steam boilers now boast features like integrated lead/lag capability, up to 95% thermal efficiency, integrated outdoor reset, pretty touchscreen displays, data logging and more plug and play connections. Boiler manufacturers are doing their best to get on the bandwagon with all things digital and most have cobbled together rudimentary control systems into their boilers that allow them to achieve better efficiency and easier installation for professionals.
Still, most commercial HVAC contractors prefer a dedicated control system for anything but the most simple boiler configurations. Systems like these take energy management to a whole other level. Modern heating control systems like the Heat Timer platinum series have evolved to provide easier building integration, simpler user interfaces all controlled through a mobile app or our dedicated website, with wireless sensor integration that even removes the “plug” from plug & play.
Boiler Control Complexity Can Also Be Your Friend
Perhaps somewhat counter intuitive is that the ability to have complex detailed control, is not necessary the enemy of simplicity. It’s all about how you design it. It’s possible to have both efficient plug & play operation that gets you 80% of the way there, and the ability to tweak our heating control to achieve a level of energy efficiency that is still unparalleled in the industry.
In this way, Heat-Timer® Platinum series controls give the HVAC professional an edge over all other commercial heating controls. Consider the following advanced features of the Heat-Timer® MPC Platinum control, designed to operate a steam boiler and/or steam valve to provide steam outdoor reset in a single-pipe or two-pipe steam heating system.
Wireless Remote Space Sensor Integration – With this capability, HVAC professionals working with building managers can debug the most complex heating distribution problems in their building. A well trained HVAC tech can intelligently move around the space sensors while looking at detailed heating, temperature, and energy usage curves to determine how to construct a perfectly efficient and comfortable heating curve for the problem area and the building at large. Like anything, the more you use our control, the easier this becomes. And once most HVAC Pro’s see what is possible with Heat-Timer® controls, they seldom use anything else.
Just some of other the wireless sensors integrated into the Heat Timer system include:
With over 80 years of experience building heating controls, it’s no surprise that Heat-Timer® leads the heating controls industry in features, simplicity, yet comprehensiveness of our control.
For more information, contact a Heat-Timer® professional today.
Original content posted on https://www.heat-timer.com/commercial-hvac-professionals-need-to-pick-a-go-to-control-system/
In college campus’ or apartment complexes, multiple boilers, multiple boiler rooms and multiple buildings present a real challenge for a complex manager. The tactics employed to keep energy usage at a comfortable minimum are complex and every campus is different, but here are a few of the common issues and solutions faced by these large, distributed, and often older buildings.
Thermal shock occurs when water cools down significantly during off times, shocking the boilers with cold water when the system pumps come back on line. Not only does this issue damage the boilers, it can also run the maintenance staff ragged as they fly around the building at all hours of the day and night manually adjusting valves.
Heat-Timer® products helped resolve these problems by providing motorized valves and Hot Water Reset (HWR) controls in each of the boiler plants. The Platinum Series HWR control helped resolve the boiler problems by operating the system based on outdoor air temperature, as opposed to an indoor thermostat reading. This greatly reduced the excessive on/off action of the pumps and saved our client so much in fuel and boiler maintenance that the controls paid for themselves through energy and maintenance savings, in the first months of usage.
Internet and Mobile Alerts and Control
While many campus’ are running some kind of remote connection capability, in some cases a master control room visit is still necessary to visually access information on all boiler rooms and buildings. The state of the art at Heat-Timer® in 2019 has moved way beyond this. Our Building-Net system integrates sensor, valve and boiler control, then provides complete visibility to you through our user friendly mobile app, the internet, or your iPad. Our system provides you instant wireless control of temperature settings while sensor data, diagnostics and alerts can be sent, viewed and changed in real-time.
With Heat-Timer® sophisticated self-learning controls, diagnostic routines run constantly and detect issues before they cause damage, reporting conveniently to you on your mobile device. Furthermore our newest systems allow real time access to up to 13 months of historical data, reports can be selected or customized, and emailed to you at a convenient frequency.
Heat-Timer® Controls are the Right Partner for HVAC Professionals.
If you’re going to spend the time to install and learn a commercial heating control that will address the maximum number and type of commercial jobs, you will never go wrong with Heat-Timer®. From motorized valves, to Steam and Hot Water Heating controls, and Domestic Hot Water Boiler Control solutions, we have the controls to support your best work.
For more information on what kinds of savings you can expect from the installation of a Heat-Timer® control, call our team today.
Original content posted on https://www.heat-timer.com/solving-the-unique-problems-of-large-distributed-heating-systems/
The skyrocketing cost of energy, coupled with advanced developments in heating and cooling technology, means that being “green” may refer to the color of money, as much as the environment. The government is involved too, setting and updating energy efficiency standards at both the state and federal level. All these changes conspire to create an ecosystem in 2020 that is more fuel efficient, uses more renewable energy sources, and increases comfort while decreasing energy use overall.
Trend 1 – Smarter Heating System Designs
As more and more older buildings are faced with increasingly challenging comfort and energy usage issues using their aging boilers, they will continue to replace these with newer, high efficiency systems. These new system designs will almost universally include some kind of advanced building energy management system that acts like the conductor of the boiler orchestra. Additionally, using control technology with features like outdoor reset, will insure that these new mechanical rooms provide maximum comfort for minimum cost.
Trend 2 – The Internet of Even More Things
Wireless connectivity will continue to penetrate more of the devices we formerly loved to wire. In the heating world that means that things like room sensors will integrate into old buildings more easily, and they will provide more data than ever before, allowing more sophisticated, predictive algorithms to be developed for heating and hot water control.
Trend 3 – Remote Monitoring
In 2020, modern mechanical rooms will make midnight site visits to turn valves or investigate leaks, a distant memory. Pioneered by Heat-Timer® almost 10 years ago, modern heating control systems like the Heat-Timer Platinum series send alerts and notifications directly to your cell phone through an app designed for this purpose. You can view your boiler operation and energy usage in real-time and all parameters can be adjusted reliably from the comfort of your couch. The apps and intelligence of these wireless systems will only continue to get better in 2020.
Trend 4 – Integrated Building Management Systems
More and more buildings are looking at comprehensive solutions for monitoring and control for everything from your HVAC system, to the lights, sprinklers, and alarm systems. Heat-Timer® foresaw this continuing trend many years ago and created Building NET, and internet communications backbone that allows remote operation of our system. In many installations our system is integrated into a complete building management system using this sophisticated interface allowing our Platinum series control to apply its best-in-class heating management but still allowing the building manager to use a higher level, fully integrated BMS.
The Future for Heating Controls Looks Hot
For commercial building managers, for buildings new or old, your first step into the future really is the application of a wireless, self learning, outdoor reset based control like the Heat-Timer Platinum series.
Call our team today to see what control is right for your application.
Original content posted on https://www.heat-timer.com/top-4-green-trends-for-commercial-heating-systems-in-2020/
Owners of older apartment buildings and complexes sing a common lament: “there’s only so much I can do in my old building, I can’t afford to rip the walls down to install new heating or distribution components, no matter how efficient they make things.”
The thing is, that’s yesterday’s news.
Modern heating controls can certainly run your high efficiency replacement boilers better, and more efficiently. But in 2019 the controls, room sensors, and valves can all be deployed and controlled wirelessly, putting a high efficiency, lower energy consuming building into your future too.
Consider the following example of how a Heat-Timer® Platinum series control system, in the hands of a skilled commercial HVAC crew, can make your old building a deeper shade of green.
Common to older apartment buildings like the Executive house in Albany NY, are problems associated with manual control of one or more boilers and even many different mechanical rooms. Hot spots, windows open all winter, chemical treatments, etc… substantial, but common problems in a building without proper boiler management.
A Heat-Timer® Solution to Heating Problems in Old Buildings
Our Commercial HVAC Contractor had long experience with the installation of our controls in old buildings. He immediately knew that an updated Multi-Mod Platinum Series control system, replacement of aged out steam valves, and the incorporation of outdoor reset would be necessary to achieve the maximum fuel savings that would make the property manager a hero.
With these controls the solution at Executive house got better quickly. The Multi-MOD provided much needed boiler control by modulating multiple boilers using PID-type logic. This energy efficient control strategy incorporates rate of change into modulating decisions. The PID logic analyzes how quickly the current boiler load is affecting the system and the control reacts accordingly. As soon as the control recognizes that the system temperature is approaching set point, it begins to back off the boiler, gradually coasting toward set point. This minimizes energy usage while avoiding overshoots and short-cycling issues.
While life got quickly better for 90% of the tenants at Executive House, there were still hot and cold spots in the building. But because the system selected used Heat Timer’s ICMS (Internet Communications Management System) the team was able to dynamically move space sensors around the building to diagnose that a bizarre steam distribution system had been feeding certain apartments from two entirely different sources. By monitoring and tweaking the many parameters designed into the Heat-Timer control, the team was able to beat the odd distribution system into submission. With the use of SRC and the fine tuning capabilities exposed by the ICMS, 100% of tenants are comfortable at all times of the day or night. Not to mention the reduction in energy expenses that paid for the entire upgrade in short order.
Now, building managers can receive alerts, tweak efficiency, and diagnose issues from couch, with one hand on the cell phone, and the other deep into a bag of potato chips. The heat timer ICMS and wireless space sensors make it all possible, even for your old building. For more information, Contact the team at Heat-Timer® today.
Original content posted on https://www.heat-timer.com/your-building-is-not-too-old-for-new-technology/
For hotels, motels, office buildings and other buildings with large hot water demand, domestic hot water systems must deliver water that is always bacteria free, and at the right temperature, even during peak periods. Additionally, increased environmental awareness and sound economics is driving the need for more efficient and durable domestic hot water heating solutions than in the past.
Part of the solution to a better DHW system is certainly the boiler. Traditional direct-fired storage water heaters can have efficiency ratings in the low 60% range as compared to 90% or more for modern condensing boilers. Depending on where they are, these heaters can last less than 5 years due to hard water mineral build-up, adding another burden to our landfill and recycling capabilities.
Creating a Domestic Hot Water System for the 21st Century
It may go without saying but we’ll say it anyway: when designing a commercial DHW system you first want to contact a commercial HVAC professional with good experience. Unlike residential the solution to DHW especially in older buildings, is way beyond the talented handyman. A good HVAC company will provide a design which takes some important principles into account:
Reliability. This is probably the most important consideration for commercial domestic hot water solutions. When the system fails to perform adequately or breaks down repeatedly, the entire building is without hot water and residents/occupants are upset. Reliability is achieved by specifying proven high-quality products and by building redundancy into the design.
Efficiency. Operating cost and efficiency (EFUE) are important and have much to do with the design of the boilers, and the control systems that regulate the hot water mixing valves and other motorized valves that may be part of your system design.
Longevity and serviceability. A well designed system should have a 15–20 year service life. The system design should take into account future service, maintenance and component replacement. Mechanical components should be accessible. Valves should be installed so that pumps and control valves can be replaced without draining down the entire system.
Heat-Timer Solutions for Commercial Domestic Hot Water
When looking at domestic hot water solutions your mixing valve and its associated control and monitoring system should be a key part of your design. No one wants a solution that has people running to the mechanical room with wrench in hand because the guy in 14B has no hot water!
The Heat-Timer® tempering station is rapidly becoming the solution of choice for DHW applications requiring 3 way mixing. It encapsulates an electronic tempering valve under control of dedicated control module. The entire unit is pre-plumbed for professionals. Just connect the hot and cold water to it and plug it in.
The control and valve operate together to quickly restore the desired water temperature, even after large changes in load conditions. The ETS is a great solution for challenging DHW applications being both cost effective, and saving installers a massive amount of time.
For more information on state of the art domestic hot water solutions for your commercial building, contact us or find a Heat-Timer® authorized reseller in your area.
Original content posted on https://www.heat-timer.com/domestic-hot-water-solutions-for-hotels-and-more/
According to a new report from Pacific Northwest Group, the average commercial building spends over 50% of its energy costs on HVAC. And in the cooler northern areas of the country, most of that is certainly related to heating costs. Depending on the size of your facility, this can be thousands, tens of thousands or even millions of dollars every month.
Despite this there is often reluctance for building managers, apartments, schools and universities to undertake the cost of reworking their heating system to use some form of an Energy Management System. Large institutions budget carefully and well in advance and so the foresight to spend the upfront dollars is often not there. These professionals understand that boiler efficiency is part of cutting energy costs but the question is often “how much will I save”. Depending on your situation, that can be a hard question to answer, and an important one when considering the timeframe for payback on an HVAC system control upgrade or an even more extensive system overhaul.
Thoughts on Heating System Upgrades
As the premier manufacturer of commercial Heating Controls in the United States, we can confidently tell you that the cost of the actual control is not the problem for building managers. Most are happy to spring for the best heating control they can find (Heat Timer Platinum Series). This becomes insurance that you are getting the most savings potential, performance, and control flexibility out of your heating control system investment.
Instead, the issue is often the ancillary costs of a heating system upgrade that get considered along with the control. Depending on the age of your building and mechanical equipment, you may be considering new boilers, new piping, replacing aged radiators, a domestic hot water upgrade, valve replacements etc… Once building managers start down the road of upgrades, everything tends to get looked at and the final bill can be daunting and become a reason to do nothing at all.
But the real cost of Heating Controls, is the cost of doing nothing. That’s a cost you pay each and every month. It comes right off your bottom line, long after the upfront cost of a system install would have been amortized by your accountants.
A Solution to Managing Up Front Costs
Another thing we can say from experience is that the improvement in energy usage provided by a new Heating Control system is typically both the cheapest, yet most impactful move you can make toward reducing your energy bill. With systems like the Heat-Timer Platinum series, you don’t have to replace everything all at once to see savings. Because our systems are so intelligent and flexible, the system you install today can be easily reconfigured to run at maximum efficiency, for that replacement boiler you buy next year.
Hey, you can buy it with all the money you saved from the installation of the heating control!
For more information on what kinds of savings you can expect from the installation of a Heat-Timer® control, call our team today.
Original content posted on https://www.heat-timer.com/the-real-cost-of-heating-controls/
A commercial HVAC system in an apartment complex or industrial building can represent some complex and expensive hardware and no matter how well you maintain it, eventually, even the best systems will wear out. So, if you’ve wondering how long the HVAC system for your apartment building, retail center, factory, hotel or other commercial property can be expected to last, here are some insights from the experienced professionals at Heat-Timer.
Factors that Determine the Lifespan of Commercial HVAC Systems
Generally speaking, a commercial HVAC system will last around 10 years with minimal care, which can be extended to around 15 years if it is properly and proactively maintained. Factors that can impact on this lifespan include:
One strategy for older heating systems which can prolong the lifetime of boilers and associated equipment significantly is the introduction of an energy management system. A system like the Heat-Timer platinum series is so flexible that it can be configured to manage the most complex distributed staging boiler systems for the absolute maximum efficiency. It does this through a series of wireless sensors which provide 24/7 input to the control. It provides “outdoor reset” so that you don’t send heat where it isn’t needed on warm days. This heating control system not only helps manage boiler cycle times, but sophisticated algorithms monitor the sensor input to predict maintenance needs and upcoming repairs in a way that is far more efficient, cost effective, and timely than having a technician poke around the system every month. Information is then reported remotely through a mobile app or website, so that much of the heating system oversight can occur without visits to the mechanical room.
Preventative maintenance and partnering with a skilled commercial HVAC contractor is another key to ensuring the longest and most cost-efficient running of your system, so be sure to find a service provider skilled in commercial heating systems.
For more information on a Heat-Timer authorized Commercial HVAC contractor near you, call or visit our website at https://heat-timer.com
Original content posted on https://www.heat-timer.com/extending-the-lifespan-of-commercial-hvac-systems/
Heat-Timer® corporate office and manufacturing facility is conveniently located in Fairfield, NJ. Here, Heat-Timer® manufactures its electronic controls, sensors, valves and actuator products using specialized computer controlled equipment and automated testing systems.