The Farmer’s Almanac is calling for a particularly cold winter, just as fuel prices are spiking and OPEC is cutting oil production. Overall, the winter of 2022 is shaping up to be an expensive heating season.
As building owners and HVAC professionals get their buildings ready for the heating season, dormant boilers are fired up and unexpected Startup problems arise all over. HVAC professionals must be able to see when a Startup problem occurs in a building so that they can get on site and fix it quickly, then be able to move on to the next issue. Buildings equipped with internet capable boiler management systems have an added level of convenience, thanks to all parts of their heating system operation being available and modifiable remotely. BuildingNet® by Heat-Timer® is such a system, available as an ad-on to our Platinum Series Controls (large buildings), or included with our newest Heat-Timer Genesis® Controls (Small Buildings).
Why is BuildingNet® a better boiler management software interface?
To a user, the connection between a Heat-Timer® controller and the BuildingNet® web portal or mobile application is seamless. BuildingNet’s highly reliable backend server software, running on a redundant network ensures 24/7 availability of control visibility. BuildingNet’s servers scale to support its customers reliably, even during the busiest time of the season.
BuildingNet® also allows the creation of monitoring accounts which allow a boiler service and maintenance company to receive and respond to programmable alarms and service warnings. The non-proprietary and customizable nature of BuildingNet® allows the property manager to choose any service company or companies that are right for their needs, rather than be locked into a service contract like some other building management software solutions.
BuildingNet® Organizes your entire Building Portfolio
BuildingNet® was designed from the ground up to scale easily and robustly from a single Heat-Timer® control to a portfolio of buildings with multiple controls and boiler rooms. BuildingNet® can be used for large property portfolios because their building addresses are organized in a clean hierarchy where data is presented by property address/control/data.
Other hierarchies exist within the BuldingNet® interface. For instance our programmable alarm feature allows a tiered response to alarms. With tiered alarms, a manager responsible for 5 apartment buildings in a complex will not receive every alarm from every building. The alarms will go first to the on-site technicians responsible, then to the technician’s supervisor. Only the alarms that are not answered after a set time period will be escalated to the designated manager.
Another way that BuildingNet® manages the complexity of a multi-building portfolio is its rich set of data analysis tools that allow building managers to spot trends and potential problems before they become emergencies. The new alarm executive summary gives a daily summary of alarms, while the customizable report features in BuildingNet®, can give managers the ability to generate reports down to the sensor level, or create summary reports that show overall trends. These reports can be configured to be emailed to their team at recurring intervals.
Different buildings need different controllers.
The last reason that BuildingNet® works so well for a range of building sizes and types, is because Heat-Timer® offers the widest selection of boiler controllers in the industry. Heat-Timer® has a Platinum series controller optimized for every type of boiler configuration, whether its hydronic or steam boilers, staging or modulating burners, single or multi-boiler configurations. And now with Heat-Timer® Genesis, we have the solution for the smaller buildings in your portfolio as well, all under the same BuildingNet® user interface.
For more information visit https://heat-timer.com
This blog was originally published at https://www.heat-timer.com/internet-connectivity/
A Better Driveway Snow Melt Control
All indications are that we’re in for a snowy winter here in the Northeast. For those of us who want to preserve our aging backs and do something else with our precious time, driveway snow melt systems are the way to go. No need for shovelling or salt which discolors your walkway and gets tracked into the house, no waiting for the snow plow to arrive, just a beautiful, clear blacktop driveway.
For property managers, you can add liability concerns to the list of reasons to get the walkways and parking lots cleared quickly. Even when it is not snowing, a property manager has to worry about those black ice patches in places where water accumulates. These ice patches can catch residents and customers unaware, and are a major source of slip and fall injuries.
Snowmelt Systems – An EZ Button for Snow Removal
Building managers who are tired of the snow have two technology choices for snow melting systems, electric resistance heating and hydronic heating.
Electric resistance heating is often selected for small installations, but it is limited by both the sheer amount of power needed from the building’s electrical system, and by the cost of electric heating. It is expensive to heat a driveway electrically. That is why many commercial installations with large outdoor areas to keep clear, choose boiler fed hydronic pavement heating. A hydronic system can scale to almost any size, and can be heated either with a dedicated boiler, or from the main building boiler or boilers.
Snow Melting Uses less Energy with a Heat-Timer® Snow Melt Controller (SMC)
Heat-Timer®, the most experienced manufacturer of boiler control solutions, applies that same energy saving experience to hydronic snow melt systems. The Heat-Timer Snow Melt controller (SMC) is designed specifically to control driveway heating with the same sophistication that Heat-Timer® applies to boiler heating controls.
The SMC (Snow Melt Controller) uses multiple sensors to keep the pavement snow and ice free with the minimum amount of energy. The most important of these sensors is the embedded slab sensor. This robust sensor is embedded directly into the pavement and is tough enough for vehicle traffic. The sensor measures the pavement temperature to within 1° F and can detect the slightest precipitation or water on the slab.
For retrofit installations the system is capable of functioning without the slab sensor, instead using an outdoor temperature sensor. The Heat-Timer® SMC uses proven software designed to keep your walkways clear using the absolute minimum amount of energy. Even if your snow melt system came with a controller, the Heat-Timer® SMC will pay for itself over time given how much additional money it saves.
Heat-Timer protects your investment too
The SMC not only protects your residents from falls from ice and snow, it also protects both the pavement and the boiler, by monitoring inlet and outlet temperatures of the heating loop to ensure that neither the slab or the boiler experience damaging thermal shock.
Like all Heat-Timer controllers, the SMC comes with basic alarms, and with the BACnet option, the SMC can be interfaced to a Building Management System, so that the property manager can monitor the status of snow clearing systems through a 3rd party building management system.
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow. With the Heat-Timer® Snow Melt Control, you can finally enjoy it. Call us today for more information.
Or visit: https://www.heat-timer.com/ht_products/smc-snow-melt/
This blog was originally published at https://www.heat-timer.com/a-better-driveway-snow-melt-control/
As word starts to get around about Heat-Timer® Genesis, we’re getting many questions about this revolutionary new technology for saving money on fuel in small buildings. Here’s answers to a few of the most common questions. For more detailed information, please feel free to call our team at (973) 575-4004
How many space sensors does Genesis come with?
The Genesis Control comes with three space sensors but can support up to 5.
How much can I expect to save in fuel consumption?
You can expect to save up to 30% on fuel usage.
How do I access the building my control is in?
The Genesis is fully mobile and internet enabled. You can access the control from any computer, tablet, or smartphone using our web portal or free mobile app.
Is the web and mobile experience the same as the one used for Heat-Timer® Platinum Controls?
Yes, the portal, the mobile app, and the alarms, emails, and text alerts and ability to monitor and control your boiler are the same.
How long will the sensor batteries last?
Battery life is over 10 years, thanks to use of the latest low power electronics.
Can the Genesis operate with Steam based Heating?
The Heat-Timer Genesis® Can operate perfectly on either steam or hot water, single boiler systems.
This blog was originally published at https://www.heat-timer.com/heat-timer-genesis-frequently-asked-questions/
For larger apartment and co-op buildings, Heat-Timer’s Platinum Series Boiler Controls have been the industry leading solution to saving energy for a long time. Among HVAC professionals the phrase “Why don’t you install a Heat-Timer®” is both a general statement and a brand endorsement in discussions of energy efficiency and boiler room upgrades.
Smaller apartment buildings of 20 units or less with forward thinking managers have also taken advantage of the Platinum series control. For some, the cost of the world’s most effective heating control especially in colder climates, was justifiable when considering the money saved on utility bills every month, and the ease of remote monitoring and management that a fully internet enabled platinum control brings.
Right Sizing the Platinum Control for Small Buildings
It turns out that a lightweight version of our Platinum Internet Control is a huge win for small building owners. With smaller up-front costs, return on investment (ROI) is greatly accelerated for small buildings of 20 units or less.
The Heat-Timer Genesis™ has several parts that make this investment a no-brainer for small building owners and managers:
Call a Heat-Timer® Rep Today to Talk about the Genesis of Heating Technology
Heat-Timer Genesis™ is shipping today. It’s not too late to get one installed for the upcoming heating season, after all, it’s easy.
* Actual Savings may vary. Monthly savings is dependent on actual number of heating degree days. https://www.heat-timer.com/
This blog was originally published at https://www.heat-timer.com/genesis-heat-timer-the-rebirth-of-energy-savings-for-small-building-owners/
In the 5 New York City boroughs there are literally thousands of multi-family dwellings housing millions of residents. Many of those buildings are on the smaller side, housing anywhere from 2 to 20 families. And the vast majority of those were built more than 50 years ago, using single steam or hot water boilers to heat radiators with piping, wiring, and risers buried long ago inside the walls of these buildings.
Building owners looking to modernize their heating systems to save on fuel, were often put off by the cost of recommended upgrades, especially when construction costs were factored in. Even heating control and thermostat solutions sometimes required running wires through multiple floors down to the
boiler room, when existing wiring could not support modern device interface requirements, or the wiring simply wasn’t where it needed it to be.
Genesis Was Made for This.
The key to achieving the level of comfort and savings that Heat-Timer Genesis™ does, is its use of our proprietary wireless space sensors. By reporting space temperatures in key areas of the building identified by your heating technician, the self-learning algorithms of Heat-Timer Genesis™ can actually learn the heating characteristics of your building.
And since the space sensors are wireless and boast extended range, they can simply be hung on a wall inside an apartment and the signal will reach through up to 10 floors to report to the Genesis Heat-Timer ™ unit. No running wires or setting up wireless repeaters. The sensors don’t even need to be plugged in, they run on two AA batteries and last for 10+ years.
Heat-Timer Genesis™ – An Easy Button for Fuel Savings and Installation
Small apartment building owners can finally make an investment in improving their heating systems that doesn’t require them to have a PHD in HVAC, or take out a second mortgage or rip up their beautiful old building. The Genesis Heat-Timer™ was made for you.
This blog was originally published at https://www.heat-timer.com/heat-timer-genesis-ease-of-installation/
Mobile App and Alarm Notification
At a high level, there are really two key area’s where Heat-Timer Genesis™ pushes the envelope of capability for a modern heating control. One area is certainly its ability to save small building owners on fuel costs while maintaining even better resident comfort. But the other area is certainly its ability to improve the quality of life, and ease of use for building managers, owners, supers and HVAC technicians alike, owing to its completely internet and mobile enabled interactions.
Heating Control Remote Alarms
One key area is that of remote alarms. Genesis Heat-Timer ™ can send real-time alarms to designated users via either email or text, or within the free Heat-Timer® Mobile App. Furthermore, alarm thresholds can be set based on user preference. There are also more types of alarms available than ever
before, and these alarms provide instant and clear indication as to what they are and where the problem is located. In many cases an alarm condition can be managed remotely, or a technician can be called, without ever needing to visit the boiler room.
Heat-Timer® Mobile App
From a quality-of-life standpoint, the visibility the free mobile app provides, means that you don’t really have to get off the couch to work a problem. The Mobile App is designed to show building managers a bird’s eye view of their building portfolio and allow them to drill into any property instantly. Small
buildings using Heat-Timer Genesis™ can be viewed alongside larger buildings using our Heat-Timer® Platinum Series controls that are BuildingNet enabled.
This blog was originally published at https://www.heat-timer.com/mobile-app-and-alarm-notification/
We’ve talked about how our space sensors are completely wireless, but Genesis Heat-Timer ™ is also completely internet and mobile capable for remote monitoring and management. While the Genesis Heat-Timer ™ control features a local button-based interface and lcd screen, most users will quickly prefer the convenience of either our mobile app or our internet portal, which can make most trips to the boiler room a distant memory.
Many building management companies are already aware of the ease of monitoring and management our internet portal provides. With varying access and security levels, your team can see reports or make changes to your entire portfolio of buildings through a simple, intuitive, web-based interface.
By drilling down into various elements of key operational data, building managers have easy access to data that includes:
With Genesis Heat-Timer™ the smaller buildings in your management portfolio can be brought under the same management interface as larger buildings already using one of our Platinum Series Controls with BuildingNet. The internet portal is now like a building management system for heating across your entire portfolio of buildings.
With long range wireless sensors, an internet portal, and our mobile app, cutting your fuel costs has never been a coupled with a better improvement in your quality of life! Call Heat-Timer® today for more information.
This blog was originally published at https://www.heat-timer.com/genesis-heat-timer-internet-portal/
One of the key features that sets Genesis Heat-Timer™ apart from other heating controls is the inclusion of pre-programmed wireless space sensors. The base product includes three space sensors but can connect to up to 5 for appropriate coverage of a typical small building of 20 units or less.
Installing the space sensors couldn’t be easier, simply mount them on the wall with the provided hardware in an apartment. The wireless sensors with their extended range, will report space temperatures directly to Genesis without need of repeaters or additional network hubs.
The space sensors perform a key role in the control of the heating system. By utilizing building temperature readings from all areas of the building along with the outside temperature, algorithms actually self-learn the heating characteristics of your building.
The best part for building owners is that the Genesis Heat-Timer™, utilizing its space sensors, is able to do this using the absolute minimum amount of fuel possible without sacrificing resident comfort. You can expect to save up to 30% on your fuel costs this winter, while maintaining a uniformity of building temperatures you never would have thought possible.
The Wireless Space Sensors last up to 10+ years before battery replacement is needed. Battery status for each sensor is viewable remotely through the internet portal as well.
For more information about the Genesis Heat-Timer™ please view our website https://www.heat-timer.com/the-genesis/
This blog was originally published at https://www.heat-timer.com/genesis-heat-timer-wireless-sensors/
The Heat-Timer® Announces the Launch of
“A New Energy Management System for Small Buildings”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – August 1st, 2022
Fairfield, New Jersey
Heat-Timer®, a leader in commercial heating controls since 1937, announces the launch of their new product, Genesis Heat-Timer™. The Genesis Heat-Timer™ heating control is an extremely cost-effective solution for both steam and hot water heating systems in single boiler applications (20 units or less).
Genesis Heat-Timer™ features a unique self-learning algorithm that incorporates outdoor air temperature along with in-unit ambient feedback to anticipate and compensate for the unique heat loss characteristics of your building. With this self-learning feature in place, Genesis Heat-Timer™ can regulate your building and provide up to 30% savings on monthly energy bills while improving resident comfort. You pick the temperature you want your building to maintain, and the Genesis Heat-Timer™ does the rest.
Jeff Clerico, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, describes the Genesis Heat-Timer™ online portal as a time-saver for building owners/managers. “Our user-friendly online portal and Mobile App allow complete and seamless visibility into all of your buildings remotely, to eliminate those unexpected and inconvenient trips to the boiler room. You can modify all key heating parameters, receive important alerts via text/email, and check live apartment temperatures on the fly.”
The Genesis Heat-Timer™ is a true out of the box Energy Management System. In addition to getting your heat under control, the Genesis Heat-Timer™ acts as the eyes and ears within your boiler room, alerting you in real-time when problems arise before residents are impacted. From leak/flood detection and boiler health, to domestic hot water temperature and beyond, the Genesis Heat-Timer™ has you covered.
The Genesis Heat-Timer™ is now available for ordering. For more information on how Genesis Heat-Timer™ can help your building please click the link below or call us directly at (973) 575-4004. https://www.heat-timer.com/ht_products/genesis/
This blog was originally published at https://www.heat-timer.com/the-genesis-heat-timer-is-now-available-for-ordering/
For smaller apartment and office buildings having less than 20 units, justifying the expense of installing the industry leading boiler heating control system has sometimes been tough.
Don’t get us wrong, small building managers and owners want to save money on fuel costs every bit as much as the big guys, especially in the northern regions of the country. And given that modern heating controls like the Heat-Timer® Platinum series have been shown to save anywhere from 15% to 50% on monthly heating costs, you would think that installing the industry leading heating control in a small apartment building would be a no-brainer.
If only life were so simple. It turns out that for savvy small building managers, the problem is math. In general, building managers are looking for heating upgrades to pay for themselves in fuel savings within 2-3 years. If the cost of the upgrade is largely fixed, then the more money you save, the quicker the payback.
So let’s do the math. Let’s assume some heating upgrade we are considering that includes a new heating control system will cost 20K installed and we conservatively project a savings of 20% per month on our heating bills as a result. It stands to reason that the larger your fuel bills, the more money you will save each month.
Here’s a graph that tells the story. The original data is from a real 100 Unit apartment building in NYC.
So a building that uses an average of $54,000/yr of energy could be expected to save 20% or $11000 on energy costs in its first year, assuming all other things remain equal. Allowing for normal fluctuations in fuel costs and the changing severity of winters it’s pretty clear that payback for a heating control investment happens sometime late in year 1 or early in year 2, exactly the kind of math that large building owners like.
Smaller Apartment Building, Different Math
Now let’s look at that same investment in a small building complex of less that 25 units. Since overall heating costs are lower, you save fewer dollars each month at the same percentage savings (20%). It takes longer here, to recover that fixed up-front investment.
For some small building owners, even this extended payout is worth it. Possibly they are in a colder area of the country or have an older building that is not energy efficient and spend more on energy. Possibly their situation is such that a heating control like our Heat-Timer® Platinum Series with internet and wireless apartment sensors will save them even more than the 20% conservatively estimated here. Perhaps the installation is also being done to comply with local laws enacted to cut greenhouse gas emissions and so there is a compelling legal reason. They may also be entitled to rebates from a number of city and state incentives for installation of these kinds of heating upgrades which reduces or even eliminates the upfront investment. All these considerations would act to either make the ROI for small buildings much more of a “no-brainer” or make longer payback more tolerable.
Or perhaps these small building owners/managers are simply more forward looking and see that they are in this for the long haul and don’t mind the longer payback. We have seen some of the most successful building management companies in the country take this longer view as they standardize their entire building portfolio around Heat-Timer® products. They gain energy savings for sure, but they also achieve product and training standardization, as well as centralized, internet-based portfolio management system for all their buildings. A centralized real-time, view, centralized reporting, and centralized monitoring and control via cell phone or internet. That’s a massive management EZ-button for serious building management professionals.
The Final Word on Heating Controls for Small Apartment Buildings
There are many reasons that heating controls like the Heat-Timer® Platinum Series can be justified, and are cost effective for smaller buildings. But if none of these reasons work for you and you are still wholly focused on the cost of this upgrade, then either you won’t do it all, or you’ll look for a cheaper solution with smaller upfront costs. After all, that’s another way to recover the costs of an upgrade sooner if all other things are equal.
Putting this into graphical form again tells the story. If we cut the cost of installation in the small building from $20K up front to closer to $10K, and keep all other assumptions the same, then our small apartment graph looks much nicer!
The problem with simply buying a cheaper control with cheaper installation costs is that all other things are not equal. To put it simply, some of the low-cost commercial controls you are likely to consider, will not deliver. The yearly fuel savings they advertise may claim 25% or more. But if you achieve 25% reduction of heating costs in a building with a low-cost control, then it is likely you would have achieved 35% – 40% cost reduction with a Heat-Timer® control. The problem is that you will now become locked into a simpler, cheaper solution that without a doubt, will not deliver the resident comfort, management convenience, mobile control, and fuel cost reductions, that the world’s leading boiler control can deliver. And down the road when you realize this, you’ll be looking at another significant upgrade investment.
If only small building managers could get the class leading performance of a Heat-Timer® Platinum Series Internet Control in a lower cost package designed specifically for small apartment complexes.
The Genesis Heat-Timer™ – Designed for Small Building Managers
Spoiler alert: Heat-Timer® is proud to announce that your patience reading this long blog will be rewarded! It turns out that as of August 1st, 2022, a heating control designed specifically for small building owners of 20 units or less, will be available. Our new control, the Genesis Heat-Timer™, has the same industry leading, energy saving performance as our top of the line Platinum Series, and the same internet monitoring and wireless connectivity for up to 5 remote sensors. With this heating control, up-front equipment and installation costs are significantly reduced. Payback in most cases is within 1 – 2 years using conservative estimates of energy savings. Even faster now, given the high cost of fuel expected this winter.
Stay tuned to our website and social media for information on the next evolution of heating automation, the Genesis Heat-Timer™ .
This blog was originally published at https://www.heat-timer.com/the-heating-control-wish-list-for-small-building-owners/
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.