Summer is a great time to maintain or upgrade the steam or hydronic heating system in your building or apartment complex. The system can be offline for days now, without angry calls from residents! The boiler room is quiet, most pipes and valves are not burn hazards, and the boiler room temperature is not pushing 140 °F.
Time spent in your boiler room now doing preventive maintenance and making some smart system upgrades will reduce your energy costs, and will keep you out of the boiler room at 3:00 AM during the upcoming heating season.
Here are five suggestions for summer preventive maintenance on your commercial boiler equipment:
1. Start with a good cleaning
A dark, dirty, and cluttered boiler room is a boiler room filled with potential problems that you can’t see. Start your summer heating system maintenance with a good cleaning. Remove anything stored in the room that is not needed for boiler operation, replace any burned out bulbs, and consider upgrading the lighting to make maintenance easier. Finally, clean the floor and vacuum out the cobwebs and dust from the equipment. While you are cleaning in those dusty corners, look around. Now that the place is clean, you can see those potential problems.
2. Give the system a thorough inspection
Look for water stains on the floor, rust on pumps or valves, droopy pipe insulation, and for damaged sensors or valve controls. These are all signs of pending failures. For steam systems, also inspect the main line air vents. Again, look for water stains and evidence of leaking.
Outside the boiler room walk the building, check radiators and make sure the steam radiator air vents have not been painted over or otherwise abused. If you have installed remote wireless sensors, like the Heat-Timer Wireless Sensor system, this is a good time to look into your control portal to see if any sensor in your building needs new batteries.
If you don’t have a heating control and an associated network of wireless sensors monitoring your building and critical heating system functions, maybe this is the summer to install it. A Heat-Timer® Platinum series heating controller can monitor a network of wireless sensors and give you instant information about your building’s health and the operation of valves and boilers in your system. These sensors include room sensors that provide real time information on the hot and cold areas of your building, allowing the self-learning algorithm’s in our control to keep temperatures stable without overdriving your boiler unnecessarily.
In addition to wireless building sensors, our control provides internet and mobile app based alarms and monitoring. From the comfort of your home, a building manager can see reports on energy usage, critical temperatures and can set or tweak all parameters associated with the efficient heating of the building. This data is available anywhere via an internet connection or on your cell phone.
3. Too hot for you? – It may be time to insulate those pipes
If the pipes in your boiler room are uninsulated, or the insulation is damaged or missing, steam or hot water that is supposed to be heating your building is instead turning your boiler room into a sauna. Summer is the perfect time to insulate any exposed pipes and valves since they are all at a safe temperature. There are three major advantages to insulating the system heating pipes and valves:
4. Clean and inspect the boiler
The boiler is the heart of the heating system. When properly maintained, it will provide heat reliably for decades. Neglect maintenance and it can fail in many sudden and expensive ways.
Summer gives you the time to drain the boiler so that both the fireside and waterside of the boiler can be cleaned and inspected. A qualified technician should inspect and clean the burner and should also inspect, and if necessary replace, the three most critical safety systems on the boiler.
Failures in any of these systems can result in a boiler shut down or even boiler damage.
If you have decided to install remote sensors this summer, the boiler is another place where sensors integrated with a Heat-Timer Platinum Heating controller can warn you of boiler problems before they become serious.
5. Upgrade your controls
Finally, while the technician is servicing your boiler, why not ask them whether it is time to consider upgrading the boiler controls? If your boiler controls are more than 10 years old, you will benefit from the advances in self learning controls and internet connectivity provided by controls like the Heat-Timer® platinum series.
For example, the Heat Timer® Platinum series controls come with outdoor reset and self-learning software that continuously optimizes the heating cycle for your building and climate. This reduces heating costs, while the system’s internet communication option will allow you to monitor and manage your heating system from anywhere. The Heat-Timer® Platinum interfaces with a variety of wired and wireless sensors, giving you a complete picture of how the heating system is performing, and all the hot and cold spots in your building.
Summer is Hot, for Heating Controls
Don’t wait until things cool off to start thinking of heating. This summer, think about these five tips to give you the peace of mind that comes from knowing your commercial heating system is not going to give you a headache this winter.
Original content posted on https://www.heat-timer.com/5-tips-for-summer-maintenance-of-commercial-boilers/
Everyone has purchased something with an irresistible mail in rebate. Sometimes that product is even free after the rebate. Yet, the Wall Street Journal has estimated that about 40% of mail-in rebates are not redeemed. Many sources say that the number is well over 50%. According to the research done by the Wall Street Journal and others, many people forget to mail it in within 30 days of their purchase. Or, they lose the receipt. Others actually receive the rebate check and forget to cash it. These customers are literally leaving money on their kitchen table.
Do not leave money on the table when it comes to upgrading your heating system this summer. Both Consolidated Edison and National Grid are offering rebates to their gas customers who upgrade their boiler controls for their multi-family or commercial building. These utility rebates will pay property owners to purchase an energy saving internet boiler controller with apartment sensors. Adding an internet boiler controller like the Heat-Timer® Platinum Series Controller will reduce heating costs for years to come while giving you complete visibility into your building/portfolio from anywhere.
Get paid today for saving money tomorrow
Adding a boiler controller with space feedback like the Heat-Timer ® Platinum controller has been shown to reduce heating costs from 15% to 30%. Yet, some property managers procrastinate and don’t lock in those annual savings because those cost savings are tomorrow, while the controller installation costs are today. Fortunately, both National Grid and Con Ed understand people’s reluctance to spend money today for savings tomorrow, so both are offering substantial rebates for the installation of an internet boiler controller for customers with gas fired boilers. The rebate sweetens the deal because it reduces the payback period, meaning those savings show up faster on the bottom line.
Going Green, doesn’t have to cost you any Green
Con Edison multi-family customers who pay a firm gas rate are paying a “systems benefit charge” each month on their heating gas bill. This charge contributes to the energy efficiency rebate fund for New York State. Those same customers who contribute to the fund are then eligible to receive lucrative incentives towards energy efficiency upgrades such as upgrading their existing Heat-Timer® to become a real-time Energy Management System. The rebate process is simple, prescriptive, and is based solely on the number of units in the multifamily building. For example, a (42) unit apartment building in Manhattan would receive $8,000 from Con Edison towards this capital improvement. A (112) unit building in Westchester receives $18,000.
National Grid also offers these incentives on Heat-Timer® boiler control upgrades. A (35) unit building in Brooklyn was incentivized $4,500 for their upgrade, whereas a (196) unit apartment complex in Queens was granted $13,600. This simple rebate process can often render the building a cost-free upgrade. National Grid offers Heat-Timer® upgrade rebates to both “firm gas customers” as well as those who pay “Temperature Control” rates.
Call Heat-Timer® today to find out more
Don’t be one of those people who leave their mail-in rebate check on the kitchen table. Talk to Heat-Timer® to find out how to apply for a rebate for a Heat-Timer® Platinum Boiler controller and wireless sensors today: (973)-575-4004
Original content posted on https://www.heat-timer.com/get-rebates-for-boiler-and-control-upgrades/
Your New High Efficiency Condensing Boilers are Still Leaving Money on the Table
Provocative article title isn’t it? Perhaps, but let us reassure you that it is based on a set of data that is 100% factual, and almost 100% misunderstood or misrepresented.
If your building has a boiler system more than 10 to 15 years old, then you are probably looking at investments in newer boiler designs now, or in the near future. These new boiler designs will probably carry a number of new features that make them more energy efficient, more maintenance free, and provide more stable temperatures throughout your building.
One of the ways new boilers achieve this, is by the introduction of boiler control features like outdoor reset, built directly into the boiler (on board control). As the USA’s largest and longest manufacturer of heating controls, it turns out that we know something about this. Indeed if outdoor reset features are designed into the boiler correctly, this can help the boiler make more intelligent firing decisions based on the outdoor temperature. Visit the Heat-Timer® website for more information on outdoor reset, and how it works.
Got Outdoor Reset Features in my New Boiler, so I’m Good Right?
Well you’re definitely better off than you’d be without it, but the problem is that this isn’t the end game when it comes to fuel savings. Outdoor reset is just one factor in efficient boiler operation in your building. It turns out that the use of more sophisticated multi-point indoor sensor usage, and the incorporation of advanced “learning” algorithms that assimilate outdoor temperature readings with even more building sensor data, have been shown to achieve another 20% in fuel savings in a typical single or multiple condensing boiler configuration. This is true even with new boilers that already incorporate an outdoor reset feature.
If you’re a building owner/manager who just made a significant investment on new boilers and piping for your apartment building/complex, we get that this news may be a bit depressing. However, let us assure you that if you replaced boilers more than 10 or 15 years old, you did the right thing on principle. Furthermore, it turns out that additional savings are still possible for you, and can be achieved for far less investment than you made to buy and plumb all those boilers. Here’s how a sophisticated heating system can help your new boilers reach their full potential.
How Can So Much Additional Money Be Saved On Fuel on a Brand New Boiler System?
In one sense, a heating control that uses only outdoor temperature as a heat regulation system, still has the potential to be inefficient. This has to do with many factors including the fact that all areas of your building will not lose heat at the same rate. Nor will heat be delivered to all areas of your building at exactly the same temperature. In a multi-unit, multi-floor building using hydronic heating delivered with a condensing boiler system, other factors come into play as well like heat loss up the stack, transfer loss, system pressure, and most importantly different tenant comfort thresholds.
In a system that uses a more sophisticated control like the Heat-Timer® Multi-Mod, all these factors and more are used to determine and even anticipate optimal boiler firing schedules and durations. Essentially this system “learns” how to heat your building and all its units, over time. One set of key datapoints comes from the Heat-Timer® space sensors that are placed strategically around your building. These sensors are our agents in the field, reporting actual temperatures from all areas of your building. They are wireless so installation is a breeze and they communicate with the control to allow decisions in real time. Over time, heating patterns are recognized and heating curves are adjusted based on the heat loss characteristics of that specific building. Thereby maintaining the comfort of your residents while using the absolute minimum fuel while doing so. Outdoor reset is certainly part of these calculations but the total picture is so much more complex than just knowing the outdoor temperature. The Heat-Timer® Multi-Mod algorithms understand this and customers using our control in apartment complexes in exactly these conditions have reported over 20% savings on fuel bills. While not sacrificing resident comfort in the process!
Another consideration is that a sophisticated control like the Heat-Timer® Multi-Mod gives you all this data remotely on every manner of wireless device or internet device. Our BuildingNet portal puts control and management at your fingertips, including the readout’s of space sensor’s, real time reports on system status, alarms and much more. The ease with which building managers can remotely oversee and modify the operation of multiple boilers, multiple boiler rooms, and multiple buildings is a whole different kind of efficiency and cost savings that can only be achieved with a dedicated control backed by decades of control infrastructure development.
Heat-Timer – Still Saving Building Operators Money
The moral of this story is simple: don’t settle for being a one-trick pony when it comes to heating controls. Whether you use our controls for a few units, or thousands of units, we scale into any configuration you can imagine to bring you the most energy savings possible.
For more information, call the team at Heat-Timer® today. Or visit us today at: https://www.heat-timer.com/contact-us.
Original content posted on https://www.heat-timer.com/your-new-high-efficiency-condensing-boilers-are-still-leaving-money-on-the-table/
Heating season is beginning in many parts of the country, so building managers and HVAC professionals are out in the field getting boilers ready for use. The first few weeks of heating season can be hectic, as dormant boilers are lit and unexpected startup problems pop up all over. HVAC professionals must be able to see when a start-up 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. Professionals rely on remote boiler management software to keep them informed. BuildingNet® by Heat-Timer® does not let them down.
Why is BuildingNet® a better boiler management software interface?
To a user, the connection between a Heat-Timer® Platinum series controller and the BuildingNet® web based or mobile application is just part of the “cloud” that few people think much abhttp://platinumout. The engineers at BuildingNet®, on the other hand, think about it all the time because inside that “cloud” is BuildingNet’s highly reliable backend server software, running on a redundant network to ensure 24/7 availability. BuildingNet’s servers have the reliability and scale to support its customers, even during the busiest time of the season.
It is not just the reliability that building managers like about BuildingNet®. BuildingNet® has the powerful boiler management controls that building managers need. BuildingNet® is not just a view-only application, just allowing the user to watch what is going on in the building without being able to do anything about it. BuildingNet® gives the user all the important control functions of the Heat-Timer® Platinum controller, not just the basic temperature control offered by some remote software.
BuildingNet® also allows the creation of monitoring accounts which allow a boiler service and maintenance company to receive and respond to alarms and monitor building status. This feature allows the property managers to choose a 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.
Multiple Boiler Rooms, Buildings, and Locations, Single Management Interface
BuildingNet® software is not an application originally designed to manage a single residence or small apartment building, and then advertised as being something more. BuildingNet® was designed from the beginning to scale easily and robustly from a single Platinum controller to an entire apartment complex or business campus. BuildingNet® can be used for large property portfolios because it has powerful tools to cut through the noise and give the building managers the information they need, when they need it.
One example is BuildingNet’s new alarm features, which allow tiered response to alarms. With tiered alarms, a manager responsible for 50 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 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 the team at regular times.
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 situation, whether a single hydronic boiler in a small multi-family building to a multi-steam boiler installation for a large building or domestic hot water for an entire hospital. Heat-Timer® has the right boiler control solution for every situation, and BuildingNet® gives building managers and HVAC professionals the tools to manage them efficiently, saving money and increasing resident satisfaction.
For more information visit https://heat-timer.com
Original content posted on https://www.heat-timer.com/how-buildingnet-makes-boiler-maintenance-easier/
As HVAC professionals begin getting their sleepy boilers ready for the upcoming heating season, they know that the first few weeks of heating season can be hectic, as dormant boilers are lit and unexpected startup problems pop up all over. It’s typically a time with some long days and a steady stream of calls from residents and building operators.
Professionals who’ve been doing this for a while, know that even if a boiler has been professionally inspected and serviced during the summer months, idle heating systems are still susceptible to both sediment and corrosion. Sediment settles out of the cold motionless water and compacts in pumps and valves, and of course as Mr. Young famously said, “rust never sleeps.”
The physics of heating system inactivity conspires to create a rich set of winter startup problems for commercial heating professionals. As a premiere manufacturer of advanced heating control systems, the experts at Heat-Timer® have seen their share of these startup problems, and taught building managers a few tricks for using our controls and room sensors to diagnose these issues.
1. Preventing Pump Problems. Because of this summer’s accumulation of sediment and rust, pumps are one of the first things that a technician checks when they turn on the boiler. Often a pump won’t start because the impeller is embedded in sediment. If the pump does start, it may leak through dried out seals. This often leads to a pump disassembly, cleaning and rebuild, or full pump replacement.
This expensive fall pump ritual can be prevented with a little exercise. A pump lead lag controller like the Heat-Timer® PLL can exercise boiler pumps by running them for a short period every week during the off-season, keeping seals wet and flushing out sediment. The Heat Timer® PLL also has low flow alarms which when interfaced to a Platinum series controller, can alert the boiler service company or building manager that there is a pump failure at any time during the heating season. Often these problems can be diagnosed and resolved without a visit to the boiler room, thanks to our BuildingNet® interface or mobile phone app.
2. Oil Fired Boilers – For oil fired boilers, clogged fuel filters can be another start-up problem as a summer’s accumulation of black sludge is stirred up and sucked into the filter when the oil tank is filled in the fall. This can cause hard to diagnose boiler lockouts as the burner is intermittently starved for fuel unless that oil filter is monitored with a vacuum sensor like Heat Timer’s Oil Filter Monitoring Kit. An oil filter monitor connected to a Platinum controller can give a building manager plenty of warning that a fuel filter needs to be replaced, so that it can be changed at the next regular boiler service, rather than during a late-night emergency call after a boiler lock-out.
3. Plumbing Decay – While pumps and filters are the obvious problem areas during boiler start up because they are right there out in the open, there are invisible problems in the boiler room too. Pipes, condensate tanks and the boilers are eternally and invisibly rusting from the inside out. Boiler tube leaks are common start-up problems on older boilers. Iron pipes can suddenly develop pinhole leaks. Steam traps can fail to close properly. Even when these leaks are as obvious as a puddle on the floor, it can be days before someone goes into the boiler room and notices it. On the other hand a leak from a steam line or steam trap can be hard to see even if a service technician is looking for it, and water leaking from inside the boiler may evaporate and go up the stack, but not before causing further corrosion problems in the burner and the flue ducting.
Fortunately, the days (and nights) of discovering water leaks only after the sump pump alarm goes off are long gone. Sensitive boiler feedwater meters connected to BuildingNet® through a Platinum controller continuously measure boiler make-up water usage. Building managers can use BuildingNet’s trending tools to visualize long term changes in boiler water usage week to week or season to season, helping identify water leaks while they are still small and inexpensive to fix rather than after they have flooded the boiler room, shutting down the boiler and damaging equipment.
Heat-Timer® Controls Save Money and Maintenance Headaches
There is a lot to keep an eye on in those first few weeks of boiler operation, especially if you are responsible for multiple buildings. Knowing that your boiler controller has your back, monitoring everything going on in the boiler room can make waking up the boilers a lot less stressful. Heat-Timer® has been helping boiler service professionals wake up the boilers for over 80 years with a deep toolkit of controllers, sensors and alarms.
If waking up the boilers is keeping you awake at night, consider upgrading to Heat-Timer’s Platinum controller with a BuildingNet® remote interface.
Original content posted on https://www.heat-timer.com/its-fall-time-to-wake-the-boilers/
Many years ago Heat-Timer® introduced smart, boiler controls that dramatically improved boiler efficiency and service monitoring. For the first time, Heat-Timer® provided building managers and service technicians with digital control that intelligently managed boiler cycling and reported and controlled all heating parameters from one place. It was a big leap forward from watching gauges and turning valves and saved building owners thousands of dollars every month in energy costs and maintenance calls.
The internet allowed us to evolve even further, making remote boiler control possible through our web-based portal. With this evolution, the remote operation was possible from any device with an internet browser. However, most users were still tied to their laptops, either in the office, balanced on the seat in the truck or at home. An alarm email/text late at night means booting up the computer and logging into a website to find out what is going on in the building.
Usability of Heat-Timer® Controls evolved again with the introduction of Heat-Timer’s free mobile app, introduced in 2015. Available for both IOS and Android, the app allows building managers and service technicians to monitor, receive alarms, and control a building’s heating system and Domestic Hot Water System from anywhere your cell phone works, with just a phone or tablet, no laptop required.
HVAC Contractors Just Got Back some Quality of Life!
For contractors, this means that service technicians can stay in the field making service calls without requiring a person in the office just to monitor building status. Better yet, technicians have full visibility of all of the sensors of the building they are in, wherever they are in the building. A single technician can be on the 7th floor checking for heat, while making real-time adjustments to the boiler in the basement and monitoring other space sensors.
Likewise, Heat-Timer’s mobile app can free building managers from their office. A manager can be at a building working with tenants and solving problems, confident that they still have full visibility of what is going on at the other properties they manage. When away from work, they can still respond to alarms, monitor problems and adjust many system settings with their phone, rather than from the laptop in their home office or the boiler room.
The mobile app has many of the same features as the desktop applications in an intuitive, easy to learn interface. These features include:
If you already have a Heat-Timer® internet control, there is no reason not to try the free Heat-Timer® Mobile App. Just search for “ICMS by Heat-Timer®” at any app store. If your Platinum Controller currently does not have internet access, the new mobile app is a great reason to upgrade.
Contact a Heat-Timer® representative today to discuss how to get started with the Heat-Timer® App today.
Original Content posted on https://www.heat-timer.com/heat-timers-mobile-app-keeps-you-out-of-the-boiler-room-and-the-office/
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.