Some buildings are just hard to heat.
Every heating contractor has one or two hard to heat buildings. Big multi-use buildings like schools, churches and public buildings that have a tough combination of large spaces and small offices scattered throughout the building. Older buildings that may have had several renovations or additions over time. Sometimes the building’s heating system was just poorly designed in the first place.
However, the tenants don’t care about why the building is so hard to heat, they just want an apartment or office that is not so cold they need mittens or so hot that they need to keep the windows open in the winter. Building managers and owners want that too!
An HVAC technician faced with an unbalanced, hard to heat building needs some powerful diagnostic tools to figure out what is wrong and how to fix it.
Heat-Timer® wireless sensors can help diagnose those tough heating problems
One of the primary tools are the wireless room sensors from Heat-Timer®. These sensors can be mounted permanently throughout the building or can be moved to different locations by a technician as needed to diagnose specific problems.
The Heat-Timer wireless sensors can be used two ways to analyze a troublesome heating system. The Heat-Timer wireless space sensor measures the air temperature in a space and gives a residents perspective of the room temperature. The wireless temperature module sensor can be clamped directly to a radiator, feed or return pipe giving near instantaneous feedback on the heat distribution through the building.
With BuildingNet® technicians can solve heating system problems from anywhere
Wireless temperature sensors are not new. What makes Heat-Timer wireless temperature sensors so powerful as a diagnostic tool is the BuildingNet® Website and Mobile App. A technician using BuildingNet can monitor the wireless temperature sensors in the building in real-time, or look back at a sensor’s data history, which can show how the heat at that location varies throughout the day or over the heating season.
The mobile app also allows the technician to monitor and change setpoints in the Platinum controller easily from anywhere. For example, a technician can use BuildingNet’s mobile app to call for heat, and then monitor a series of sensors to see how it is impacting the building. The technician can make some adjustments to the system, and then try it again to see if there has been any improvement.
Wireless sensors and BuildingNet can solve the most challenging heating problems
An apartment complex in Albany, NY used both wireless sensors and remote monitoring to diagnose a particularly difficult heating problem. The southeast side of the building tended to be too hot, while the north side units typically did not receive enough heat. Oddly, some of the north end units received heat in some registers, but not others.
The contractor used multiple wireless space temperature sensors to monitor temperatures throughout the building. After some detective work, they realized that the north side steam pipe runs crossed from the north to the east side of the building, so some apartments were receiving heat from two separate sources. The second problem was that the solar gain on the south side of the building was so high that it was skewing the calculated building average temperature that the controller was using to control steam output. This caused the steam to shut off before the north side of the building was up to temperature.
Once they understood what was happening in the building, they were able to adjust the response of the Platinum boiler controllers and then monitor the response until they were able to perfectly balance the heat throughout the building. No walls or plumbing were harmed in the making of these optimizations!
Heat-timer® Room Sensors should be in your Technician Toolbox
If you are responsible for a hard to heat building, consider the Heat-Timer® Platinum series internet controls as a solution. The combination of flexible Platinum controllers, wireless temperature sensors and BuildingNet for complete internet or mobile app visibility, can help you find and fix the toughest heating problems more easily. Visit https://www.heat-timer.com/
Original content posted on https://www.heat-timer.com/how-wireless-sensors-can-solve-your-heating-problems
As most apartment building managers will tell you, energy costs are one of the most significant operating expenses in commercial buildings. Inside those energy costs, heating and Domestic Hot Water are two of the most significant expenses, especially in older buildings constructed before energy efficiency standards were established.
In the past, the primary way to reduce heating costs was through major investments in new boilers, piping, valves, radiators, windows and building insulation. While these investments can certainly be warranted, especially if your system is more than 15 years old, that didn’t always fix the problem with apartment 2E being so cold, and 4H being overheated.
Smart building controls with internet accessibility and wireless space sensors have given building managers another option. With smart building controls like the Heat-Timer® Platinum series for boiler management, or the Heat-Timer® ETV for control of Domestic Hot Water. You can significantly reduce energy costs, and fix the hotspots in your building without necessarily needing to tear up the building and mechanical room infrastructure.
Here are four ways that you can take advantage of smart controls to reduce your building’s energy consumption for both DHW and boiler heating:
1. Install an Electronic Tempering Valve Control
People are predictable. They sleep at night, get up and take a shower and go to work or school. Then they come home and make dinner and wash the dishes. An electronic tempering valve with setbacks, like the Heat-Timer ETV Platinum Plus can take advantage of that predictability. It can be programmed to reduce the output set point of the circulation loop during low demand times, and raise it during high demand times. Lowering the temperature of the water in the long building wide loop reduces radiation losses which saves energy.
2. Add A Heating Control with Outdoor Reset Capability
One of the most effective ways to save energy is to add outdoor reset to your steam or hydronic heating system. The Platinum series controller by Heat-Timer® learns how the heating needs of the building vary with outdoor temperature and then fine tunes the steam boiler cycle time or boiler water temperature so that building radiators provide more heat during cold weather and less heat during mild weather. The controller’s goal is to use just enough energy to keep the building at the optimal temperature, without overheating it on milder days.
Setting back the building temperature at night when residents are tucked into their beds can reduce energy use even further.
3. Monitor the Temperature inside the building with Wireless Room sensors
The limitation of outdoor reset is that it can predict heating needs for the entire building, but it does not know what is happening inside various parts of the building. A network of interior temperature sensors can give the controller that kind of information.
Installing wired temperature sensors throughout the building can be expensive, time consuming and messy. The smart solution is to use a wireless network specifically designed for reliable communication through walls and floors. The Heat-Timer® wireless network is designed to penetrate through buildings and interfaces easily with the Heat-Timer ® Platinum controller, allowing it to further optimize the building temperature.
For building managers, the addition of room sensors is actually a requirement of most energy rebate programs. Depending on the utility company, you can sometimes recover most of your installation costs by installing an advanced heating control with space sensors covering 25% of the building, depending on the rebate.
4. Now, balance the system
The network of wireless temperature sensors throughout the building gives the building manager another opportunity to save energy and increase tenant satisfaction by balancing the building heating system.
The Platinum series allows the building manager to download historical temperature data to an Excel spreadsheet. Once a building manager or heating contractor analyzes the temperature data, balancing a heating system is straightforward, and improvements can be measured after just a few heat cycles.
Steam systems can be balanced by adjusting air vents in the steam main and individual radiators. Hydronic systems can be balanced with manual balancing valves and booster pumps when required. Balancing the heating system alone can save 5%-10% of the annual heating costs, for minimal investment.
In Reality, Adding Smart Heating Controls to Any Commercial Building is a No-Brainer
When one considers the potential for utility company rebates, the raw cost savings on your monthly energy bills, and the ease of wireless installation and internet/ mobile app based controls and monitoring, your only question should be what system will do the best job in your building.
A smarter building is a more efficient building. Call Heat-Timer® today to discuss your building’s energy use issues, we can help.
Original content posted on https://www.heat-timer.com/four-ways-to-save-money-with-a-smarter-apartment-building/
For maximum flexibility in the implementation of heating controls in both old and new buildings, wireless sensor technology has become the key. This technology makes for ease of installation and ensures your heating control can monitor all elements of your system so it has all the information it needs to run your boilers most efficiently.
A ready example is the Heat-Timer Wireless Network Sensor System for our platinum series controls. These wireless sensors can be mounted virtually anywhere. By adding new Transceivers/Routers to the wireless network, the system can get temperature, pressure and other data from areas that are otherwise difficult to reach. A major advantage of the Heat-Timer Wireless Network Sensor System is its Transceiver /Router capability to communicate and exchange data with other Transceivers/Routers on the same network, breaking many wireless barriers that existed in other systems. The entire system runs at 900MHZ for improved performance and range.
An Example of our Platinum Control with Wireless Sensors in Action
Using the flexibility of our wireless space sensors not only helps with installation but allows them to serve as excellent debugging tools in old buildings with complicated steam or hot water distribution systems.
One of our HVAC Partners reported a situation where apartments in the North and Southeast of a building were reporting vastly different temperatures. By using our Space Sensors to do some sleuthing in conjunction with the Heat-Timer® ICMS, the team found the old building to have an odd distribution system. This system was causing some apartments to be fed steam from two different sources. The situation was exacerbated by the southern exposure causing 86 degree temperatures in some spaces while certain spaces on the northern side of the building never reached a comfortable temperature.
By using the remote monitoring features of our Platinum Multi-Mod Control, the mechanical team was able to slowly move space sensors all over the building to tweak the Heat Timer control using our SRC control, and the many fine tuning features built into our control software and ICMS. Only Heat-Timer Controls provide this kind of detailed parameter control and monitoring over so many elements of your heating system, making them the only real solution to complex distribution in older buildings.
The World is Wireless, Your Heating Control Sensors should be too.
Call Heat-Timer® today to discuss how our wireless sensors and control systems can propel you into being a greener, more profitable building.
Original content posted on https://www.heat-timer.com/the-word-on-wireless-sensors/
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.