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HVAC Automation: Beyond Flipping SwitchesJanuary 23, 2014
Previously we noted the tremendous advances and exciting new directions in building automation systems (BAS). Let’s now turn the spotlight onto one specific aspect of Bay Area facility management — your HVAC system. Today’s technologies can do a lot more than switch your climate control system on or off — and that means you can do a lot more to control your operating expenses and energy usage.
Three decades ago, early building automation systems offered the basic environmental controls we all take for granted in facility management, such as the ability to start or stop compressors, fans, et cetera whenever the thermostat dipped above or below a certain point and relayed that data to the system. This all-or-nothing solution wasn’t always effective or practical, especially for employees stuck in a particularly hot or cold zone of the building. But today’s sophisticated data loggers can collect temperature information at various points throughout the facility and then relay that information to managers so they can understand how evenly or unevenly the system is working. What’s more, the advent of cloud computing has put control over individual components quite literally in their managers’ hands by enabling the managers to adjust settings via handheld devices, laptops or PCs. This degree of control will grow ever more precise in the future, until even individual office dwellers enjoy complete control over their personal environment.
Amazingly, as these systems grow more powerful and sophisticated, they also become simpler to work with. Today’s Windows-friendly HVAC automationtechnology arms managers with plenty of easy-to-read graphs, charts and analytics so they can make smarter decisions about how to implement the pinpoint control now available to them. As a result, an HVAC BAS can greatly boost the efficiency of your heating and cooling strategies.