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/