All facility managers know that the HVAC system is a core part of any commercial structure. Obviously, HVAC system failure causes discomfort for those who are visiting, working or living in the affected building. But it can also lead to operational downtime and expensive repairs. And though an inefficient HVAC system might not fail outright, it uses unnecessary energy. That's why 24/7 HVAC remote monitoring is an integral part of an efficient facility management strategy.
By monitoring equipment and tracking environmental conditions, HVAC operators can identify unusual patterns before they become costly problems. With HVAC remote monitoring, you can access the status of all conditions in real time without being on site. Because many monitoring systems are also data acquisition devices, you can access important performance data via an app or webpage. This means you can do precise troubleshooting.
Choosing the right sensors
The key to effective HVAC remote monitoring is evaluating your application needs and selecting the right sensors. We recommend choosing the sensor that not only is appropriate for your need, but also the application. For instance, if it is determined CO2 or humidity monitoring is required, there are sensors specifically designed to be placed in duct work, in dirty or extra humid environments, or that will look good hanging on a wall in a public area.
For HVAC applications, we suggest using scaleable 4-20mA sensors. These sensors provide an exact value, rather than just a simple on or off status. In most cases they require their own power supply and it is recommended that the power supply have a battery backup that will power the sensor during a power outage.
Measuring for key HVAC conditions
Monitoring airflow, carbon dioxide (CO2) and humidity levels tells you how well your HVAC system is working. And it’s good to know if humidity readings are off kilter before people start feeling uncomfortable. Because it's less physically noticeable when CO2 levels are out of range, monitoring is vital in maintaining indoor air quality.The following sensors provide real-time data and cause your monitoring system to activate an alarm when readings exceed a set level or range. They are ideal for HVAC remote monitoring of airflow, CO2 and humidity:
- 4-20mA Type Duct Mount Airflow Transmitter - To monitor airflow in duct work, this transmitter registers the airflow speed. This is important because the cooling action of air increases with airspeed. It is especially useful for monitoring air conditioning in ducts.
- 4-20mA Type 0-20K CO2 Transmitter - This sensor detects CO2 levels from 0-20,000 parts per million (ppm). It is designed for locations where CO2 levels are constant, as opposed to spaces where people are frequently entering and exiting.
- 4-20mA Type Duct Mount C02 Transmitter - To monitor CO2 levels in duct work, this sensor detects levels from 0-2,000 ppm. It is specifically designed to be mounted in a return air duct.
- 4-20mA Type Outdoor CO2 Transmitter - This sensor is ideal for areas with higher CO2 levels (>2,000 ppm) such as breweries, wineries, plant greenhouses or buildings that are constantly occupied, like a hospital. The weatherproof enclosure allows users to place it in areas that would typically shorten the life of unprotected sensors.
- 4-20mA Type Duct Mount Humidity Transmitter - This sensor is specifically designed to be mounted in a return air duct and is used to monitor relative humidity from 0% to 100%.
- 4-20mA Type Outdoor Humidity Transmitter - Designed to monitor relative humidity from 0% to 100% in harsh locations, this sensor is mounted in a weatherproof enclosure.
Monitoring HVAC equipment helps you maintain peak performance, which maximizes air quiality and minimizes energy costs. If you have questions about HVAC remote monitoring, our support team can provide the answers you need to keep your system at top efficiency.