Next week, some of the EnTouch team will be at the 2014 ASHRAE Winter Conference (formerly the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers), where we’ll attend the Controls Trends Award (CTA) ceremony to find out if our EnTouch One Energy Management System (EMS) wins “Thermostat of the Year.”
We're excited to attend the conference, not just because of the awards ceremony, but because HVAC monitoring and controls are such a big part of our business and we’re looking forward to discussing trends and issues at the show with our peers and potential customers.
One topic that we discuss a lot with our customers and here on the blog is that for most hotel, office, restaurant, retail and school facility mangers, controlling HVAC is just one of many responsibilities on their plate. But it's a real important responsibility because HVAC consumes 40 percent of electricity used in commercial buildings, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration.
HVAC is a significant portion of facility spending and needs to be closely regulated to ensure maximum efficiency and savings.
So, scheduling HVAC settings is a natural solution as it allows the facility manager to “set it and forget it.” But what happens when a school PTO meeting happens after hours, or restaurant guests stay later than normal? There are some cases where simply using fixed scheduling would not meet the needs of all facilities and may require a combined solution of motion detection with fixed scheduling. Here are a few:
Hotel Guest Rooms – Despite having set operating hours for the main facility, guests may arrive or depart their rooms at any time. Using motion control allows the system to turn on only when guests are in the room and automatically return to vacant set points at checkout.
Offices – While most employees work during set operating hours, occasionally someone may need to come during the weekend or off hours. Motion control will detect occupancy and provide comfort for these workers and return to vacant settings automatically avoiding unnecessary HVAC runtime over the weekend.
Restaurants and Retail – This provides the ability to set the HVAC for normal hours, but to ensure comfort if the facility has to stay open later or for a special event.
Schools – Schools typically have a set occupied operation time, but they also have various after hours events and meetings that may not be regularly occurring events.
Given these scenarios, it is clear that options for built-in motion detection further simplify scheduling and optimize comfort and cost. Rather than rely on fixed schedules have your setbacks automatically kick in when your facilities are vacant.
If you are going to be at the show, let us know, we’d love to discuss this further. If not, cross your fingers that we win Best Thermostat!