Managing a multi-facility operation has many challenges, from ensuring profitability to managing staff to maintaining customer satisfaction. However, one challenge often overlooked by managers is HVAC costs, which according to survey results, amounts to 21% of the energy cost in restaurants and 50% of the energy cost in retail businesses.
A major portion of those HVAC costs are due to hidden maintenance issues such as exhaust fans not working properly, improper walk-in refrigeration and freezer temperatures and not following through with preventative maintenance, to name a few.
Not only do these issues relate to HVAC costs, but they can also affect the business in other areas, such as food spoilage, guest discomfort or lost hours of operation.
However, as discussed in our previous blog post, the issue of hidden maintenance issues is only magnified by the fact that business owners don’t necessarily understand their energy usage.
This is because the bill is sent straight to the account payables team and the information is not shared with the people who are in a position to reduce the costs. And in a multi-facility situation, with two or more teams handling operations, the lack of knowledge of the problem is even greater.
Enter energy management systems (EMS) like our EnTouch One, and business owners suddenly have access to this information and a way to combat hidden HVAC maintenance issues.
Through our EMS, business owners are able to access energy usage information, as well as the ability to analyze HVAC equipment to see if it is using too much electricity or experiencing an issue. Business owners can also set the EMS to send an alert when there is an issue and in some cases, HVAC technicians can remotely diagnose the issue to speed resolution time.
EnTouch also offers a range of services to help companies take control of HVAC system issues. These proactive services optimize and detect performance issues, many times before you even notice them. Our reactive services provide automatic issue ticketing and resolution services, we can even work directly with your HVAC technicians to get the issue closed. Our suite of reporting services are particularly useful for large enterprises and will help you maximize savings and intelligently plan capital investments.
The benefits of an automated EMS can be significant. With the solution in place, one restaurant resolved a $2,000/month issue due to an improper economizer operation. Another restaurant resolved a $1,5000/month issue due to improper HVAC humidity control, which was driving a 24-hour heat cycle, which could have resulted in food spoilage if it had not been detected.
Other restaurants were able to notice failed fan belts and unchanged filters, which caused the system to freeze and had continued undetected for months. In each case, the business owner was able to automate the system and had wished they had done so sooner.
Let us know in the comments below what HVAC issues you’ve faced and check out how all of our EMS solutions can help your business here – http://entouchcontrols.com/our-products/overview/.