Monitor Your HVAC Systems To Streamline Preventive Maintenance

Monitor your HVAC systems for better preventive maintenance

You know that your HVAC units are important. Your remote equipment needs protection from thermal build-up.

You also know that HVAC system require maintenance to perform reliably. They have compressors, air filters, and lead-lag configurations. If you don't keep up, you'll suffer through failures, outages, and sometimes even equipment damage.

Fortunately, some fairly simple monitoring technology can really simplify your HVAC management. You'll be able to do more with the smaller staffs that most companies have these days. Let's take a look at an example monitoring system:

HVAC monitoring using airflow and temperature sensors
In this example, you're able to monitor a pair of HVAC units with just an airflow & temperature sensor mounted at each output. A TempDefender RTU collects the data and adds a overall "room temperature" sensor. Data is reported via SNMP, email, or SMS.

Only two types of sensors are required in this application:

  1. Temperature Sensors
    HVAC units produce temperature change, so that's an obvious thing to monitor. An array of properly positioned sensors yields best results. Install one sensor in the output stream of each unit. A change in running temperature indicates a compressor failure or similar problem. One global temperature sensor for the site gives you the "big picture".
  2. Airflow Sensors
    One less-obvious thing to monitor is your HVAC airflow. As your air filters begin to clog, you'll be able to detect a drop in output airflow. Before the problem grows, you can send out a technician for a routine filter replacement.

Your RTU (a TempDefender in this case) will collect data from these sensors and report back to you. If you already have an SNMP manager, that's an excellent method to use. If you have just a few sites, it probably makes more sense to send an email or SMS text directly to your smartphone.

Lead-Lag Monitoring A properly configured pair of HVAC units will run on a rotation when only some cooling is needed. This balances their lifespans and maintenance requirements. With the simple sensors described above, a smart RTU will be able to track comparative performance between the two units. When one falls too far out of spec, you'll get an alert. You'll avoid overworking the other HVAC unit because one has quietly failed.

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At DPS, we receive many urgent quote requests after an earlier "Do Nothing" decision comes back to bite you. You have no reason not to be proactive (and maybe you'll manage to impress your boss).

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