6 Ways Remote HVAC Automation Controls Help Building Managers Save $$$

Posted by Connect with ODIN on May 14, 2024 8:08:43 AM

Building automation platforms, facility managers, and service providers have something in common. All three groups are honed-in on advancements in technology that can cut costs and drive operational efficiency.

Remote HVAC automation controls represent one of the quickest wins for their overlapping goals. The recent emergence of cloud-based solutions for building management systems (BMS) brings the slow-moving facilities industry in line with the same technical advantages that have already yielded cost reductions and productivity gains across sectors from healthcare to education. 

By harnessing the power of an HVAC remote monitoring system, businesses can reap rewards including reduced on-site service, faster issue resolution, and lower repair costs. Delve deeper into six of the key advantages of a remote BMS to understand how energy-efficient, cloud-based technology can revolutionize facility management while saving significant resources.

1. Cost Savings Through Energy Efficiency

Embracing energy efficiency is not just environmentally responsible; it's also financially savvy. Recent research highlights the potential cost savings that businesses can enjoy by adopting energy-efficient practices. 

  • According to a January 2024 white paper released by the World Economic Forum and PwC, actionable interventions to transform energy demand can help buildings reduce their energy intensity by as much as 38%. 
  • It also notes that implementing measures to improve energy efficiency can generate up to $2 trillion in annual savings by 2030.
  • The EPA states in its “rules of thumb” for energy efficiency in buildings that reducing energy consumption in existing buildings by 20% to 30% can produce savings from 6%-9% of total annual costs. 
  • The U.S. Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy has found that the impact of building automation systems, in particular, is substantial — properly tuned controls could cut commercial building energy consumption by approximately 29%.

These sorts of cost savings stem from lower energy consumption, reduced maintenance expenses, and extended equipment lifespan. But remote HVAC building automation systems take efficiency even one step further. By enabling technicians and service providers to access all controls from wherever they stand, energy-efficient adjustments can be made more frequently and responsively. On top of that, no carbon emissions from transportation to the location are required.

2. No Need to Have People On-Site to Manage the System

This is a natural segue into the second major benefit of cloud-based remote access to your building: fewer on-site building management personnel are necessary. Not only does this reduce carbon emissions from the commute, but operational overhead, too. Efficiency gains can now be realized even with a lighter team.

Technicians and other facilities personnel can now monitor building energy trends and adjust setpoints from another site in your portfolio, a coffee shop, or the bedside table. This can also open up attractive employee benefit options such as a partially remote schedule, more flexible hours, and the natural draw of using the most up-to-date technology.

3. Fewer On-Site Service Calls From Automation & Maintenance Providers

Now that your team is remotely in touch with the status and settings of the building’s system, it’s possible to eliminate certain kinds of costly but low-impact service calls. In the past, an on-site visit from a BAS service provider may have been necessary to troubleshoot something in the controls or discern the meaning of a notification in the system.

Remote HVAC automation controls relegate these sorts of tasks to a quick online check in your cloud-based BAS platform. A phone call to the service provider might result in an answer while they’re still on the phone — checking a cloud-based phone app and seeing exactly what you’re seeing in the system right from where they sit. Service providers are often able to make adjustments, determine what’s going on, and resolve concerns without traveling to the building to check equipment manually.

For instance, in the hospital facility management scenario in this case study, an HVAC contractor was able to provide remote resolution of maintenance issues, enhancing service delivery while reducing downtime and disruption to critical operations.

4. Less Training Required With an Intuitive System

Modern remote systems like ODIN (Operator Display Integrated Network) are designed to present a user-friendly, simple, and streamlined way to access, monitor, and control the devices connected to your BMS. The intuitive system, controlled via the familiar format of a mobile application on an iPhone or Android device, dramatically reduces the amount of training or expertise required to operate HVAC building automation systems. 

It’s a software for everyday use that allows you to invite more users — even beyond the facilities team — to adopt the system. Management staff, desk staff, and even occupants can be empowered to have more control over the environment in which they’re working or living (based on permissions tied to their role).

5. Innate Cloud-Based Efficiencies For Tech Personnel

Energy-efficient, remote HVAC automation controls bring smart technology efficiencies to the job role of your technicians. As HVAC School from Wiley University explains, “a system with independent, smart controllers can monitor itself and self-diagnose issues before they come to the point where a human technician would notice them.”

Communication about building data, trends, and alerts is also more efficient, as people all over the map can collaborate in real time within the same system. The result saved time, money, and energy for everyone involved.

6. Faster Reaction Time and Reduced Repair Costs or Downtime

Faster reactions to HVAC issues and proactive monitoring from anywhere, at any time, on any internet-connected device, will ensure that technical teams can address problems more swiftly than ever before. 

The ODIN Alarms feature will even make it possible to set custom parameters for critical BACnet objects that will trigger instant, automated push notifications on your mobile device. When you carry your building in your pocket, a quick alert notification can mean near-instant reaction time that will minimize repair costs and head off issues before they get worse and lead to longer, more costly downtime.

Embracing the Future of HVAC Automation Controls

A remote BMS solution is a cornerstone of modern facility management. By prioritizing energy efficiency and remote access, businesses can unlock significant savings, streamline operations, and empower technical personnel to perform at their best. As organizations continue to embrace advances in automation technology, the journey towards sustainable and efficient facility management is now within reach. 

To learn more about how cloud-based HVAC building automation systems like ODIN can help you achieve operational excellence, connect with ODIN.

Topics: HVAC

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