The Internet of Things, or IoT, is a system of interrelated computing devices, mechanical and digital machines, and technology objects that provide the unique ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction. Data collecting from the Internet of Things in relation to HVAC systems can help drive “smart” intelligence and beneficial building automation. Connectivity allows commercial building owners to gain operational savings and HVAC energy efficiency by increasing levels of control.
Real-time data transferred over a virtual network can drive operational productivity across many different functions. For HVAC systems in particular, everything from efficiency to maintenance response can be learned from data and improved upon. Building owners and facility managers can utilize this data to curb energy consumption and stay ahead of equipment malfunctions. Some other operational advantages that IoT can deliver are bottom line impacts such as enabled predictive maintenance, occupant comfort, improved system failure notifications, energy consumption reporting and remote access.
Some of the ways that IoT can boost HVAC efficiency with real-time data:
- Apply local weather and occupancy data to inverter settings on outdoor units
- Automatically adjust thermostats when the utility sends an event notice
- Adjust HVAC settings remotely through an app to prevent manual settings changes in a building automation system or the physical adjusting of individual thermostats
IoT can help maintenance professionals extend equipment longevity by proactively addressing errors or system malfunctions. This benefit is due to the ability to flag performance irregularities that indicate errors or malfunctions. Faster response time to maintenance concerns can lower the chance of the equipment consuming excess energy or a system failure. IoT can also enhance the effectiveness of HVAC preventive maintenance reminders by automating a process for routine maintenance in a system which can increase effectiveness and ensure they are not missed.
IoT Growth Expanding Rapidly
There are exciting advances for HVAC systems in our future due to the rapid increase of IoT in both commercial and consumer markets. Experts believe that “worldwide IoT spending will maintain a double-digit annual growth rate throughout the 2017-2022 forecast period and surpass the $1 trillion mark in 2022 (International Data Corporation, 2019).”
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