Smart and connected controls for commercial HVAC systems open up a world of possibilities through data. This includes the application of analytics to prevent unnecessary truck rolls and the scrambling that happens with emergency service calls. Systems can also receive the right amount of maintenance based on data, not on assumptions. Commercial HVAC system service providers need to know how data reduces surprise service calls and unnecessary maintenance by enabling predictive maintenance.
Prior to the age of the Internet of Things (IoT), technicians had to rely on outdated, arbitrary maintenance schedules. Maintenance was performed when either something broke or the schedule indicated. The result was extensive diagnostic delays or wasting time by servicing units that don’t really need it. Instead of spending time trying to figure out what’s wrong, today’s technicians can quickly see the issue and be better prepared for what is needed. Refined predictive maintenance also uses wicked smart algorithms to recognize when a problem is on the horizon. For example, a delta-t degradation alert might allude to dirty condenser coils, or a recovery time alert could mean an environmental issue or airflow issues. By recognizing these issues early through analytics, commercial HVAC system service technicians can respond before a breakdown occurs.
Using data to manage the commercial HVAC system helps to keep both technicians and their customers informed. As explained by ACHR News, “Technicians can embrace the new technology and keep their customers very well informed, but too much information could cause customers to panic and pay for unnecessary repairs.” Instead of getting lost in the data, wicked smart algorithms digitally transform the process. As a result, the right technician shows up at the right time with the right equipment and with the right plan to correct the problem and avoid unnecessary disruption to the use of the building.
Take this example. A HYTECH24/7 HVAC contracting customer had a customer—Bethany Christian School—who had a problem with a unit. A condensate sensor alerted the technician of a blocked drain line during the night. Instead of Bethany Christian School alerting the HVAC contractor that something was wrong later in the day, the contractor got the alert in their dashboard and went out before the customer even knew there was a problem. The contractor then deployed the right technician with the right tools to perform that specific job. They arrived at 7 AM, got the job done by 7:45 AM, and was able to make it to another revenue-generating service call, with no delays. The customer was so happy they told the customer they had never experienced such proactive service. This is training technicians and service calls to the trends and activities the data shows. The whole service call included knowing what unit was affected, the problem, and what equipment was needed for resolution.
Using data to make commercial HVAC system predictive maintenance possible, technicians also realize added benefits through less commoditization of HVAC maintenance. In other words, technicians can see the problem in advance, and in some cases, they may be able to address the need. As further defined by Tech Times, “any minor issues can be resolved from a remote location with the click of a few buttons. This saves the added expense of manpower for the OEM, while the consumer gets to save on contractor costs.”
Going back to the Bethany Christian School example, the HVAC contractor was able to shut down the affected unit at the time of the alert. This prevented further damage to the unit and avoided the risk of higher maintenance costs.
Additional benefits were realized during the day due to the problem’s early correction. If the problem had gone unchecked, it would have caused comfort problems for the teacher, students, and even administrators. After all, no one wants to learn in a hot classroom. By clearing the line at the start of the day, the students and teachers were unaware of any disruption. The classroom was comfortable for learning, and the unit did not suffer subsequent damage. As a result, the total cost of ownership (TCO) decreases, and with the fix being so simple, a full-service call was eliminated. The facilities team was so impressed that they don’t dare put their maintenance contract out to bid anymore; they are now a true partner.
Identifying the trends within data-driven analytics provides immense insights for HVAC technicians. Technicians can then use these insights to make informed decisions and perform maintenance when the data indicates it’s needed. This also helps to build rapport with your HVAC service clients and eliminates the hassle of traditional reactionary and scheduled maintenance. Find out how your company can be part of the digital transformation of commercial HVAC system service by visiting HYTECH 24/7 online today.
With over 40 years experience in the industry, Chip is innovating and invigorating HVAC Service contracting. Graduating from Southern Methodist University in Industrial Engineering, gaining his Professional Engineer License, and leading a $120 million mechanical contractor since 1999, Chip has achieved “HVAC Expert” status. His out-of-the-box thinking creates an exciting corporate environment and HYTECH 24/7 has become a leader in HVAC Service As A Software, predictive analytics, 24/7 monitoring, data analysis, alert monitoring and verification, condensate leak protection, digital maintenance and a patent-pending HYLTH-E Card. In his spare time, Chip enjoys his family, his faith, wake surfing, pickleball, spike ball, inshore fishing for snook, golf, biking, watersports, good bourbon, and traveling.