How IoT can help with HVAC big data: Part 2

IoT (Internet of Things) sensors, which are embedded within the electronics, software, and actuators of a typical HVAC system, provide a slew of valuable information that can be later analysed for purposes of energy consumption, peak demand reduction, and systems efficiency. The wealth of information provided by these IoT sensors eliminates the need for time-consuming and less efficient manual audits, says Kevin Burns is the president of Bob Jenson air conditioning.

Actionable results of building analytics include optimised environment agents, measuring system performance against industry standards, achieving sustainability goals, benchmarking plug loads and lighting, and optimising financial performance. (Also see:- Why big data and building analytics aren’t going anywhere: Part 1)

Automated detection and prediction

Automated building systems have the added benefit of using detection systems and data-driven solutions to uncover problems such as excess runtime, programming errors, valve leaks, stuck dampers, and equipment failures. This ability is known as AFDD, or automated fault detection and diagnostics, and can be used to prevent issues before they occur or identify past trends and issues. The use of AFDD extends the life of existing equipment, reduces the total costs to repair that equipment, and decreases the amount of disruptive downtime.

Furthermore, this data can be used progressively by design teams to better align the relationship between their products and customers’ needs, including service productivity and future repair or replacement concerns.


The top priority of any building’s HVAC system is, of course, the comfort for the people inside that building. Data analytics create ventilation systems to make every occupant of residential and commercial buildings feel comfortable.

Reduction of airborne pollutants

The federal government has made poor indoor air quality one of their top targets for reducing environmental risk; for instance, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that become present inside commercial buildings on a typical hot day can cause a wide array of short- and long-term adverse health effects.

Kevin Burns

Real-time sensors and monitors will aid in ventilation of those VOCs, along with other air pollutants that can aggravate allergies, trigger asthma attacks, and cause nausea or chronic headaches.

Temperature and humidity

Employees work better with fresher air, and homeowners feel better when the temperature and humidity inside their homes are kept at reasonable levels. Real-time data provided by automated systems will maintain industry standards by regulating temperature and reducing humidity. The added benefits of such a well-maintained building include a reduction in pollutants, bad odors, mold, dust mites, and bacteria that contribute to poor health.

In many industries — such as food processing and pharmaceuticals — a consistency of air quality is paramount to successful business operations. Reliance on high-quality, rigorous, and automated building systems in these and similar work environs is of utmost importance.

The takeaway

Big data and building analytics simply aren’t going to disappear; they’re essential for the growing demand for sustainable growth and energy efficiency. They have very few barriers to implementation, and those barriers that do exist are marginal and do not outweigh the cost benefits.

The emergence of the cloud as a resource to compute large-scale data sets has made big data one of the most scalable solutions for businesses today, and utilising building analytics in a software-as-a-service model is the least costly long-term model and the most reliable, particularly when compared to the use of industry consultants and custom-built systems.

Demand will only increase as more organisations adopt analytics for their purposes. Research from Bain & Company has shown that while only 4% of companies have taken full advantage of big data and building analytics, these early adopters are two times more likely to be in the top quartile for their industry’s financial performance.

The author of this blog is Kevin Burns is the president of Bob Jenson Air Conditioning

About the author

Kevin Burns is the president of Bob Jenson Air Conditioning in San Diego with over 29 years of experience in the HVAC Field. He has worked in every aspect of the industry and has trained dozens of people. He has a passion for doing what’s right for each home and customer and sets this standard for his entire team

Comment on this article below or via Twitter: @IoTNow_OR @jcIoTnow

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