IoT-Enabled Fluid Monitoring and Preventive Maintenance for HVAC

Modern-day HVAC is no longer just a thermostat device. The advanced IoT-enabled smart HVAC allows energy efficiency while providing optimal comfort to the occupants, through preventive maintenance and fluid monitoring.  In this blog, we will check out how customized IoT solutions can make HVAC systems smarter, more efficient, and more economical.

Fluid monitoring and preventive maintenance for HVAC
Published 10 Apr 2023Updated 10 Apr 2023
Autor Name

Kamal R

Table of Content

  • What is HVAC? 
    • HVAC Monitoring - What is it and Why is it Important? 
      • HVAC Monitoring: Operational Roadblocks and Challenges 
        • Inadequate Data Collection and Analysis 
          • Adherence to Environmental and Safety Regulations 
            • Scheduling Maintenance and Repairs
              • Early Problem Detection in Complex HVAC System
                • Potential Coolant Leakage 
                  • HVAC Fluid Contamination Monitoring
                  • Leverage IoT-Enabled HVAC Monitoring for Efficient Business Operations 
                    • IoT-powered Sensors
                      • Predictive Maintenance to Mitigate Costly Shutdown and Component Replacement 
                        • Predictive Analysis to Diagnose Problems Early on 
                          • Real-Time Data Analysis 
                            • Alerts and Notifications 
                              • Fluid Monitoring For HVAC Systems 
                              • Final Word

                                What is HVAC? 

                                HVAC is an acronym that stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. 

                                HVAC systems regulate and circulate indoor air throughout the buildings, right from single-family homes to cars and from indoor stadiums to submarines. Apart from this, an HVAC filters outdoor air to maintain healthy IAQ, while keeping the humidity at comfortable and optimal levels.

                                Besides, HVAC systems play a huge role in the removal of excess moisture, odors, airborne germs, dust particles, and other harmful pollutants. 

                                HVAC Monitoring - What is it and Why is it Important? 

                                HVAC monitoring involves continuous tracking of total energy consumption, along with observing the overall performance of HVAC units. 

                                Without regular HVAC monitoring, the potential mechanical or operational issues may go unnoticed for months. This can result in breakdowns, low energy efficiency, unhealthy IAQ, and poor temperature control. 

                                Comprehensive monitoring of the HVAC system which includes chillers, exhaust fans, and motors, can help in detecting potential problems early on. Plus, analyzing the HVAC data gives businesses an opportunity for predictive maintenance to resolve potential issues instead of going through major repairs. 

                                HVAC Monitoring and Management: Benefits at Glance 

                                1. Saves on Energy Costs 
                                2. Enhanced Longevity of the HVAC System 
                                3. Prevents Emergency Repairs and Reduced Downtime
                                4. Protect Your Investment - HVAC system 

                                HVAC Monitoring: Operational Roadblocks and Challenges 

                                According to a report by Grand View Research, the U.S. HVAC market size was valued at $16.54 billion in 2021, with a projected CAGR of 5.6% from 2022-2030. With the HVAC systems becoming complex, facility managers often have to deal with HVAC inefficiencies and challenges. 

                                Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic brought the importance of healthy indoor air quality (IAQ). 

                                However, several HVAC systems still don’t possess sufficient capabilities to ventilate indoor spaces, while maintaining the temperature and humidity levels within the building. 

                                Here are some of the common HVAC complexities that can adversely affect its operational proficiency. 

                                Inadequate Data Collection and Analysis 

                                An average HVAC system generates a mammoth amount of data on daily basis. This data is further analyzed to determine and regulate ambient temperature, humidity, and air quality. 

                                However, collecting and crunching such astronomical data is time-consuming, and also susceptible to human errors and lack of transparency. 

                                Such scarce and dispersed data make it difficult for the HVAC systems to regulate the temperature, moisture, and IAQ of the building.  Also, the lack of real-time data increases the possibility of long shutdowns, resulting in the loss of productive working hours and dollars. 

                                Adherence to Environmental and Safety Regulations 

                                HVACs are some of the largest “power guzzlers” as they consume around 35% of total energy.  Therefore, it becomes necessary to take corrective steps to make them energy efficient. 

                                Moreover,  HVACs are crucial in maintaining the IAQ by restricting the spread of various microbial contaminations and diseases. 

                                Hence, regulatory bodies have set standards to ensure that HVAC improves sustainability and makes the systems healthy, energy-efficient, and affordable. 

                                Businesses that don’t comply with environmental and safety standards can result in dire repercussions. 

                                However, inaccurate data analytics create hurdles in adhering to regulatory compliance. Organizations cannot have visibility into which aspects to improve due to insufficient data.

                                HVAC Complexities

                                Scheduling Maintenance and Repairs

                                Preventative maintenance is vital to keep HVAC systems operational throughout the season, so there are no surprise breakdowns. 

                                However, scheduling regular maintenance and repairs is important to mitigate the risk of shutdown and loss of valuable working hours and revenues. 

                                In absence of transparent and accurate data, predictive maintenance is almost impossible. 

                                Technicians cannot determine or predict when to perform repairs or maintenance to maximize productivity and reduce repair or replacement costs. 

                                Early Problem Detection in Complex HVAC System

                                HVACs are complex systems with different components and require proper configuration. A minor fault in any component can lead to high energy consumption, undesirable IAQ, and even potential damage to the mechanical parts. 

                                However, continuous monitoring of the system and identifying the faults at the early stage is not an easy task. 

                                Without a proper HVAC monitoring system in place, monitoring different parts and their configuration becomes difficult. This can impact the performance, increasing the maintenance and repair expenses. 

                                Potential Coolant Leakage 

                                Coolants are a critical component of an HVAC system. Coolant leakages are more than an inconvenience. They can be hazardous, as coolant is toxic to the surrounding environment and humans. 

                                Moreover, if there is a leak, the level of coolant reduces significantly and adversely affects the operational capabilities of the HVAC system. 

                                HVAC Fluid Contamination Monitoring

                                Besides,  temporarily absorbing captured heat and transferring it to usage points, fluids in HVAC systems must act as antifreeze and offer protection against corrosion. 

                                Therefore, it becomes pivotal to ensure these fluids are free from any contamination. 

                                Contaminated fluids can form sludge and residual build-up within HVAC components, impacting its operation and increasing maintenance costs. 

                                Leverage IoT-Enabled HVAC Monitoring for Efficient Business Operations 

                                Periodic HVAC monitoring is essential to enhance the longevity of the HVAC system, along with making the building energy efficient. However, manual inspections are daunting, lengthy, and laden with inaccurate data. 

                                The advent of IoT-enabled HVAC monitoring systems allows the technicians and maintenance staff to gain deep insight into the performance, implement proactive optimization strategies and take a step towards sustainable energy. 

                                IoT-powered Sensors

                                Diagnosing problems in legacy HVAC systems is a lengthy process that requires the right combination of tools, expertise, and efforts. 

                                But, with IoT-enabled sensors, remote HVAC monitoring becomes a matter of a few hours. HVAC contractors or facility managers can gain valuable insights to identify potential problems through a smartphone app or a website. 

                                For example, these sensors can detect potential leakage, along with tracking key parameters such as variations in pressure, vibration, temperature, humidity, and airflow. 

                                Equipping this information allows the technicians to get a better understanding of the HVAC system and accurately assess its status. 

                                Moreover, the maintenance team can examine the operational efficiency, reduce waste and avoid unexpected machine failure to save on maintenance expenditure. 

                                Predictive Maintenance to Mitigate Costly Shutdown and Component Replacement 

                                Reactive maintenance is a traditional approach to HVAC troubleshooting. However, this results in long shutdowns, as the technician has to discover the problem before fixing it. 

                                Such a situation can prove detrimental to industries such as pharmaceutical plants, food processing units, and scientific research laboratories. The rising in temperature, humidity, or inferior indoor air quality can affect the integrity of final products.

                                IoT Enabled HVAC Monitoring

                                But, with IoT-enabled preventive maintenance, contractors, facility managers, or technicians can identify potential inefficiencies remotely, plan a repair strategy and save on high maintenance costs. 

                                Predictive Analysis to Diagnose Problems Early on 

                                Deciding when to schedule maintenance and repair is important - It needs to be done at the right time to ensure the HVAC system works flawlessly. 

                                With IoT sensors, gathering real-time data from an HVAC system becomes easier. This data is stored in a cloud-based centralized platform where the technicians can access and analyze the information. 

                                They can use this data to detect problems early on, such as decreased efficiency, excessive energy consumption, or unusual vibration. 

                                Based on this, technicians can identify the anomalous patterns, helping the maintenance team to schedule repairs or servicing before things go out of control 

                                Real-Time Data Analysis 

                                Data analytics is one of the effective ways to achieve energy efficiency and sustainability. 

                                With an IoT-enabled HVAC monitoring system streamlines data collection, filtering, transmission, and analysis. 

                                This insightful data help the technicians and facility managers lower energy costs, potential device outages, and staff productivity. 

                                Since IoT sensors are connected to the analytics platform, it allows the technicians to figure out the maintenance requirements, mitigating costly downtime and interruption to operations. 

                                Alerts and Notifications 

                                IoT-based alert and notification systems help to gain precise alerts for a potential glitch in the HVAC system. 

                                The threshold parameter values are fed into the system. The sensors take real-time readings and send them to a centralized hub. This data can be accessed through an integrated dashboard to monitor whether the parameters fall within the prescribed limits. 

                                If any reading goes beyond the range, an alert is sent to the technicians notifying them about the potential problem well in advance. 

                                Fluid Monitoring For HVAC Systems 

                                Fluids play a significant role in an HVAC as they absorb the heat, keeping the system well insulated and functioning efficiently. However, inappropriate handling and utilization of fluids can damage its quality, which minimizes efficiency, adds up to maintenance expenses, and lowers product quality.

                                Types Of IoT-Based Air Quality Monitoring Solutions

                                IoT fluid monitoring removes the inaccuracy of traditional methods and offers actionable insights about fluid levels and quality. This helps businesses to reduce frustrating downtime, lower operational risks, and mitigate huge maintenance costs. 

                                Final Word

                                Advanced IoT platforms are paving the way for HVAC manufacturers, contractors, and facility managers to deliver efficient and data-driven solutions. If you are looking for customized, scalable, and top-notch IoT solutions for the HVAC industry, contact Intuthings

                                Let us build reliable IoT solutions for you