If you’re a facility or building owner or manager, chances are that you’re looking to increase the energy efficiency of your building. There are two very good reasons for that. First, energy costs are among one of the largest variable costs that you face in the operations and upkeep of your facility. Second, there are a number of external and internal forces demanding that organizations become greener and more environmentally friendly as individuals and governments work feverishly to combat global climate change.
In some instances, government agencies are requiring building owners and facility managers to increase energy efficiency by changing their building codes to reduce energy waste. According to a City Clean Energy Scorecard from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), a nonprofit that advocates to advance energy efficiency policies:
Since 2017, nine cities adopted more-stringent building energy codes: Las Vegas, Mesa, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Reno, San Antonio, St. Louis, and Tucson. Another five cities successfully advocated for their states to adopt more stringent standards: Columbus, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Seattle. In addition, eight cities adopted efficiency requirements for existing buildings: Chicago, Denver, Minneapolis, New York, Reno, Salt Lake City, San José, and Washington, DC
There are a number of factors and systems that contribute to a building’s energy usage, but HVAC is among the largest. This means that building and facility owners and managers are increasingly incentivized to reduce their HVAC usage and find other ways to cool their buildings and circulate air. That’s why facilities owners and operators are now looking to control comfort in their industrial and commercial spaces with large, high volume, low speed (HVLS) ceiling fans.
Spinning up savings
Running a ceiling fan to cool a space takes a fraction of the energy that it takes to run traditional HVAC. A recent case study about Hunter Fans shows that, as companies look to get their energy expenses under control, the idea of using fans to increase comfort until air conditioning becomes necessary is an attractive one to many building owners and facility managers.
This has led to a massive new market for the ceiling fan industry, which is now manufacturing and installing enormous HVLS fans in breweries, distilleries, gyms, warehouses and other commercial and industrial spaces.
In addition to increasing energy efficiency and reducing costs by reducing energy usage, these fans have another benefit. They have incredible longevity. By requiring little in the way of maintenance and repair and having long term life expectancies, running fans as opposed to HVAC systems can also help reduce maintenance and repair costs for building owners and managers.
However, for the fans to be truly a part of a building or facility’s larger cooling and HVAC systems, they need to integrate and interoperate with the building’s automation system. This is the only way to ensure an automated switch from fan systems to HVAC systems when temperatures rise above comfortable ranges.
Cool. Calm. Connected.
By utilizing gateway solutions, fan providers, such as Hunter Fans, are now enabling integration with building automation systems, which is delivering increased control over air circulation, even air distribution, space comfort, and equipment scheduling to the end-user both remotely and locally.
Through integration with the building automation system, building owners and managers are able to more effectively utilize the fan systems as a part of the facility’s larger cooling system, using fans to circulate air until a certain temperature threshold is crossed before initializing air conditioning systems to keep the conditions comfortable.
This helps to significantly increase the cost-efficiency of the facility and the HVAC systems, using the systems that cost more to run only when they’re absolutely necessary, and using systems with a lower cost of operation for as long as possible.
Today’s building and facility owners are not just looking to increase energy efficiency for cost savings, they’re required to eliminate energy waste from their properties. HVLS fans are an effective solution for reducing the usage of energy-sucking HVAC systems, but only if they’re connected and can be managed from the same building automation system as HVAC systems. Luckily, IIoT gateways are making that a reality.