Get Rid of Out of Date Control Systems

fuse boxOut-of-date controls systems costs building owners millions of dollars annually. Energy is wasted making rooms too cold, or too hot. That can lead to more than just discomfort for people, because electrical systems also need steady temperatures to function at their peak. An old controls system will not do that consistently. Its failures may not always be obvious, but a need for comfort during off-hours, or a sudden failure, will make the flaws in a Building Automation System — BAS — obvious. Comparing the performance of a BAS to peers in similar buildings can help make the need for a new system clear. If a BAS is 10 percent to 20 percent less efficient, the need for a new system is clear.

If it is worse than that, even more dollars being sucked out of the maintenance budget. If making a peer comparison is difficult, see if costs are growing, and if there are costs that are not measured in dollars, such as extra time spent responding to complaints about comfort. If parts for the BAS are so old they are only available on EBay, again, it is time to think about a new, efficient system. The goal is not just to get the system to where it should be, which still may cost as much as 40 percent more in energy as a modern BAS, but to make the controller as efficient as possible, easy to adjust and easy to fix. Invest the money where it will make the difference: in a new BAS, not in endless tinkering with an old one that at best will still cost more.


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