If it seems the Internet of Things (IoT) applies to almost every part of our lives, it’s because it does.
The utilities, manufacturing, and facilities industries are no exception. Thanks to IoT, everyday devices and equipment like heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) are becoming smarter and more efficient.
For example, a big chunk of the utility bill for many US homeowners is attributed to heating and air conditioning. According to the US Energy Information Administration, on average, it's where more than half of a household’s annual energy consumption goes. But upgrading to a more sophisticated HVAC system can reduce monthly energy costs by an average of 30%.
Perhaps the overriding benefit of IoT for these industries is that it helps minimize energy consumption while keeping occupants comfortable. Let’s take a look at how IoT systems are helping save energy, reducing costs, and providing the greatest comfort possible.
Smart thermostats—where the indoor temperature can be adjusted from anywhere if an internet connection is available—were just the beginning of IoT HVAC systems. Today’s IoT-connected HVAC systems use sensors to monitor the entire system in real time, identify potential problems, and provide solutions to solve issues.
This type of connected monitoring is particularly valuable in hospitals and laboratories where the risk of contamination can be high and minimizing exposure as quickly as possible is essential.
There's no shortage of examples of how quickly utility companies have been able to leverage IoT-connected home and office devices to encourage smart energy usage while at the same time reducing costs for consumers.
In Canada, utility companies even offer free thermostats or deep discounts to encourage adoption. Once installed, you can register the device and opt in to any number of “green options,” including programs that automatically reduce settings during commute times, high usage/cost periods, and more.
Office buildings, typically unoccupied at night, still require temperature regulation to ensure occupants are comfortable during the day. And comfort is key—one study shows a correlation between the ideal indoor temperature and increased productivity.
Real-time monitoring with an IoT-connected HVAC system understands what the temperature should be at any given time. When the temperature isn’t correct, it identifies the source of the problem and sends an alert so maintenance can be scheduled. Information collected by the sensors also provides technicians with essential diagnostic data before they arrive on site. This can mean a faster response time, more accurate repairs, and lower maintenance costs.
Read more about how to unlock the value of IoT-enabled customer service experiences in our recent blog series.
Typically, HVAC systems and other facilities equipment are serviced on a specific, but likely arbitrary, date—even if there are no issues with the system. IoT identifies problems before they become major issues, saving on repairs and increasing the life of the system.
IoT is bringing new and exciting opportunities to the HVAC industry, providing embedded intelligence and connectivity that enables users to make better use of their assets—saving energy, lowering energy costs, and providing better comfort.
Want to know more about how IoT can help your organization? Check out Oracle’s IoT Service Monitoring for Connected Assets.
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