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Heat computers prevent fuel, water waste.

Owners and managers of multi-family buildings can reduce their fuel, metered water and maintenance expenses during the upcoming heating season by installing an automated system to monitor and control the heating/hot water plant and water usage.

The OAS Heat Computer makes it possible to manage the heating plant and water usage from any location with a telephone and PC or laptop. Temperatures can be set and/or changed and water usage monitored simply by dialing the computers mounted in buildings' boiler rooms. Management personnel can also phone the computers at any time to check on apartment or hot water temperatures and find out about heating and hot water plant problems, such as flame failures, excessive stack temperatures, inadequate steam pressure, mixing valve malfunctions, water leaks, etc..

The OAS Heat Computer can also be programmed to automatically dial-out when there is a problem and provide a verbal or printed message describing the trouble and the time it occurred. This automated control saves a great deal of time for management personnel and building superintendents. It also enables them to know about problems before they become more serious.

Better Boiler Control

Most buildings are significantly overheated because the commonly used heating controls do not monitored apartment temperatures and continue to cycle the boiler or even when the building is too hot. Burning fuel to provide this unneeded heat can waste several thousand dollars annually. OAS Heat Computers prevent this waste by monitoring temperatures in the apartments as well as outside the building. They allow heat to be provided only when it is needed.

Managers of multi-family buildings where the computers have been installed report that reduced boiler cycling has resulted in fuel savings ranging from 20 to 35 per cent annually.

Tenants learn that the computers assure them of a predictable supply of all the heat and hot water to which they are legally entitled. They also become aware that computer alerts help managers and building superintendents respond more rapidly to problems.

Detecting Hot Water Problems

In buildings without automated monitoring and control systems, it can be difficult to detect the causes of some domestic hot water problem that not only waste water but also the fuel used to heat it.

Overheated hot water is a case in point. Tenants usually are not motivated to report it (unless they get scalded by the water, which can result in lawsuits). Excessively hot water causes the faucet washers to deteriorate. The building superintendent will run across a symptom of the problem in the form of dripping hot water faucet. He'll usually try to correct it by replacing the faucet washers. However, the dripping soon starts again. Eventually, overheated water can destroy the faucets.

Excessively hot water is usually the result of out-of-adjustment mixing valves. OAS Heat Computers detect this problem as soon as it occurs by monitoring the minimum and maximum temperatures of the water coming out of the mixing valve on a daily basis.

Insufficient hot water, a common tenant complaint, often is due to dirt on the hot water coil, which inhibits heat transfer from the boiler water to the domestic hot water. Building superintendents respond to the symptom but not the cause by raising the aquastat temperature setting to make the boiler water hotter. As a result, the boiler burns more fuel than necessary.

The OAS Computer identifies the cause by monitoring the boiler water and the water coming out of the hot water coil. If there is too great a difference, the hot water coil requires cleaning.

Water leaks also can be monitored with the Heat Computer. Heating plant return line leaks are a major cause of water loss and needlessly high water and fuel bills.

Since return lines are buried underground, the leaks cannot always be detected easily.

The OAS Heat Computer monitors the amount of water used daily by the boiler and will automatically call you if the use is excessive. At buildings where this is done by OAS Heat Computers, leaks responsible for water losses as high as 2,000 gallons a day have been detected.

The OAS Heat Computer also has the capability of monitoring the water meter New York City requires to be installed on buildings' water mains. The computer continuously monitors the water flow to enable owners to determine if high usage is due to water leaks in the domestic water system.
COPYRIGHT 1992 Hagedorn Publication
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
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Author:Suthergreen, David B.
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Aug 19, 1992
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