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Non-conventional heat monitoring can save $.

Non-conventional heat monitoring can save $

Traditionally, outdoor thermostats have been depended upon to activate boiler heating systems. Such systems operate on the basis that if the temperature drops below 55 degrees outdoors, the building needs heat, and the boiler would be automatically triggered. Of late, however, many building owners, co-op/condo boards, and even the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), have turned to fuel monitoring systems in order to more carefully gauge their building's heating requirements.

The motives for turning to more accurate heat monitoring systems are many. The most obvious is, of course, the ever present need to cut down on fuel costs. In addition, the real estate industry, like most other industries has greatly increased its level of environmental preservation awareness in recent years. As part of this push towards conservation, the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) has been examining the efficiency of its heating plants.

Recent success at two projects in the NYCHA system provided some welcomed good news from the city's energy conservation front. NYCHA's Wise Towers in Manhattan and 2125 Glebe Avenue in the Bronx showed a significant savings using a computerized heat control and monitoring system developed here at U.S. Energy Controls Inc.

The Fuel Monitor 2000 is designed to reduce money spent on fuel and overheating by adjusting heat levels according to the actual indoor apartment temperature. Since the system monitors in accordance with the actual needs of the apartments the readings are more accurate, the boilers will be used less and their longevity will increase. In addition, water consumption and electricity usage is also reduced.

After installing Fuel Monitor 2000, NYCHA has reported reduced fuel consumption from 11 percent to 12.9 percent. Recently, prominent building owner and manager Herb Donner reported reduced fuel consumption of 23 percent after Fuel Monitor 2000 was installed in his apartment building.

Systems like the Fuel Monitor 2000 use strategically placed sensors that measure the temperature inside the apartments to activate the heating system accordingly. These systems can allow for minimum and maximum temperature settings every hour of the day or night, thereby meeting government regulations, satisfying tenant needs, and reducing energy costs.

The Fuel Monitor 2000 provides 24 set point temperatures and, for most buildings with 50 units or more, it pays for itself within one year. The activities of the Fuel Monitor's heat monitoring system and controls are printed out by an on-site printer, which has a three-day memory. The printer also supplies a hard copy of the system's status which can be used to monitor the building's heating system activities. Information crucial to indicate waste or efficiency is provided by easy to read warning messages.

Additional printouts for the Fuel Monitor 2000 include the date, time, indoor and outdoor temperature averages, room temperatures, status of the boiler (on/off) and the total day and night running times of oil/gas and hot water. Numerous other options are available, such as daily indications of problem burners/boilers, coil and stack temperatures, vacuum and pressure readings, and isolated apartment readings. The controls can be accessed on location or remotely via telephone.

The Mini Monitor, another U.S. Energy Controls product, accommodates buildings of 20 units or less by using one sensor. Both the 2000 and the Mini Monitor systems are capable of monitoring heating systems for indoor and outdoor temperatures.

NYCHA has already installed the U.S. Energy Fuel Monitor 2000 in the 11 building Fulton House Project in Manhattan and plans to install the system in 30 or more of its buildings.

Gerald M. Pindus President U.S. Energy Controls, Inc.
COPYRIGHT 1991 Hagedorn Publication
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1991, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:Property Improvement Supplement
Author:Pindus, Gerald M.
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Oct 16, 1991
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