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Data Loggers, Temperature Guns Make HVAC Troubleshooting Easier




October 2013 - HVAC

Temperature and humidity data loggers are relatively small battery-powered devices that can be tucked into the most obscure areas and can log thousands of data points. Depending on the task's requirements, technicians can set them to take a data point every second, every five minutes, or even every hour. These simple, easy-to-use devices provide flexibility and versatility, and they are relatively inexpensive. The least expensive devices have USB connections for downloading data. Newer wireless and web-accessible models offer automatic access and the ability to connect devices accessible through one access point.

Once, we had a dispute over whether or not a thermostat actually worked. A glove-wearing, perpetually cold person was convinced the system was set to freeze people out of the building, while the always-hot person insisted there was no way anyone could possibly stand the space being any warmer. A data logger settled it all by showing the thermostat, in fact, did work correctly and controlled the space as programmed. The issue was deemed personal. Gloves continued to be worn.

In another case, a building space experienced unusual, daily temperature fluctuations. Many theories arose, but no resolutions. While the building controls system could provide a great deal of temperature data, it was not the right information. Enter the data loggers. Technicians place data loggers throughout the system and in the space. After several days of monitoring, technicians downloaded the data and trended it. It became clear that the system had several issues, some of which related to the system and some to the controls. With the issues identified, the manager was able to implement the most effective solutions.

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