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March 2, 2010 -
Today's topic is BAS start/stop functions.
A basic control function is simply to schedule HVAC equipment to turn on and at given times. It's always worth checking to make sure that this capability is being used. In some cases, it may have been turned off in an attempt to meet a temporary need, then not turned back on. In other cases, the facility staff may be hesitant to shut down heating and cooling if occupants are in the building late at night. But even a very late stop time – midnight, for example – will save energy and money compared to round the clock operation.
BAS start/stop optimization programs can do far more than simply on/off scheduling based on time of day. They can analyze outdoor and indoor temperatures to determine when equipment needs to be started. They can also schedule equipment operation to ensure that wear on boilers and chillers is as evenly distributed among all units as possible.
These powerful programs can save energy and extend equipment life. That's why it’s important for facility executives to ensure that start/stop optimization capabilities are being taken advantage of. It's also important to ensure that facility operations staff understands the value of start/stop optimization. Otherwise, there's a chance that they will disable it. Finally, it's important to have schedules checked periodically to ensure that they are still in synch with building occupancy.