Energy Savings and Comfort Depend on Sensor Calibration
May 12, 2010 - Contact FacilitiesNet Editorial Staff »
Today's topic is the importance of keeping sensors calibrated.
We all know the saying, garbage in, garbage out. That phrase applies to the building automation system as much as to any other computer system.
One sure way to reduce the effectiveness of the BAS is to fail to check and calibrate sensors on a regular basis. The BAS uses data from those sensors to control HVAC and other equipment, to issue alarms, and to develop reports. But over time those sensors go out of calibration or stop functioning. The only way to make sure they're delivering accurate data is to put them on a regular maintenance schedule.
Of course, that's easier said than done. Like many preventive maintenance activities, sensor calibration is easy to put off when staff is busy or the budget is tight. But false readings and failed sensors can waste a considerable amount of energy. What's more, they can produce occupant complaints about uncomfortable conditions. If that happens, the facility staff may very well wind up spending time trying to figure out what’s wrong and mollifying occupants.
A building automation system is a substantial investment. Keeping sensors calibrated is an important step to getting the value from that investment.