Building Management

If Valves and Actuators Aren’t Healthy – Neither is the BMS

HVAC equipment including valves, actuators and sensors can account for Schneider-Electric-Valves-and-Actuatorsapproximately 35% of energy use in commercial buildings. Efficient, smart buildings manage those costs with reliable HVAC control devices that help regulate and decrease a facility’s energy use, giving early warning of potential problems and dangerous system conditions. Valves and actuators provide reliable, efficient HVAC control for a variety of applications; including Fan Coil Units (FCU’s), Air Handling Units (AHU’s), Chillers, Boilers, Variable Air Volume Reheating among others. These applications are found in a wide range of market segments; such as healthcare, data centers, commercial buildings, and education.

While these critical control devices can operate for years without a problem, when something does go wrong it often goes undetected as they are not a specific focus in most service contracts, simply considered part of the overall BMS. Despite the importance and expense of maintaining building efficiency, most building owners/operators – some 55% in the United States – rely on reactive maintenance strategies like this to care for their equipment. This means they wait until equipment, for example critical control devices, falters or fails completely before initiating corrective action. By waiting until actual failure, these building operators ensure that repair costs will be at a maximum and that there will be interruptions in service while the repairs are made. This can have a huge impact on not only the cost and performance of the HVAC system, but also the entire BMS.

What is your valve and actuator maintenance plan? Let us know in the comments below.


2 Responses
  1. Tomas Killington

    My brother recently moved into an older home with his family. He has been trying to figure out where the majority of his energy bills are going to try and limit his spending. I didn’t realize that 35% of energy use in commercial buildings are monitored by items like valve actuators. I wonder if it is similar in residential buildings. If so, an electric valve actuator seems like an important part in keeping costs low.