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Reduce HVAC Costs With Condition-Based Maintenance & IoT Sensors

We talk about the benefits of preventative maintenance over reactive maintenance all the time — and that isn’t going to change any time soon. However, we also know that as a facilities manager, you are always looking for ways to save money and optimize your maintenance schedules for efficiency. With the new TrilliumFS IoT HVAC sensors, you can have the best of both worlds. 

Here’s how to use these sensors to start saving money on HVAC maintenance.

Reactive Vs. Proactive Vs. Condition-Based Maintenance

Especially in today’s environment, businesses are crunched and trying to save money. We get it. But being reactive and waiting for something to go wrong with your HVAC is almost always going to cost more in the long-run – both in emergency repair costs and potential loss of business if you’re forced to close down while repairs are made. What’s more, not maintaining your system regularly will ultimately shorten its lifespan, just as not changing your car’s oil will shorten the engine’s lifespan. 

A proactive strategy aims to keep your HVAC system in tip-top condition with regular inspections and maintenance. During these manual inspections is generally when minor issues are found and repaired before they become major problems that lead to system breakdown. But what about all of those quarterly checks when you get the ‘all clear,’ and you can’t help but feel a bit annoyed as costs add up on a perfectly healthy system?

Is there a strategy that offers the benefits of both types of maintenance? Now there is. 

Condition-based maintenance allows you to make decisions about maintenance and repairs based on the actual health and condition of your HVAC system. This is achieved by installing TrilliumFS IoT sensors. 

HVAC IoT Sensors

With proactive and reactive maintenance, you wouldn’t find problems until you had your HVAC system inspected or it broke down. Now, Trillium Facility Solutions is bringing HVAC maintenance into the 21st century with IoT (Internet of Things) remote sensors. Using artificial intelligence (AI) and predictive intelligence, these sensors do the job of an HVAC inspector 24/7, monitoring the condition of your system in real-time and alerting you to any problems or maintenance requirements before something goes wrong.

These HVAC IoT sensors allow you to “proactively react” because they tell you precisely what’s going on with your system, which helps you make data-driven decisions about how you want to handle the alert based on your budget. This saves you time and money on diagnostics visits when you don’t know what’s wrong with the system. It even saves you time and money on routine maintenance because you’ll know what parts need to be replaced and they can be ordered before your technician arrives. 

The sensor system also communicates with your existing work order management system to collect cumulative data on all maintenance and repairs. This allows you to make a more educated decision on HVAC repair versus replacement as your system ages and requires more frequent repairs. 

What The Sensors Tell You 

TrilliumFS IoT sensors are connected to web servers, which enables machine learning and allows them to diagnose performance and equipment issues around the clock. The sensors create alerts in three categories:

MAINTENANCE (filters & coils)

  • Filters dirty
  • Coils dirty/fouled
  • Replace filters in XX days (HEPA, pre-filter, final filter)
  • Replace UV Lights in XX days

MECHANICAL FAILURE (refrigerant leaks, fan failures, economizer problems)

  • Refrigerant leaks
  • Economizer failure
  • No power
  • Blower motor failure
  • Evaporator coil dirty/fouled
  • Condenser coil dirty/foul
  • Compressor failure — also kw/ton efficiency real time
  • Outdoor fan motor failure
  • Drain pipe clogged/water in pan (separate sensor)


ENERGY SAVINGS (running off-schedule, excessive kw/ton and $/ton)

  • Running off schedule
  • On-hold
  • Operating outside of manufacturing standards
  • Unit not cycling
  • Efficiency kw/ton degradation

Within 90 seconds of discovering an issue, the sensors create an alert and trigger an automatic work order to correct the problem.  

How It Works

Here’s how the TrilliumFS IoT HVAC sensor system works:

  • Step 1 – Sensors detect poor HVAC performance, worn parts, or required maintenance
  • Step 2 – Alert and recommended action is sent to facility manager for approval via mobile app based on the customer’s predefined rules for the unit
  • Step 3 – Work order or parts request is submitted to local vendor/technician and automatically scheduled
  • Step 4 – Work is performed
  • Step 5 – Work order is complete

All of this is completed with ONE click by the facility manager to approve the work order. Simply hit approve, and get back to work! 

Trillium Facility Solutions customers with an HVAC maintenance contract can have the IoT sensors installed in about 15 minutes. The system integrates with your existing work order management system so that there is nothing new for you to learn. A convenient mobile app is installed on the facility manager’s phone to receive real-time alerts on the building’s individual HVAC units. Once approved, the system will automatically send the requests to Trillium to schedule the technician or order the parts. When the work is completed, you will receive an alert that the unit is OK.

One major advantage of the IoT sensor system is that you can create different rules for different HVAC units in your facility. This gives you control over what types of issues will generate automatic work orders versus which ones should be reviewed prior to generating a work order.  

TrilliumFS IoT Sensors Deliver Real Results

Customers who have installed TrilliumFS IoT HVAC sensors have seen real and measurable results when it comes to reducing their HVAC operating costs, including:

  • Up to 25% reduction in maintenance costs
  • Up to 70% elimination of breakdowns
  • Up to 12% reduction in scheduled repairs
  • 50% reduction in downtime
  • 3-5% reduction in capital expenditures
  • Up to 50% reduction in unplanned outages

One customer in particular recouped their investment in the sensor system in just 12 weeks and saw a 317% internal rate of return after discovering and correcting key issues that would have led to total system failure. They realized an annual savings on utility expenses of more than $24,000, and now their 3-year-old HVAC units are on track to reach their 15-year life expectancy. 

Make The Switch And Save Big

It IS possible to have the best of both worlds with the new TrilliumFS IoT HVAC sensors! Find and fix minor issues before your system breaks down, save money on unnecessary maintenance, extend the lifespan of your system, and reduce overall HVAC operating costs when you make the switch to condition-based maintenance using state-of-the-art IoT sensor technology.

Best of all? Our HVAC IoT sensors are for any business, big or small. We’ve made it easy and affordable for any business to leverage this technology to monitor the health of their HVAC and ultimately save money with more efficient maintenance. 

Ready to learn more about the efficiencies you can expect from this exciting technology? Check out our eBook, The Ultimate Guide to Commercial HVAC in 2021.

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