Aerial Photography of Brown Concrete Building
Aerial Photography of Brown Concrete Building

Retrofitting Old buildings with Smart HVAC Systems


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Linked smart sensors play a significant role in establishing HVAC systems, particularly for old longstanding buildings. With sensors connected to the current system, its components, including the back-end software, provide data analytics. As a result, old buildings generously receive many benefits from smart HVAC systems. While it isn’t challenging to embrace smart HVAC systems for new buildings because some of them are already installed from the very start, it’s a different challenge for old buildings.

The term “retrofitting” is created, describing old buildings adopting any smart technologies. In older buildings, a battery-operated and wireless sensor platform can be vital as it may be a challenge and can be prohibited to install external cabling alongside walls. With that being said, old buildings are not required to take away any existing HVAC system components to adopt smart HVAC technologies.

and another $2 billion improving old guest rooms. There were over 1 billion sensors and IoT devices installed in commercial buildings by the end of 2021. Furthermore, an increasing number of startups are already promising that any buildings can become a smart building regardless of location, construction, or age. Therefore, old buildings are no exception.

Let’s thoroughly explore the art of retrofitting old buildings integrated with Smart technology:

1. Smart Sensors Are Turning Old Buildings New

There are four sensors commonly used for smart buildings: a flood sensor, water flow sensor, an A/C monitoring sensor and a sump pump sensor. An A/C monitoring system and sensors are designed to be installed for commercial central A/C units, detecting vapor and liquid pressure, temperature, and even real-time amperage numbers. This device will connect with cellular networks and provide 24/7 remote monitoring of commercial central air conditioning systems. It also detects issues and will notify building and maintenance managers right away.

  • Water flow sensors – are designed for water meters in indoor areas, detecting floods, water leaks, temperature, power outages and humidity. The sensor itself can help minimize water bills and even prevent damages because of its instant alerts for any variable changes.
  • Flood sensor – sensors focus more on flooding and water leakage in particular.
  • Sump pump sensor – detects rising water level, pending sump pump floods and failures, targeting preventing any accidents, and saving on insurance.

2. Reducing Lighting Issues for Energy Savings

HVAC sensors can function properly alongside sensors tied to any window treatments. Energy efficiency is best achieved during the process. In old buildings, properly placed sensors connected to motorized window treatments can pick up sunlight immediately. It can also adjust window shading amidst the course of the day. 

Additionally, roller shades compensate for this, and as a result, energy usage gets lower. You can consider using motorized shades because they can cut down both glare and heat. Old building owners wanted building personnel to be more productive and comfortable.

3. Retrofitting Reduces Risks and Saves Money

The good news is that it’s possible to retrofit older buildings with new and highly-efficient HVAC systems. Having partial HVAC system replacements can even mean a huge difference between operational temperature control or not. Thus, making the space in question in terms of comfortability for whatever living or work conditions may be required. An HVAC professional like you should determine what is possible for the given building space. It is also crucial for you to highly prioritize project management for construction.

Moreover, HVAC professionals must know firsthand that it is much less costly to retrofit any older buildings with an upgraded HVAC system than investing it for new building construction. Moreover, if the bones of the old buildings are right, a huge amount of money can be saved on retrofit options and heating and cooling costs.

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