Do You Know Your Controls Service Provider? (Part One)

Your controls service provider functions as a partner with your in-house staff and mechanical contractor to meet your goals for safe, effective, reliable and cost-effective building operation. To make sure you are getting the best possible service for your investment, it is important to know your technician’s level of expertise (and possible limitations). In addition, there are also a few key items to be sure to include in your service contract.

Does your technician:

  • Understand the operator interface functionality, add-on software and integration capabilities for all equip­ment being serviced?
  • Know how applicable codes, regulations, and market forces impact control strategies such as time of day metering, demand control, rate increases, load shedding strategies and minimum ventilation requirements?
  • Readily identify seasonal norms and deficiencies and outline recommended mechanical work such as rec­ommended filter changes?
  • Suggests appropriate control strategies such as demand controlled ventilation, start stop time optimization, boiler and chiller reset schedules, equipment lead/lag control and economizer operation that can improve costs with existing equipment?

Does your service contract include provisions to ensure:

  • Scheduled calls are kept according to the contract with respect to number and frequency and changes are conveyed in advance?
  • Labor and material charges are defined per contract and include a clear process for identifying, approving and managing any work outside the contract terms?
  • Routine control system database backups are performed and stored on a reliable medium both locally and off-site to ensure prompt systems recovery in the event of catastrophic computer hardware failure?
  • Standard procedures are implemented for operator interface database backup and the means for backing up files will be stored both locally and off-site?

It is important to understand the responsibility and basic level of expertise of your controls services provider in order to maintain safe, effective, reliable and cost-effective building operation.

For more information on how controls services can add value to your building automation system, please contact Jeff Clark at (717) 845-7654 or

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