NAPLES, Fla. - Tin City, a unique shopping area in Naples, Fla., was interested in a way to control temperatures without having to install single meters throughout each shop.

After meeting with Jim Roberts, Service Manager at Wiegold & Sons, the manager of Tin City soon realized Roberts offered an easy solution, which, in the long run, would also save money.

"We met with the decision makers at Tin City and discussed their primary cooling needs," said Roberts. "After gaining a better understanding of their needs and desires, we put together a proposal incorporating 37 thermostats controlled with Proation Software.

The manager of Tin City was looking for a solution that would reduce overall air conditioning run-time and bring desired temperatures to individual shops. Also stressed was the importance of working around the business hours of retail shops to avoid inconveniences to customers and shop owners.

"I put two guys on the job and they had it completed within four days,' said Roberts. "The hardest part was running wire from the thermostats to the control box. We were able to start early in the morning and finish by noon each day, so it could be 'business as usual' for all of the shops."

Establishing an HVAC Automation System using Aprilaire Communicating Thermostats is done in a few basic steps:

  • Installing the thermostats is no different than installing a typical programmable thermostat;

  • Category-5 wire is then used to link each thermostat to a communication panel. One panel is needed for every eight thermostats;

  • Next, a device called a protocol adapter establishes a link between the communication panel and the computer. Ultimately, the protocol adapter acts as a translator for the thermostats and computer software.

    "Our guys had a few days of training when we initially introduced the equipment, but it's so easy to install and operate, you can't hardly screw it up," said Roberts. "It also incorporates a stand-alone feature, which is another main reason we chose the Aprilaire automation system."

    The unique stand-alone feature ensures equipment operation in the event of a computer malfunction.

    Wiegold & Sons took HVAC Automation to a new level and were also able to provide a much-demanded service to the manager of Tin City while ensuring long-term profitability for their own company.

    "We placed the entire system online, so we could provide 24-hour offsite monitoring," said Roberts. "It allows us to respond immediately to any major problem and also saves a service call for minor tweaks shop owners may want to make."

    "So far everyone is happy. A tremendous energy savings has already been realized and the system has only been up and running for three months. We're anxious to see the savings when hot Florida weather hits and air conditioners are operating at full-steam!"

    For more information on HVAC Automation and Aprilaire Communicating Thermostats, call 800-334-6011.

    Publication date: 02/12/2001