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For small business owners, all the details matter. Whether it’s a neighborhood restaurant, a family-owned convenience store or a local art gallery, tight margins can leave little room for error when it comes to refrigeration temperatures, HVAC equipment operation – and even lights left on when they shouldn’t be.

Control Options Growing for Today’s Small Businesses

Chuck Ross
For small business owners, all the details matter. Whether it’s a neighborhood restaurant, a family-owned convenience store or a local art gallery, tight margins can leave little room for error when it comes to refrigeration temperatures, HVAC equipment operation – and even lights left on when they shouldn’t be. Facility managers for large buildings often have full building automation systems to keep them alert to building conditions. But, up until recently, small business owners have had to simply cross their fingers and hope for the best when they locked up every night. Today, though, many of the same monitoring and control functions common to systems for larger facilities have been downsized to meet the needs of even the smallest businesses.

The small-building systems begin with a hub that acts as a central-dispatch operator for a range of connected devices. These can help keep owners on top of almost all building systems, including:

  • Lighting, with connected dimmer and rocker switches.
  • HVAC operation, with connected thermostats, including models for multistage heating and cooling equipment.
  • Refrigeration, with temperature monitoring and logging – and even alarming capabilities, with alerts sent by text or email.
  • Occupancy, with sensors for movement, along with door and window monitoring.

Even better, putting these devices into commission can be an almost plug-and-play process. A single hub can sometimes handle up to several dozen devices, and once they’re installed, operations can be monitored and controlled locally using a touchscreen device or remotely via mobile and desktop applications. Even better, should a business expand to multiple branches, owners can maintain the same level of control through the same app, by grouping devices by building location.
Photo courtesy of Leviton
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