The Power of Visibility

Two workers inspecting ventilation system

Two workers inspecting ventilation system

What does Small Box Energy mean when we say chameleon™ gives our customers visibility? Is it another marketing buzz word to get me to install yet another technology, full of promises that I never see? Unfortunately, while technology is cool and innovative, we understand that sometimes it is hard to see the value over the ‘cool’ factor. Our Deployment Team and Client Success Managers see the value of chameleon on a daily basis.  

Our Director of Deployment shared this HVAC example with me last week, reiterating the value of visibility for our customers.

Why wasn’t the Service Area cooling?

Once the Small Box Energy solution is installed; there is a two week period used to ‘tune’ the system. During this time, we make the necessary adjustment to maximize efficiency for the each store including temperature settings, lighting schedules, and alarm notifications.

Remote Diagnostics: When the thermostat was calling for cooling, and indeed running, the discharge temperature was not decreasing for the ‘service area’ of the restaurant.  The discharge temperature should be 15-20˚ below the target temperature.

On-site Inspection: Upon physical inspection, there was no air coming out of the registers in this area. When inspecting the rooftop unit, we found the unit was running correctly and receiving the correct commands from the thermostat. Upon inspection of the ductwork, we found the ducts were connected to another HVAC unit. This was causing an imbalance in the system and a heavier load on the dining room HVAC unit. Therefore, the owner is getting this corrected.

Why is this important?

  1. Two HVAC units feeding into one set of registers makes it almost impossible to keep a constant temperature for that space. It’s even possibly causing one of the units to go into heating mode while the other unit is in cooling mode to balance out the space temperature.
  2. For the space that is supposed to be cooled. Nothing happens. Temperature does not change. The employees have a tendency to keep turning down the set points for the “Service Area” thinking this will solve the temperature issue; but in reality, it adds to the issues already prevalent to the HVAC zone with two HVAC units fighting each other to obtain a temperature balance.
  3. As you can see, this would cause high run times for these units just to keep balance, thus wasting energy.


Without the visibility of the newly installed chameleon system, this issue would have continued to go unnoticed for an extended period of time if not indefinitely resulting in wasted energy consumption, as well as wear and tear on the HVAC units, reducing the life expectancy of the units’ components. Now that this issue is fixed, we will be able to see how the equipment is running 24/7, ensuring efficiency and extended life.

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