Keep Your Hotel Doors Open by HVAC Maintenance

Anyone in the hospitality industry understands that they are in the business of creating and maintaining customer satisfaction. Few hospitality businesses have to deal with customer comfort complaints more than the hotel business. Often, guests make a decision on leaving a bad review or returning to a hotel again purely based on the interior climate of the room and the level of comfort that this affords them. Guest comfort is most easily thrown off by the interior climate of the room, and according to Travel Plus, 24% of all guest complaints that a hotel receives will be about the temperature in the room.

The heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system maintains the climate inside the hotel and its effectiveness has a direct connection to guest comfort. The HVAC system is typically the most expensive operating cost that a hotel has, and so penny-pinching hotel managers may be inclined to be frugal with its use or to neglect the proper servicing that it needs to operate. If efforts to save energy and maintain the HVAC system are managed incorrectly, hotel owners can do more damage and incur more costs than they would otherwise by leaving the HVAC system alone.

There are numerous prudent and proactive measures a hotel can put in practice in reducing HVAC energy usage that can lead to significant savings for a building. One of the first steps that a hotel should take is to get an ASHRAE level 2 audit or a retro-commission study done on their building. These studies will provide immediate feedback information and suggest such as: whether the HVAC system currently in operation is the right size, detailed HVAC requirements for the building, and additional impact areas where the hotel improve upon.

Hotel rooms typically each have their own individual room controls for interior temperature, and so there is great variability in room settings and HVAC requirements room by room. The more that an HVAC system is operating to meet individual room requirements, the more energy it is using. Scheduling the HVAC so that it runs only when necessary is one of the best methods to reduce energy use. The HVAC system should be on for a room only immediately before it is occupied and while it is occupied. HVAC running in empty rooms is extremely wasteful and adds significant unnecessary costs to the operating expenses of the hotel. This idea also applies to common spaces such as meeting rooms and banquet halls. These large spaces have a proportionally massive HVAC load compared to the individual hotel rooms and should be placed on an automation system with demand control, temperature, control, and lighting controls.

Building managers can reduce HVAC energy use by as much as ten percent when they implement a disciplined and rigorous HVAC maintenance schedule for their building. Some of the most critical maintenance practices to incorporate into the maintenance plan are dependent on the systems they use, but should include:

  • Visually and systematically inspect all wiring and sensors
  • Clean the system coils (both evaporator and condenser)
  • Replacing filters
  • Test and calibrate system controls
  • Lubricate and adjust equipment on a scheduled basis
  • Inspect and repair any ductwork leaks as needed
  • Replace worn and weather-stripped seals

A maintenance plan that addresses these practices at a minimum will lend numerous benefits over time to building managers. Effective scheduled maintenance is the very best way to avoid unexpected system failures that require costly service calls and room unavailability that eats into profits. Scheduled maintenance also ensures that HVAC equipment lasts longer, which decreases the lifecycle costs experienced and increases the time between extremely costly HVAC system upgrades. As a hotel continues to operate with an effective HVAC maintenance plan, energy bills will reduce month to month, and the hotel can move the savings into improving other aspects of the business.

Goodway Technologies offers numerous products that can make any HVAC preventative maintenance easy. However, in the hotel/motel market, there are two commonly used HVAC systems that Goodway offers advanced products for cleaning a maintaining. The first common HVAC system in hotels is the Packaged Terminal Air Condition (PTAC). The other common system is the Vertical Terminal Air Conditioner (VTAC). Goodway offers multiple products designed to clean these systems in place.

 

Next Steps:

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