While many vendors have discontinued their lines of PTACs, others are increasing innovation.
“We added some features to our PTACs which had always been optional, such as energy-management system devices,” said AJ Bhimji of Carrier ACW. “We have now built all these in; you could probably get most of the stuff you need without buying any additional energy-management units.”
At a time when owners are strapped for cash, the built-in technology can allow them to operate their property with a smaller technology investment. “It gives the hotel owners more flexibility for customizing the room temperatures they want units to be running at, and saving energy without adding additional components that cost $300 each,” said Bhimji. “It was cheap and easy for us to add components to the unit to be able to give better benefits to our customers. You can add a wall thermostat, wired or wireless, or front-desk controls as well.”
Government regulations mean that PTAC technology will become even more advanced in the near future. “The word is out there from the Environmental Protection Agency, but nothing concrete has yet come out,” said Bhimji. “The government is looking at three different things: One is looking to add fresh air into hotel rooms via a traditional wired PTAC unit; for now it’s a manual thing. Two, the government is thinking of adding a motorized unit requirement; all the manufactures are probably trying to figure out how to get that done. The government also wants the efficiency to go higher.”