Powersaver: Experts share eight tips for energy controls and sensors

1 Use a combination of occupancy detection types. Motion sensors can be very effective at detecting people if they are moving, but in some areas they will have difficulty distinguishing between objects such as a fan. By using infrared or heat detection, occupancy detectors are that much more effective.

2 Train staff on the mechanics of your energy management system. Don’t leave staff in the dark about how occupancy detectors are being used; the more they know the more they can work with the system.

3 Use software that shares information on energy savings in both the guestroom and public areas to monitor problem areas.

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4 Invest in compact fluorescent or LED lighting. While the majority of energy savings in public areas will be from heating and air conditioning, the lighting used in a property has an effect on the environment. Especially when switching from incandescent to LED lights, the savings for your hotel—and the environment—are large.

5 Generate a range of parameters for energy controls that are appropriate for each individual room. In meeting rooms, disable the night occupancy modes that cause HVACs to operate while a guest is asleep.

6 Build for the long haul. Modern PTACs can interact with nearly all integrated thermostat systems, and hotels should attempt to use systems that work together. By doing this, a property’s energy-saving solutions can avoid being obsolete for five to 10 years.

7 Invest in autonomous systems. If a thermostat works off of occupancy detectors and does not require input from staff members or a property-management system, environmental and utilities savings can be allowed to generate independently.

8 Properly train housekeeping and maintenance on how to spot a thermostat or sensor that is malfunctioning. Invest in software that sends e-mail alerts when errors are detected to cut down on time when machinery is working improperly.

Sources: Lodging Technologies, Verdant Environmental Technologies, Evolve

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