PTACs go mobile

Remote access systems allow

Remote access systems allow guests to control their room environment anywhere with an Internet connection.Pictured: Remote access systems allow guests to control their room environment anywhere with an Internet connection.

Mobile devices have become central to the guest experience at a tech-forward hotel, and PTACs are getting in on the action by offering guests the chance to control their room environment via their mobile device.

Friedrich Air Conditioning Co. is offering new wired or wireless thermostats with an optional “Online Connection Kit” that allows hotel guests to control the room environment remotely via a PC or mobile device. The kit connects the guestroom’s HVAC system to a Web-based remote management system that guests can access anywhere with an Internet connection. For example, if a guest has Internet coverage on the beach, he or she could set the room to cool down just before returning.

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Hotel operators can also use the remote management system to modify the room environment and control energy costs. “It has become increasingly important for hotel operators to improve their overall operating expenses, and a property’s HVAC load is a significant part of that,” said Barry Bookout, national manager for lodging and specialty products at Friedrich Air Conditioning Co.

The remote system offers standard energy-management tools that allow operators to control costs by setting temperature limits so guests cannot set the system to extreme temperatures, generating reports and using occupancy detection to automatically adjust settings when the room is unoccupied. Additionally, the wireless thermostats use a mesh networking solution that does not interfere with a property’s existing wireless infrastructure or require additional networking equipment, such as signal repeaters or multiple data collection boxes.

The remote system was developed as part of a partnership between Friedrich and ThinkEco, an Internet-of-Things and energy efficiency company. Initially, the partnership allowed consumers to use the remote system to control Kühl air conditioning units. The EMRT1 and EMWRT1 thermostat models bring the technology to hospitality buyers.