Delivering an unrivaled guest experience is central to first-rate hospitality – and giving customers a new level of peace of mind as the hospitality industry navigates the pandemic has become mission critical in providing that guest experience.
While wearing masks, social distancing measures, hand-washing and hand sanitizer stations have quickly become commonplace expectations in hotels, consumers are also thinking about indoor air quality like never before. Here are five tips to help hoteliers move forward in maximizing indoor air quality.
Make Informed Decisions
Before determining how to proceed in improving indoor air quality, gaining research and knowledge about what a property needs will help to explore potential solutions.
Start with evaluating and ensuring that a hotel’s ventilation system works properly especially after a shutdown. Be sure to review new start-up guidelines from the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) that have been created in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Connect with an experienced supplier such as National Grid, who can offer guidance and customized solutions, so hoteliers can make educated, strategic decisions about improving indoor air quality.
Remember the importance of communication. Advise employees and guests that there is a plan in place to enhance their safety because meaningfully addressing their health concerns speaks volumes about company culture.
Leveraging The Power Of Enhanced HVAC
Elevating indoor air quality is achieved through optimized management of a property’s HVAC system.
Increase the percentage of outdoor air coming into a space in conjunction with an HVAC system’s capabilities for temperature and humidity control. To maximize delivery of fresh air, boost the ventilation rates to increase total air flow to occupied areas in a hotel. Improve ventilation under the direction of a trusted, experienced HVAC professional in order to decrease risk of COVID transmission or any germs/toxins/allergens that can have a serious impact on the health of those who work or stay in the hotel. Hygiene is the top wellness concern today, and healthy indoor air quality makes guests and employees feel safe and want to return.
Be Mindful Of Being Energy-Efficient
Improving indoor air quality and people’s health and safety can be achieved while operating in an energy-efficient capacity and also positively impact the bottom line instead of being a financial drain on hotels.
Many hotel ventilation systems often bring in more outside air than needed, making a system work harder than it has to in order to properly heat or cool air. One solution is to disable demand ventilation controls that reduce air supply based on temperature or occupancy (per new CDC guidelines).
Demand-control ventilation has been a major cost savings in the past, but the new recommendations suggest prioritizing natural ventilation from open windows and doors whenever possible in order to watch energy consumption while improving indoor air quality. For better air flow, make sure that windows and doors aren’t blocked. Having fewer people in a hotel these days means decreased energy usage and reduced energy charges. Adhering to these new CDC ventilation guidelines is a smart way to help ensure that unnecessary energy usage is turned off in unused spaces.
Improve Central Air Filtration
Inferior-quality air filters do more detriment than benefit. Current CDC recommendations suggest using central air filters with a minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) of 13 or 14 because these filters keep particle matter out of the air, filter virus carriers, and effectively dehumidify the workplace. Maintenance is crucial. Change filters every two-three months to ensure the best possible filtration and to avoid issues with air flow resistance that could lead to elevated energy consumption.
Also, explore the idea of using energy-efficient portable air purifiers to help reach a hotel’s sustainability goals while keeping guests and employees safe. ENERGY STAR purifiers are nearly 60% more energy-efficient than traditional models so long as the filters are replaced every three months.
Give Equipment TLC
Never underestimate the importance of continuing to repair or purchase equipment critical to creating a healthy and safe environment. Consider securing a maintenance contract to get tune-ups before there’s a problem with any equipment, especially since elevating indoor air quality is not a passing trend.
National Grid customers can seek out the company’s insights and assistance to develop a cost-effective, customized plan of action that creates comfort, confidence and savings. The right partner can provide personalized solutions and support to significantly impact a hotel’s long-term health and wealth.