Climate control counts a lot at a hotel – in the guest room, the lobby, the fitness center – in every space of the property regardless of whether that property is limited-service or full-service. Ensuring the highest levels of guest satisfaction, operational efficiency and cost savings without sacrificing quality are all at stake.
Cooling and heating a hotel typically accounts for more than half of its energy costs. This huge challenge for hoteliers demands the implementation of a financially savvy solution that hits all the marks on energy efficiency, flexibility, easy maintenance and products built-to-last.
There are multiple options in the marketplace to consider when developers and owners are embarking on new property construction, renovations or replacements of existing cooling/heating systems. Diverse hotel spaces across different property types have their own distinct cooling and heating needs, so it is crucial that the right decisions be made from the onset of the project. The ultimate goal is simple – install a system that satisfies hotel and guest needs, enhances the customer experience and boosts RevPAR in the process. Cooling/heating options for new construction in the limited-service and full-service segments will be outlined in Part I of this two-part series.
Limited-Service – The PTAC Revolution
Building a limited-service property doesn’t mean developers have to acquiesce to lesser HVAC solutions. Limited-service properties can launch an operationally smart and energy-effective hotel where optimum climate control is expected by guests, even though hotel services may not be extensive.
Enter the PTAC revolution…design enhancements to the self-contained PTAC (packaged terminal air conditioner) system have made them not only more efficient, but much quieter. The dramatic reduction of operating noise creates a relaxing environment where guests can sleep better or be more productive because there are no noisy distractions – think busy business travelers and leisure travelers who are always connected to work. Since the PTAC’s chassis slides out of the wall sleeve, it is easier to service the unit, which ensures a longer product life and positively impacts a hotel’s budget. A leader in the commercial hospitality market, Friedrich’s PTAC features a curved coil design to deliver better efficiencies, tangential fans for powerful but quiet airflow, and thick insulation to diminish noise.
Mini-PTACs, also known as through-the-wall air conditioners, are perfect for rooms on the smaller size, which is characteristic of the limited-service segment. These more compact versions of standard PTACs are installed in similar fashion – so they are easy to clean and maintain – and afford the same benefits of optimum energy usage and quieter operation. Mini-PTACs are available in three versions – cooling only, heat pump with cooling, and electric heat.
Limited-service properties with suite accommodations favor an energy-savings vertical PTAC system because one unit can successfully cool and heat multiple rooms. In keeping with guests’ desire for decreased noise, the vertical PTAC is generally quieter than traditional PTAC systems because they are installed into a small insulated utility closet.
Being pleasantly cool or comfortably warm is not something specific to full-service or high-end properties, and developers who think strategically about HVAC solutions as a way to encourage guest satisfaction and secure customer loyalty are best poised to realize profitability with their new construction.
Full-Service – The Game-Changing VRP & More
When hotel developers are working with architects and contractors to create attractive accommodations, restaurants, fitness centers, spas and public spaces, they can do so knowing they have multiple choices for cooling and heating the property, best-suited to their budget and design scheme.
Driving lower energy consumption, Friedrich’s VRP® (variable refrigerant packaged) heat pump system is a complete HVAC solution for new-build, full-service hotels seeking an efficient and affordable cooling and heating solution without the high cost or complexity of systems such as chillers and VRF. The VRP combines variable refrigerant flow, like VRF, and the convenience and simplistic design of a packaged unit – into one system. It provides primary heating and cooling via minimal ductwork to single or multiple rooms, and is applicable throughout all climate regions.
PTACs and vertical PTACS are also great options for the full-service segment because they are quiet, efficient and extremely effective in suites and multi-room applications.
Not having ductwork doesn’t need to be a major problem for the construction of a full-service or limited-service hotel. Ductless split systems can be operated independently, although part of a multi-zone system, and provide cooling comfort in lobbies, laundry rooms, fitness centers, indoor pools, spas and food preparation spaces. The units can be wall-mounted or installed in the ceiling, and they even cool rooms without windows or exterior walls. They are sleek, near-silent and quickly reach – and maintain – the desired temperatures.
Selecting the best HVAC system is a crucial consideration for developers before construction ensues in order to build limited-service and full-service hotels that not only save energy and money, but win big on customer comfort and the delivery of superior air quality. Align with a reputable manufacturer known for design innovation, energy management and providing support should there be a problem with the system. When customer satisfaction, guest loyalty and cost-savings are at stake, developers must make smart HVAC decisions from the onset of their new-build. Stayed tuned for Climate Control Counts, Part II where HVAC options for modular construction, property renovations and equipment replacements will be outlined.