Thanks to a strong ADR and above-average occupancy levels (approximately 76.5% last year, 10% higher than the overall lodging industry), there is continued development in the extended-stay market, and the segment’s success has even spurred new companies to enter the space.
With the segment growing, whether building from the ground up or renovating existing accommodations, developers must make smart choices about heating/cooling equipment that is installed in extended-stay rooms for a trifecta of reasons – heating/cooling is a large percentage of hotel energy costs, operating efficiency must dominate on all levels, and elevating guest satisfaction is paramount for profitability. Here are the top things for real estate developers and owners to consider when outfitting extended-stay rooms with HVAC equipment.
Create A Sense Of “Home”
In a world of Airbnb and similar lodging options, “home” takes on new meaning for hotel guests, especially when their stay is longer than a few days, adding up to weeks, a month or longer at a time.
The HVAC system that developers choose goes far in generating a cozy atmosphere reminiscent of home, from form to functionality, which greatly boosts guest satisfaction and loyalty. An in-closet vertical packaged HVAC unit creates a home-like appearance in extended-stay rooms and is generally quieter than traditional PTAC (packaged terminal air conditioner) systems because they are conveniently installed in a small insulated utility closet – hidden from obvious view without compromising serviceability.
Extended-stay properties favor an energy-savings vertical PTAC system, because one in-closet unit can successfully cool and heat multiple rooms. There is also a space-saving benefit to a vertical PTAC system as guests staying at these types of hotels might have more luggage and people in them – think families and bleisure (business/leisure) travelers.
Keep It Cool In The Kitchen
Kitchens and kitchenettes get hot, even in hotel rooms. As extended-stay accommodations have kitchenettes or full kitchens, and travelers may eat-in more, a superior HVAC system is needed to keep rooms comfortable because of the added heat load from cooking appliances.
For even more advanced comfort and energy savings, Friedrich’s VRP (Variable Refrigerant Packaged) closet-installed units are powered by inverter compressor variable speed technology that allows these systems to achieve precise temperature controls by ramping BTU output up and down rather than completely shutting off until the room warms up again – meaning that when cooking appliances generate extra heat, hotel rooms remain continually comfortable.
VRPs and inverter technology are also ideal in extended-stay suites because they can accurately meet the cooling or heating requirement of the entire space. The single-packaged VRP system provides super-efficient heating and cooling, conditioned fresh air, and true humidity control with optional hot-gas re-heating.
Emphasize Indoor Air Quality
Achieving wellness is an integral part of everyday conversation, and the hotel industry is placing a greater emphasis on attaining the best-possible indoor air quality (IAQ) to ensure guest comfort and health while maintaining budgets and energy efficiency. Since guests reside in extended-stay accommodations for longer periods of time, hotels are increasingly improving ventilation to remove indoor air pollutants – such as dust, pathogens, bad odors, mold and mildew – and bring filtered, neutral outdoor air into the closed space.
IAQ and guest health are significantly enhanced with an HVAC system in extended-stay accommodations that features quieter start-up and operation (so guests don’t get woken up in the middle of the night), precise temperature control through inverter technology (for maximum comfort), and make-up air capabilities (truly conditioning, filtering and dehumidifying outside ventilation air). Friedrich’s FreshAire PTAC is the only PTAC available with these advanced attributes making it a viable solution for extended-stay guest rooms or in a property’s common areas.
Opt For Efficiency
Energy efficiency and ease of system maintenance deliver huge rewards on the bottom line. When constructing or renovating extended-stay properties, savvy developers opt for products that reduce energy consumption while maximizing performance, keep the space comfortable and the guest satisfied, and are built to last.
Make new extended-stay hotels energy-efficient from the start by installing an HVAC system that utilizes inverter technology instead of fitting properties with cumbersome rooftop units. Existing extended-stay hotels can also take advantage of in-closet vertical packaged units, VRPs and PTACs without an extensive overhaul of their current HVAC operation. Products are easier to maintain and repair because there is one unit, not an entire rooftop system. They are also cost-effective because a single unit can heat, cool and improve IAQ.
The extended-stay segment show no signs of waning, so it’s vital for real estate developers and owners to implement a smart HVAC solution affording a win-win for hoteliers and guests – one that creates a space with genuine “home” appeal, delivers optimum IAQ and comfortable temperatures, and is built around efficient products that positively impact profitability.