Why updated technology results in quieter PTAC units


This article is part one of a three-part series on PTACs.

Continual enhancements to packaged terminal air conditioner technology and designs help hoteliers increase guest comfort, according to experts, as well as help hoteliers with energy usage. In addition to the recent improvements in PTACs, the advancements in room controls are also raising guest satisfaction scores.

New PTAC units are more efficient and quieter than in the past, said Douglas Mackemer, national director of parts, supplies and specialized equipment for Carrier Enterprise.

“The new units coming o the production line are significantly quieter and more efficient,” he said.

Carrier’s new model uses new technology to give it a complete front-to-back look and feel. “We’ve redesigned the components for the indoor and outdoor parts,” Mackemer said. “It deploys multispeed motors to come on in low mode and then ramp up to high mode if needed. is minimizes the sounds that the PTAC makes.”

Within the rewall of the unit, the insulation has been increased to stop the transient sounds. The blower wheel also has been modified to allow the air to roll out at an angle instead of straight out— another modification that reduces the machine noise. Carrier also eliminated an air speed bump, increasing the efficiency of the air coming out of the PTAC.

“All of these mean a big reduction in decibel levels and a reduction in energy consumption,” Mackemer said.

Friedrich’s completely redesigned and re-engineered PTAC offering features a two-motor design that allows the indoor motor to run at slower speeds, reducing sound levels indoors, said Sabby Sabharwal, Friedrich’s PTAC product manager. “The tangential blower wheel has nearly five times the surface area of a typical fan, resulting in a more uniform air ow over a wider path for faster, more evenly distributed air,” he said. “The soft start/stop fan-delay feature reduces transitional noise that is usually associated with compressor start-up.”

The curved coil design on Friedrich’s SG Series PTAC units maximizes internal surface area to deliver higher efficiencies with energy efficiency ratios of up to 13, he continued.

Islandaire’s patented Dr. PTAC brings in outside air then conditions and dehumidifies it before it enters the hotel room. “For existing hotels with indoor air-quality issues, this solution has shown tremendous results in remedying the issue and bringing back satisfied customers,” said Richard Nuss, VP of sales and business development for Islandaire.

Islandaire also has developed a two-stage electric heater that is saving 18 percent to 22 percent of energy versus a standard electric heat unit, Nuss said. Islandaire’s EZ Series GS (gas heat) PTAC that is commercial-grade built offers substantial heating savings by the use of natural or LP gas.

Don Wojcik, national hospitality manager, air conditioning for LG, said that the sophisticated controls and mechanisms that run and monitor the PTACs are the biggest technological change to the systems. “It gives the operator much more control over the energy used by the unit itself,” he said. “As hotels incorporate this technology more and more, they will have more control of the PTAC. When a room is empty, the hotelier can use it in a much more economical way.”

These increased controls allow for a single maintenance person in one central location who can supervise many hotel rooms in multiple locations. This can assist hotel properties not only in energy-consumption savings but with maintenance issues as well, Wojcik said.