June 10, 2022
How Can Hotels Improve Air Quality?
Air quality is of great interest, especially in commercial enterprises. The hospitality industry, especially hotels, has set a very high bar when it comes to air quality because it is a critical part of the customer experience. So, whether you are new in the industry, probably thinking of establishing a new hotel, or already have an existing resort, it is paramount to make high air quality an important benchmark.
In this post, we take a closer look at air quality in the hotel industry to demonstrate why it is so important and the methods you can use to improve it.
What is Air Quality?
Air quality is the measure of how clean or polluted the air in a specific area is. So, you might want to determine the air quality in a school, office, home, or construction site. Air quality is assessed using Air Quality Index (AQI), which runs from zero to 500.
When it comes to the hospitality industry, air quality is more than humidity and temperatures. It is a broad term that factors in a whole range of parameters, such as indoor contaminants and visibility, which can result in discomfort to both staff and guests.
We must say that awareness levels on air quality have increased so much, and guests want to only go to the facilities that guarantee them the best experience. Your guests pay money to enjoy meals in the most serene environment and expect nothing short of that. This is why you should stop at nothing to ensure the facility has the best air quality.
Importance of Air Quality in Hotels
As we highlighted above, the primary reason for improving air quality in a hotel is to provide the best environment for guests. Here is a summary of other reasons why you should have the best air quality in your hotel:
- Good air quality is an indication of a hotel with good management.
- For most companies, good air quality is an important part of their sustainability plans.
- Providing a good working environment, which includes good air quality, is an important method of promoting good health for your clients.
- Improving air quality in your facility is important in setting the standards for the industry.
- Removing pollutants is an important part of compliance both with the industry standards and government regulations.
- The efforts you take in air quality improvement come in handy in ensuring you are part of the global initiative targeted at addressing the challenge of global warming and climate change.
- With improved air quality, especially when combined with ESG sustainability reporting, you are sure of higher staff retention.
What are the Main Pollutants and Sources that You Need to be Aware Of?
Before you can set off on the journey to improving air quality, the first step is identifying the pollutants. The legal responsibility of every hotel is to ensure that there is a right working environment for both staff and visitors. If this is not met, there is a risk of losing clients and even legal ramifications. Often, you will hear guests complaining about stuffy space, which can result from pollutants coming from different sources.
Indoor air quality in many facilities tends to be more polluted compared to outdoor ones. Many are the times when you will find the indoor air quality 2-5 times more polluted than the outdoor ones. Some of the pollutants that are common in indoor air spaces include:
- Volatile organic compounds.
- Carbon monoxide.
These airborne pollutants can come from different sources inside the hotel rooms, such as furniture, cleaning products, and paints on the wall. The materials used to make the building can also be a source of pollutants.
The pollutants can have huge impacts when ingested, inhaled, or after getting into contact with the skin. For example, some people might suffer from upper respiratory system problems from exposure to high levels of carbon dioxide. However, many are those who suffer allergic reactions from exposure to these pollutants.
Humidity is the amount of water vapor in the air. The temperature inside a hotel space can have huge implications on the humidity. The recommended level of humidity in a living space is 30-50% and anything below or above these levels is considered too low or too high.
The main challenge of humidity is that it can easily influence the formation of mildew in the hotel room. Molds and mildew can rapidly cause allergic reactions for staff and guests in your hotel. This might also be used as an indicator of a poor quality workplace for your staff.
If you have renovations taking place in a hotel space, they can rapidly transform into major sources of pollution. If the room is not cleaned well and the air conditioning system is malfunctioning, these pollutants might remain for weeks or months after the work.
Apart from dust, renovation works can also be a source of harmful chemicals in the atmosphere, especially volatile organic compounds and formaldehyde found in paints or furniture finishing. Remember that some of the facilities in the room, such as the furniture, might continue emitting the pollutants for weeks or months after.
Pollen and Dust from Neighborhood
Hotels that are located close to green fields, such as close to farmlands or woodlands, are in many cases very attractive. However, you need to be extra careful because these fields can also be sources of harmful or allergic particles. For example, during the flowering seasons, pollen can find its way into the guest rooms if they are not properly sealed. If there are chemicals used in the fields, perhaps pesticides or foliar feeds, they can also get their way into the hotel rooms.
For hotels in town, traffic and smoke from industries can also be a major source of pollutants. If you are considering starting a hotel, make sure it is positioned in a place with little or no pollutants from the neighborhood, but this is never easy because you might not have control over the sources. This is why you need to install the right strategies to improve air quality.
Proven Tips You Can Use to Improve Air Quality in Hotels
From the sources of pollutants in hotels that we have listed above, one thing is pretty clear: you cannot take your eyes off quality. With that being said, there are multiple strategies that you can utilize. Here are some of them:
Maintain Your Hotel’s Cooling and Heating Systems in Top Condition
Heating and cooling are very important for your hotel's guests. However, failing to maintain them correctly can result in air quality problems. If they are not in good condition, there is a risk of the room having very high/low humidity or incorrect temperatures.
So, make sure that the system is inspected regularly to ensure the filters, ducts, fans, heaters, and all components are running in top condition. If any of the parts is damaged, have it repaired immediately.
An effective and practical solution to maintain temperature control through the AC system is Continewm. It is a natural ceramic net that fits any AC unit and improves the indoor air quality and evens out the temperature distribution of a room. It purifies the air while also reducing the load and energy consumption. Furthermore, installing Continewm will not only help maintain your AC systems but also reduce the electricity bill by 25% on average.
Manage Your Dust Correctly
There are many situations when dust can turn out to be a major challenge in your hotel. The most notable source of dust is construction works both inside and outside the hotel. In such situations, you have to regularly mop, vacuum, sweep, and clean the surfaces to clear the dust. If the dust from neighboring construction works is too much, misting cannons might come in handy.
Improve the Ventilation of the System
If your hotel rooms do not have good ventilation, there is a high risk of developing mildew and mold. Therefore, design different features of the hotel to facilitate easy flow of air. You Might want to ensure the rooms have large windows, and their direction is oriented to the flow of air current. If the natural flow of air is not possible, consider using mechanical systems such as HVAC.
Ban Use of Toxic Products in the Hotel
As we indicated earlier, some of the pollutants come from the products that are used in the facility. So, if you can identify these sources and eliminate them from the facility, it will be a huge leap to improving the hotel air quality. Some of the items to consider banning include furniture prepared using chemicals like formaldehyde and toxic cleaning agents.
Also, you should ban the use of cigarettes in all public places, such as the reception, corridors and around the swimming pools. If you want to allow smokers into the facility, consider setting a specific area where they can smoke without polluting the rest of the air in the facility.
Consider Using Indoor Plants
Indoor plants are mainly used to help make rooms beautiful. However, they are also an important part of improving air quality. When you select the right plants, they will absorb part of the carbon dioxide in the room and release oxygen for the people to use. Plants can also clear other harmful chemicals, such as trichloroethylene, benzene, and formaldehyde. Good examples of plants you might want to consider include spider plants, Boston fern, peace lily, and bamboo.
No matter the size of your hotel, it is paramount to ensure that the air quality is as high as possible. The methods we have highlighted above are some of the tested and tried options, and you can count on them to provide the best experience to guests. Remember to regularly check the quality of air to determine that the selected method for improving it is working.