June 6, 2022

How Does HVAC Work in Hotels and Resorts? Why is it Important?

Do you have a hotel or resort and want to give all visitors and staff the best experience? There are a number of things you need to do, such as offering good meals and employing qualified staff. However, it is the air quality of the facility that stands out.

Brice Degeyter
Brice Degeyter
Bizsu founder

Even if you have awesome food and staff in smart uniforms, mildew and stuffy rooms can spoil the experience. This is why you need to have the best HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) system. Whether your hotel or resort is new or has been in operation for some time, it is important to ensure the air conditioning system is working well. 

Keep reading as we dig deeper to determine how HVAC systems in hotels and resorts work. Furthermore, the post will demonstrate what you should consider when selecting and installing an air conditioning system for your hotel. 

A Brief History of HVAC System

If you are new to air conditioning systems and want to install one in your facility, one of the prime questions might be, "where exactly did the HVAC systems come from?" 

The history of HVAC can be traced back to 1902 when the first modern air conditioning unit was invented by Willis Haviland Carrier. It worked on a simple method of coolant/ refrigerant but these original units were bulky, and expensive. So, few people developed an interest in them. Later on, in the 1960s, advances in HVAC systems resulted in the design of smaller, more effective, and less expensive models. They gained popularity after World War II because they were less intrusive. Since then, new innovations in HVAC systems have been developed, with the latest models coming with automated chipsets and machine learning programs that allow linking with smart devices. This implies you can monitor, control, and make adjustments to the HVAC systems from your handheld devices, even when away from the hotel

HVAC System in Hotels: How Does It Work?

As a hotel or resort owner/ manager, understanding how HVAC systems work is important in optimizing their performance. So, how does the HVAC system operate? Here is a complete breakdown: 

How Air Conditioner Moves Heat Outside the Room

Many are the times when people incorrectly think that air conditioning systems operate by creating cold air. However, they do not. Rather, they operate by removing heat from the house and transferring it outside the hotel rooms. 

The heated air inside the hotel rooms is absorbed by a duct and then moved via a refrigerant (cooling agent) which is contained in coils that run via the system. These coils guide the refrigerant from outside the hotel facility and then inside again. 

As the refrigerant moves, three stations positioned along the way help to alter its pressure and temperature so that it can absorb or release heat from air at targeted points. These stations are the evaporator, compressor, and condenser. So, here is what happens in each of the stages: 

Step One: Heat is Absorbed by Evaporator Coils 

To cool a hotel's room, the warm air inside is drawn via a vent and then pushed over a cold evaporator coil. The coils are located indoors, and they help to absorb heat from the air drawn from the rooms. As the air is cooled, a fan blows it into the ducts that distribute it into the hotel rooms, giving a cooling effect for guests. 

As the coolant absorbs heat from the passing air, it changes into a gas and continues moving on a loop towards the compressor. This is the next station in the design of an HVAC. 

Step Two: The Refrigerant Temperature is Raised in the Compressor 

As the name “compressor” suggests, the refrigerant is compressed so that it occupies a smaller volume. This raises its temperature and pressure, which prepares it for condensation. Note that the compressor acts as the pump and heart of the HVAC system. In automated systems, it is controlled by a thermostat. 

Step Three:  Heat is Transferred Outside 

Directly from the compressor, the refrigerant is now in the form of superheated vapor and moves to the condenser. This station is usually located outside the house and is exposed to the outside air. The cold outdoor air absorbs the heat from the refrigerant to lower the temperature down, transforming it from a gas back to its initial liquid state. 

Step Four: The Cycle Starts Again 

After the heat is removed outdoors, the cold refrigerant is directed back indoors to the evaporator. This signals the start of the cyclic process. The process is repeated progressively until the temperatures inside the hotel room, restaurant, or office reach the desired level. 

How to Select the Best HVAC System for Your Hotel or Resort 

Now that we have demonstrated how heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems work, it is also important to appreciate they come in different versions. Indeed, you might find some variations on how they work in hotels and resorts. So, here are some useful tips for selecting the best HVAC system, but first, let’s look at the different categories: 

Types of HVAC Systems You Can Use for Your Hotel

Window Air Conditioners

This is one of the most preferred models for a single room or space in hotels. In this model, the condenser, compressor, evaporator, and cooling coils are contained in a single box. The HVAC is mounted in a slot created in the wall of the room or window sill. 

Split Air Conditioner 

If your hotel contains more rooms, the window HVAC model might not be ideal. Instead, you should consider a bigger and more aggressive system, such as a split air conditioner. This type of HVAC comprises two main parts, the indoor unit, and the outdoor unit.

The outdoor unit is fitted outside the hotel room and contains components like the condenser, compressor, and expansion valve. The other parts of the HVAC, including the cooling coil and cooling fan, are located in the indoor unit. Note that installing this unit does not require you to make a slot in the room or wall. 

Modern split HVAC units come with an aesthetically appealing design and do not take up much space. They can be used to cool one room or several in your hotel or resort.  

Portable Air Conditioners 

Like the window air conditioners, portable models are good examples of unitary/free-standing air conditioning systems. This means that all the components are contained in a single set. These models are found in the commonly used places where building design and regulations do not allow single window units. 

The unit works by cooling the air with the assistance of a condenser coil positioned in the system. Then, they send out the warm or hot air via an exhaust hose. Make sure that the portable air conditioner is positioned at the right place (where it will cause maximum airflow) for better air conditioning. 

Sometimes, this air conditioner can be a little noisy because it is placed in the same room with guests. This noise comes from the evaporator fan that vaporizes the coolant inside the system. 

Packaged Terminal Air Conditioner (PTAC)

This category of air conditioners is recommended for large hotels or resorts. The air conditioners are positioned below the widows but slightly above the ground. However, the main parts are not visible because they are tucked behind the walls. The unit is designed with an exhaust system that sends warm air outside the hotel rooms and pushes cool ones inside.

Although this PTAC system can be compared to the central air conditioning system, its installation is way simpler. This means that the upfront cost is pretty low. It is also recommended because it allows you to either cool or heat the hotel rooms. 

Central Air Conditioning System 

This is another common recommendation for air conditioning that works excellently for large commercial facilities and hotels. When your hotel has so many rooms, multiple offices, and common areas, installing separate units in all of them can be pretty expensive. In such a situation, using a central air conditioning system is the best option. 

A central air conditioning system is made up of a large compressor with the capacity to create hundreds or thousands of tons of air conditioning. The most notable thing about central heating systems is that they can be very cost-effective over the long term. However, the initial installation can be pretty high compared to other portable models. 

Tips for Selecting the Best HVAC System for Your Hotel or Resort 

Now that you know the different types of air conditioning systems, how do you select and install the best model? Here are some useful tips to consider for your hotel

  • Select the HVAC system that is designed with quality in mind. 
  • Pick the model and size based on the size of your hotel or motel. For example, a central heating system might be the perfect option for large facilities, while smaller resorts might opt for portable HVAC models. 
  • Keep in mind your energy consumption. Once you install an HVAC system, it becomes part of the components that will add to the electricity bill. Therefore, you should look for the model that will help you to air-condition the hotel without spiking the bill so much. Installing Continewm, a natural ceramic net for your AC unit, will help save on energy consumption which will, in turn, lead to a  reduction in your hotel’s overall electricity bill. 
  • Look for a durable HVAC model. You do not want to install an HVAC system today only to find that it is broken and needs a replacement in one week. Therefore, you should go for the model that is designed to last. This is the best way to get high value for money. 

This post has demonstrated how air conditioning for hotels works and highlighted the best models. Remember to ensure that the HVAC system is installed correctly and maintained in top condition for better results. With the best air quality in your facility, you are sure of delivering a better customer experience and a stronger brand.