October 27, 2022
What Types of Air-Conditioning Units are Used in Hotels?
When guests book their stay in a hotel, they expect to get a luxurious and relaxing experience. Temperatures, humidity, and air quality play an important role in guaranteeing this comfort and satisfaction. If the rooms are too hot or cold, guests are likely to leave negative feedback and opt for competing hotels. Therefore, it is important to understand the types of air conditioning that are used and pick the best for your facility. This guide takes a deeper look at air conditioning to determine its importance in hotels, how it works, and finally, lists the best types. It also highlights the main things you should consider when selecting an AC for your hotel.
How Does Air Conditioning Work?
To be able to select the right air conditioner for a hotel, it is prudent to start by understanding how it operates.
Air conditioning works by removing hot air from inside a room and releasing cooler air to lower the temperature. The process follows the same principle used in standard refrigerators, where heat is absorbed and removed to keep the chamber cool or within the user’s preferred temperature range. The entire process can be broken down into the following five steps:
- Warm air in the guest rooms is drawn by the air conditioner.
- The air is moved via a cold evaporator inside the air conditioner, which cools it down. At this point, a dehumidifier also removes excess moisture from the air.
- A coolant running through chill pipes absorbs the heat from the air and evaporates.
- As the warm air loses heat and cools down, it is pushed from the chill pipes ready to be recirculated back to the rooms. The coolant is condensed back into a liquid by a compressor.
- The cool or cold air is pumped back into the rooms, where it helps to push down the ambient temperatures.
Most air conditioners used in hotels come with intelligent systems that make it possible for guests to vary the temperature of their rooms depending on personal preferences. As we are going to see shortly, in the different types of air conditioners used in hotels, the designs and operations might also differ slightly.
Types of Air Conditioners Used in Hotels
Air conditioners used in hotels can be categorised into four main groups; central air conditioning units, vertical terminal air conditioners, packaged terminal air conditioners (PTAC), and through-the-wall air conditioners.
The Central Air Conditioners
For a hotel that needs to air condition multiple rooms, the best option is the central air conditioning model. This AC works through a system of ducts that help to remove hot air in the rooms and replace it. The ducts are run through the wall or ceiling to move the air, cool and clean it, and finally re-circulate it back to the guest rooms.
Although very effective for air conditioning, it is important to appreciate that this system is more expensive than the other models. This is because, unlike other single-unit models like PTAC, the central AC has multiple parts that are installed in different sections of a house. The complicated installation can also push the cost higher.
Vertical Terminal Air Conditioners
These are vertical heating and cooling units that are installed in cabinets or hidden in other hidden sections. The ACs can also be installed a short distance from the building, and the connections made through ducts. It is mainly used to control the temperatures of a single room, but it can also work on several rooms in the same building.
Vertical terminal air conditioners work by sucking ambient air in the guest rooms, cooling it, and recirculating it to lower the temperatures. One of the main benefits of using this air conditioner is its compact design. Unlike the central air conditioner, it is cheaper and easier to install and maintain. The main challenge is that you might require multiple units to air condition all the rooms in the entire hotel.
Packaged Terminal Air Conditioners (PTAC)
This is another common type of air conditioner in most hotels and small buildings. It is installed on the wall and does not rely on ducts, making it an excellent pick for cooling individual rooms or units. Unlike other AC models that require extensive ductwork, PTAC only needs pinning on the wall. This AC type is also inexpensive and easy to install and use.
The main shortcoming of using PTAC in a hotel is that you must acquire a separate unit for every room. This can push up the initial cost of HVAC infrastructure for your facility.
Through-the-Wall Air Conditioners
This is another type of air conditioner that is used for buildings without central air conditioning. They are installed over a window, and vents are used for blowing cool air only into one room. The main advantage of the through-the-wall air conditioner is they do not block the windows of the rooms. Therefore, the window remains usable, helping to provide lighting and a lovely outdoor view for the guests.
More hoteliers today are opting for the central AC or PTAC because the through-the-wall system is complex to install. The system must be installed by professionals and requires drilling through the walls. This means a lot of work is required to install a unit for every room in an entire resort or hotel.
How to Select the Best AC for Your Hotel
Now that we have looked at the main types of air conditioners that are used in hotels, how do you narrow down to choose the best option? Here are some useful considerations:
- The Capacity of the AC
This is probably the most important attribute when selecting an air conditioning system. If you only need to air condition a few rooms, units such as PTACs might be the best option. However, you need to also factor in the growth plan for the hotel. If the hotel only has five rooms and plans to grow into a 30-room facility, a bigger air conditioning system might be a better option.
- Power Consumption
How much does the AC system use? The best air conditioning system is the one that uses less power. So, read the manufacturer descriptions and expert reviews of the selected AC to understand the power requirements and consumption rates. Also, you should check the star rating of the AC, which ranges from 1 to 5. The higher the star rating, the less power the conditioner uses.
To buy an AC system, you should also compare the prices and go for the affordable option. Remember that the goal is not to simply identify the cheapest air conditioning system but to pick the best model that is sold affordably. For example, if you decide to buy a PTAC air conditioning system, compare what different sellers have to offer and pick the one offering better rates.
- Advanced Features
The best AC system for your hotel should have advanced features to additional functionality. So, check for advanced features, such as auto-clean functions, sleep mode, in-built heater, and dehumidifiers. Another crucial feature is enabled integration that allows for automation through a central management system.
How to Improve the AC’s Efficiency and Reduce Energy Bills
While AC systems work so hard behind the scenes to ensure guests enjoy every minute of their stay, you also need to appreciate that they can push the power bill pretty high. It is estimated that guest rooms in hotels account for 40-80% of the entire hotel’s costs, and the bulk of this goes to HVAC. This is why you should look for an effective way to improve the efficiency of your AC.
- Maintain the AC in Top Condition All the Time
If one part of the AC is damaged, it can compromise the efficiency of the entire unit and push up the power bill. For example, clogged ducts can compromise the easy flow of air to and from the guest rooms, forcing the AC to work harder and use more energy. Therefore, you should ensure the AC unit is inspected regularly, and damaged parts are replaced on time.
- Use Automated Air Conditioning Management System
Automated air conditioning and lighting management systems use sensors and software to detect when rooms are not occupied and turn off the system. This means that you will not incur unnecessary bills from your HVAC system. They also make it possible for visitors to set different temperature levels for their rooms for greater comfort.
- Use CONTINEWM on Your AC
This is one of the top-rated devices for helping to improve the efficiency of HVAC systems. As an air conditioner system runs, it creates electrostatic charges that disturb the flow of air, making it inefficient. CONTINEWM is designed with special materials that suppress the generation of electrostatic charges to facilitate a smooth flow of air. This can help to cut down the energy use by the AC by a huge margin (25% reduction on average).
Using CONTINEWM also helps to remove odour from the air being pushed into the guest rooms. Furthermore, it is easy to install and requires minimal maintenance.
When running a hotel, the quality of air is vital in guaranteeing guests the best stay. This post has highlighted some of the best air conditioners that are used in hotels. Remember to select the AC depending on the status of your facility and growth plans. Also, you should partner with international organisations such as Climate Fresk to learn, use advanced technology like CONTINEWM, to enhance the efficiency of the AC, cut down energy-related bills, and reduce carbon footprint.