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Cooper Mechanical Blog

HVAC Needs for Hotel Indoor Pools

Posted by: Cooper MechanicalMonday, September 11, 2017

Myrtle Beach Hotel Indoor Pool

A hotel indoor pool can be a wonderful amenity to offer guests, especially in the Myrtle Beach off-season. Indoor pool design can be a challenge, but with a proper HVAC system and regular management, guests can enjoy the benefits of indoor swimming without the harsh smells and poor ventilation.

Poor HVAC at Indoor Pools Causes Problems

As a child, when we learned we would be staying in a hotel, our first inquiry was whether they had an indoor pool. Thinking back now, these environments were often visibly steamy and contained harsh chlorine smells. The increased humidity and resulting condensation created slippery green mildew in hard-to-reach corners. 

We can now see this as the effect of poor ventilation, water chemistry, and air stagnation. In order to offer hotel and motel guests a pleasurable and safe indoor pool experience, it's important that the HVAC is a separate system designed for this environment.

Exhaust Air and Exhaust System

Exhaust systems use fans to exit air from an indoor space. In the case of an indoor pool, the indoor air with high moisture and pool chemical particles will exit via an exhaust duct and fan system to the outdoors. The American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air-Conditioning Engineers, or simply AHSRAE provides guidelines for maintaining safe and effective air quality in spaces with indoor pools. When exhaust air leaves the space, a negative pressure is created. This is why all exhaust air must be replaced with outdoor or "make-up" air. ASHRAE recommends that the indoor pool system exits about 10% more air than "make-up" air returning. 

Also, it's important that exhaust grills are appropriately placed to remove excess water vapor. High vapor areas around indoor spas or hot tubs should have exhaust grills located overhead to capture water vapor immediately. If a grill is not conveniently placed, water vapor will settle and increase humidity as well as mold and mildew problems.

An experienced HVAC contractor can improve exhaust capability by making sure the placement of your system is designed for efficiency.

Ventilation with Outdoor Air

Next, a ventilation system must replaced exhausted air with outdoor air. The outdoor air will dilute the concentration of airborne contaminants from the pool and improve air quality.

One thing to keep in mind with ventilation is that since indoor pools are designed to be all-season, the indoor air may need to be conditioned (heated in winter, cooled in summer). This can require a lot of extra energy, so heating and cooling loads should be calculated and determined.

Like we mentioned with exhaust, ventilation intakes should be located properly. Intakes should be away from areas with airborne contaminants. 

For proper air balance and to avoid pressure issues, it is always recommended that you use a certified contractor.

Cooper Can Help with Hotel Indoor Pools

Cooper Mechanical Services is an HVACR and electrical contractor will decades of experience working with Myrtle Beach hotels and motels. Our professional team can design HVAC systems for indoor pool and high-moisture areas to reduce humidity and improve air quality. 

The indoor pool should be a safe place for your guests to enjoy, and an amenity you can market. Call Cooper to improve the ventilation and air quality at your indoor pool.