Temperatures have dropped noticeably in Myrtle Beach as we move from October to November. Average lows are in the 40s this time of year, and colder weather is on the way. That means it's time to prepare your HVAC system and home or business for winter and increased heating use. Here's how to prepare so you won't be caught in a cold house this season:
Of course we're going to mention this as number one, but it's because it can save you some of the frustration and expense of an HVAC problem later, when heat is really needed. A clean and service visit will cover a full inspection of your heating equipment, a chemical cleaning, and a full system test.
Most importantly, we'll make sure your heat pump is in operable condition and, if they exist, identify possible issues affecting performance early. This can extend the life of your heating unit and save you a considerable amount of money in the long-term.
Myrtle Beach hotels and motels are looking to save where they can. In terms of low-cost hotel upgrades to save money, improving lighting efficiency is up near the top for "bang for your buck." Unlike upgrades that require expensive infrastructure changes, updating and upgrading lighting solutions is an easy and affordable way to save energy and money. According to EnergyStar.gov, depending on a hotel or motel's current lighting and electricity needs, converting to "smart" lighting can save up to 50% in energy usage. That's a lot of money! Here's how to do it:
This one seems like a no-brainer. If your hotel isn't currently using LED bulbs, then you should. While many upgraded when incandescent bulbs ceased to be produced, some hotels out there may be using the less-energy efficient CFL, or compact florescent lightbulb. LED, or light emitting diode, uses 75% less energy and lasts 25 times longer than the old-fashioned incandescent. A standard CFL, on the other hand, only uses 25-35% less energy than the incandescent. Even though LEDs are more expensive, they will last a lot longer, and save a lot more energy and money in the long run. LED is definitely the way to go right now.
Why spend money lighting a space when no one is in it? Before sensors, hotel guests were likely to leave in room lighting on all day. Motion sensors in hotel spaces detect movement and the lights turn on. When movement is not detected, the lights go off. This is not only useful in guest rooms, but also is conference areas, lobby restrooms, and other large spaces that use lots of energy for lighting. Sensors can compliment low-light or emergency lighting so spaces are safe but also energy efficient.
Timed or scheduled lighting can be a smart way to cut energy costs. Scheduling lighting only for when it is needed is easily done with today's smart timers. There are plenty of products at all price points for controlling indoor and outdoor lighting. One of the biggest savers is using timers in bathrooms where occupancy times are sporadic and lighting costs can be high. This ensures that expensive bathroom lighting is not accidentally left on when not in use. Small changes like these add up quickly when you have hundreds of rooms.
In Myrtle Beach, we get plenty of hot, sunny days. If spaces can be lit naturally with sunlight, turn the lights off. While this option won't work for all spaces, it is something to consider if you are planning a larger remodel or structural upgrade. Windows, skylights, and light tubes can brighten spaces with natural light and reduce future energy expenses as well. You can also use sensors to transition to your hotel lighting when daylight fades.
Chances are no one knows more about a hotel's energy waste than the people working there day in and day out. Encourage staff to conserve energy and turn off unused or unneeded lighting. Challenge your team to develop energy-saving practices, or incentivize conservation with a special recognition or award. Getting the entire team on board is crucial to saving on energy costs.
Lighting upgrades is one of the easiest and most cost-efficient ways that hotels can save money. Cooper Mechanical Services offers energy audits to hotels looking to curb their energy costs. Our electrical team can handle projects of all sizes and budgets. Please contact us if you are looking to get the most bang for your buck with smart lighting solutions.
Air conditioning is essential to guest comfort at any hotel or motel. In hot, humid Myrtle Beach, poor customer reviews about room AC can be damaging. Hotel owners and property managers must make sure that HVAC systems work properly at all times. If you are considering a major HVAC overhaul, replacement, or new installation, it's important to understand the two main system types.
In short, hotels either employ PTAC, or Packaged Terminal Air Conditioners, or Mini-Split units. In the following post we will explain the defining features of each along with some of the pros and cons.
Packaged Terminal AC, or PTAC, are the most common type of hotel air conditioner. PTAC units are self-contained HVAC system typically installed on the hotel window wall. These units can range from 7,000 to 17,000 BTUs, and usually use electricity to cool and heat a single room or living area. The condenser is built into the unit, essentially providing an all in one HVAC system in each room.
Pros: The biggest advantage with PTAC is cost. These units are less expensive to purchase and replace than any other commercial grade cooling system for hotels. Hotel managers may elect temperature limiting features to set minimum and maximum temperatures, and there are many energy efficiency system add-ons to tie into modern PTAC.
Cons: You still need to cut a hole in the wall to install a PTAC system, so if you are a small motel, window units may be an easier option. The big disadvantage is that PTAC units are loud, and without some energy controls in place, they may use more power (and cost more money) than a traditional window unit.
The mini-split system uses an outdoor HVAC condenser (usually on the roof or ground outside the building) with an in-room air-handler. The noisy compressor offers a quieter room experience, which some measure as up to 17 decibels quieter. Additionally split systems can deliver cooled and heated air in a number of ways: high wall-mounted units, ceiling cassette units, and even duct units. The mini-split system is also more energy efficient than PTAC systems, and similarly can be connected with other energy-saving system settings.
Pros: Mini-splits are much quieter than PTACs and more energy efficient. Some find that the heating pumps through mini-splits are better. Additionally, split systems avoid a big, bulky unit taking up one side of the room. If heating is important, split systems are much more energy efficient in this than PTAC.
Cons: Split units are more expensive than PTAC systems as they require more installation with separate condensers mounted outside and handlers inside.
Both PTAC and Split systems can do the job needed: provide guest comfort. Mini-split units may cost more, but the benefits in quietness and energy efficiency are factors that can please both guests and hotel owners in the long run.
When you are ready to research and learn more about hotel or motel HVAC options, Cooper Mechanical Services is here for you. Our team has been serving hotels in Myrtle Beach since 1989, and we know that guest comfort, reliability, energy efficiency, and cost are all factors involved in this process. We strive to provide honest, dependable service to find the best HVAC solution for your needs.