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.
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.
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 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.
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 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.
Indoor air quality in hotels and motels is a comfort and safety issue that is overlooked by property executives and managers. It's a largely invisible problem when it is small, and unless air quality issues are noticed by guests, there is little a hotel or motel can market. We all know that new furniture and decor is much more likely to entice a potential guest than a new ventilation or air cleaning system.
Hotel and motel indoor air quality (sometimes called IAQ) is especially important in Myrtle Beach. While hotels everywhere run the risk of using volatile organic compounds that could be in any hotel's cleaning products, coastal South Carolina's climate can produce some unique air quality challenges.
High heat and humidity, coupled with strong oceanfront breezes, can affect a hotel or motel's indoor air quality. South Carolina's heat and humidity create a perfect breeding ground for molds and other bacterias that can live in vents and ductwork. They may also come from dirty coils, uncleaned drop pans, and other HVAC equipment that needs routine service and cleaning. These contaminants can find refuge in a building, especially when hotels are not properly pressurized and a negative indoor air pressure cause hot, sticky, salty air to be sucked into the building without filtration.
Contaminants affecting indoor air quality can create what some call "sick building syndrome," as the organic compounds can causes headaches, nausea, and other symptoms. The musty or moldy smells could be a signal of dangerous issues whose sources should be identified addressed immediately. An air cleaner or ventilation improvement can lower the concentration of pollutants and improve air quality.
Conducting an indoor air quality test with a professional service company is the only way to see how your hotel or motel measures up. One thing a test will look for is how well a ventilation system is working. These tests will measure the presence of carbon dioxide in the air and the ventilation rate. You steady stream of "new air" should be cycling in to replace carbon dioxide.
If poor air quality is detected, inspecting the hotel or motel for the source is essential. Air quality issues could from anything--furniture, carpeting, cleaning supplies, ineffective vent fans or filters, a leaking refrigerator, and the list goes on.
Identifying the air quality issue source will determine the solution needed. Cooper Mechanical Services is here to help you improve your building's indoor air quality. Our team uses the most reliable equipment to test air quality and ventilation, and having served the Myrtle Beach hospitality sector since 1989, we know the most common causes of poor air quality. The most important thing you can do is to be proactive in testing and addressing air quality concerns. A hotel's reputation depends upon the comfort and safety of its guests.