What Hotel HVAC System is Best for Your Business?
According to the EPA, heating and cooling systems account for 40%-50% of the energy consumption in the typical hotel room. That’s a lot. The type of HVAC system you choose for your hotel rooms will not only affect your energy bills. It also contributes significantly to the comfort of your guests. Learn more below about the three common types of hotel HVAC systems.
Examining Hotel HVAC Systems
There are three types of HVAC systems common to hotel properties today. Each type of system has its pros and cons. Let’s review the three types and see which one is best for your property.
PTAC (Packaged Terminal Air Conditioner)
A PTAC system is a self-contained combination air conditioner/heat pump. It is a simple system, designed for individual rooms, typically installed below a window on an exterior wall. For air conditioning, PTAC units use a compressor to pump cooled air over a set of coils. The coils exhaust heat and humidity outside the room via an external grill. However, they cannot dehumidify the air in the room. PTAC units typically have a sound level between 46 and 61 dBA. They are also the least expensive of the three options.
VTAC (Vertical Terminal Air Conditioner)
A VTAC system is a compact system, typically around 3” x 30”. The unit is typically installed in the corner of a room in a closet-like enclosure. Air is discharged through the top of the unit into one or several rooms. Both air conditioning and heating take place the same way as in PTAC units. Also, similar to PTAC systems, VTAC systems do not dehumidify room air. VTAC units typically produce sound levels between 58 and 65 dBA. Although the volume can be reduced significantly by insulating the closet that houses the unit.
VRF (Variable Refrigerant Flow)
VRF systems utilize a single outdoor condensing unit that connects to multiple guest rooms. The condensing unit is usually installed outside the building. This can be at ground level or on the property’s roof. Each guest room has its own fan coil unit, typically located in the ceiling or just below ceiling level. For air conditioning, the master condensing unit pumps cold air into individual each fan coil unit, where it passes over the coils.
For heating, the condensing unit functions as a heat pump that sends hot air to each fan coil unit. The dehumidified air is vented directly into the fan coil unit. The fan coil units in a VRF are typically very quiet, with a sound level of between 22-30 dBA. VRF systems are also the most energy-efficient of the three options.
What HVAC System Should You Choose for Your Property?
If you operate a budget-friendly hotel, PTAC is probably the best way to go. It has lower purchase and maintenance costs. However, even though VTAC systems are more expensive they service multiple rooms. This makes them a good choice for suites and larger rooms. VRF systems are the most expensive. Still, they offer the best and quietest performance, which is ideal for mid-and higher-end properties. So, you really need to figure out what your goal is and how you want your HVAC system to function for your guests.
If you own or manage a hotel or motel in the Maryland, Virginia, or Washington Metro area, call The Severn Group for quality HVAC services. We have been designing, installing, and maintaining hotel HVAC systems since 2002 and can work with you to create the best system for your needs. We have professional technicians and the experience to boot. Contact us today to learn more about our hotel HVAC systems. Also, check out our blog! It’s a great place to learn more about HVAC management when it comes to commercial properties.