Savings Add Up Quickly When PTACs are Properly Maintained

10/19/2012 By Glenn Hasek

When chatting with someone for an article on PTAC (packaged terminal air conditioner) cleaning and maintenance this past week, I was a bit taken aback by a comment he made. “When staying in a hotel, stay above the third floor,” he said. Was he serious? What he meant is that the closer PTACs and other types of heating and cooling systems are to the ground, the dirtier they will get—from lawn mowing, wind-blown debris, and even small critters looking for a home. If those PTACs are not cleaned as often as recommended, your guests on the lower floors are more likely to be exposed to a guestroom with mold and indoor air quality problems, in addition to a PTAC that is less efficient and more likely to fail.

Should travelers have to worry about the quality of the air coming out of a PTAC? Certainly not. As someone else told me this past week when chatting about proper PTAC cleaning and maintenance, when it comes to PTAC cleaning, there should be an industry standard that every lodging establishment should follow.

For my article on PTAC cleaning services, I spoke with representatives of three companies: Cintas, Dream Green Services, and Fibercare. Each company has its own unique approach to PTAC cleaning and maintenance. What they all share is a desire to get PTACs and other types of heating and cooling systems not only clean but also operating in an as close to brand new condition as possible. Be sure to read my article.

Fast Payback on Investment

If you are not having your PTACs thoroughly cleaned at least once a year (twice a year in coastal and desert environments) and your PTAC filters cleaned once a month, you are literally throwing money out the window. One vendor told me the cost of having a service company come out to clean and maintain your PTACs can be recovered in just two to three months in energy savings alone.

PTACs that are cleaned properly are more energy efficient, pass air through more freely, and have fewer breakdowns (a guest satisfaction and labor concern and cost). Cintas studies have shown an up to 8.5 degree temperature improvement, up to 28 percent increase in airflow, and up to 17 percent energy savings. According to Dream Green Services, an annual PTAC cleaning can result in an associated electricity bill decrease of 6 percent per month.

Two vendor representatives told me that PTAC cleaning often fell by the wayside during the recession. Did you let that happen at your property or properties? Now that our industry is bouncing back, it is time to re-energize your PTAC preventive maintenance program. You will be glad you did. You owe it to yourself, your investors and, most importantly, your guests.

Paired with an effective guestroom energy management system, regular PTAC cleaning and maintenance can extend the life of your PTAC assets for at least three to five years. How can you say no to that?

Your comments are welcome at editor@greenlodgingnews.com.

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