Home Energy Management 10 Ways to Keep Your Hotel Energy Efficient This Summer

10 Ways to Keep Your Hotel Energy Efficient This Summer

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DUNEDIN, FLA.—Temperatures are heating up for the summer season and that can only mean one thing for your property—higher energy costs. To keep your guests and staff cool and content while keeping your energy costs as low as possible, Mintek Mobile Data Solutions recommends the following 10 action steps:

1. Find and seal air leaks that cause drafts and make your cooling system work overtime. Sealing and insulating your building can prevent the loss of cooled air and help save up to 10 percent on your energy bills each year. To ensure a sufficient level of indoor air quality in that sealed environment, make sure ventilation systems are working properly.

2. Look for the Energy Star when purchasing cooling products. Guestroom air-conditioners and programmable thermostats that have earned the Energy Star operate more efficiently, which saves money and helps protect the environment.

3. Install a guestroom energy management system that powers down the cooling system when guests are not present. This type of system, which often uses infrared sensor-based technology, can save a hotelier up to 45 percent in guestroom-related cooling costs.

4. Implement a preventive maintenance (PM) program such as WinTrack PM to monitor chillers, PTACs and all other refrigeration equipment in your building. WinTrack PM from Dunedin, Fla.-based Mintek Mobile Data Solutions incorporates handheld devices, bar coding, and sophisticated software to add efficiencies to PM, rounds, inspections and work order processes.

5. Check your lighting systems to ensure that you are not over lighting areas of your property. High-wattage incandescents generate significant amounts of heat which can strain your cooling systems. Retrofit with low-wattage fluorescents where possible to maximize energy savings.

6. Check HVAC controls for proper calibration, regularly change filters and inspect system insulation for moisture. Replace insulation if necessary. Also clean air-conditioner coils at least every three months and check for motors that are not operating properly. Lubricate motors and fans.

7. Regularly clean chiller tubes and monitor chillers for refrigerant leaks. By monitoring the addition of chiller refrigerant, you will be able to measure the extent of leakage. If you have to replace a chiller, select high-efficiency equipment that has the appropriate capacity to handle the desired load. Today’s chillers are 10 to 30 percent more efficient than previous generations of equipment. Variable frequency drives can dramatically improve low-load efficiency for centrifugal and rotary chillers. Also check with your local utility; rebates may be available for new and efficient chillers.

8. Install control systems in your walk-in freezers to regulate defrost cycles. Oftentimes, freezers defrost more often than needed. Defrost when necessary to reduce frost build-up that reduces energy efficiency.

9. Install window film or other shading systems to reduce the level of heat energy entering your building. The environment benefits when power plants work less to generate the electricity needed to cool your buildings.

10. On sides of your building most exposed to the sun throughout the day, plant fast-growing, high-foliage trees to provide shade.

Mintek’s Leading PM Solution

Since 1999, Dunedin, Fla.-based Mintek Mobile Data Solutions has helped hundreds of hotels throughout the United States and Canada automate their PM processes. Mintek’s WinTrack PM software, which incorporates handheld devices and bar coding, ensures that PMs, rounds, inspections and work orders are accomplished on time. The result: a much more energy efficient operation.

WinTrack PM replaces inefficient paper-based processes still found in many hotels. Bar codes are discreetly placed on every item needing a PM. When an engineer scans a bar code on a piece of equipment, it prompts him to answer previously determined questions. After the PM has been completed, the bar code is scanned again. Each step is recorded within WinTrack PM.

Mintek’s system adds accountability to the PM process because managers know exactly when an engineer was at a piece of equipment, what was recorded, and how long the engineer was there. WinTrack PM automates PM scheduling and streamlines the work order process. Work orders can be generated automatically through the handheld based on answers provided by engineers. WinTrack PM also tracks parts information for each item needing checked, as well as the costs associated with parts and equipment replacement.

WinTrack PM can be used throughout a hotel—not only for expensive equipment but also for guestroom inspections. Meter readings related to energy consumption also can be captured with Mintek’s PM system. If a meter reading is out of range, WinTrack PM can generate a warning message. If a PM becomes overdue, it is flagged within WinTrack PM. Mintek’s Maintenance Portal centralizes reporting so that work can be monitored from anywhere there is Internet access.

WinTrack PM Results

“Any mechanical system running properly is going to use less energy,” says the chief engineer at a leading hotel in Canada currently using WinTrack PM. “Where there is reduced friction between parts, reduced leakage of steam, and clean filters, there is definitely going to be energy savings.”

“WinTrack PM most definitely has helped prevent breakdowns,” adds the director of facilities at a 438-room hotel in North Carolina. “It gives me assurance going into an owner’s meeting to know that every piece of equipment has been properly maintained. It most definitely improves the guest experience.”

“Each part of WinTrack PM ensures that energy is saved where it can be saved,” says Lind Hutton, Executive V.P. and COO of Mintek Mobile Data Solutions. “Studies have shown that when being proactive rather than reactive with maintenance, savings related to energy and asset replacement can be as much as 12 percent to 18 percent on average. Without a doubt, a well designed PM program can help maximize energy efficiency, extend the life of valuable equipment, minimize labor and repair costs, and keep guests and staff comfortably warm and content.”

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