NATIONAL REPORT—Traditional heating solutions in the winter months can break your budget. Plus, they aren’t good for the environment because they typically use some sort of fossil fuel. Using coal, oil, or natural gas to heat your hotel can harm the environment, including contributing to global warming, causing air pollution, and increasing the chance for an oil spill.
If you’re looking for an eco-friendly way to heat your hotel once the weather turns chilly, you’re in luck. There are several different ways you can heat your hotel without harming the environment. Some of these methods may even save you money.
Heat Pump (Geothermal Heating)
A heat pump can both cool and heat air by transferring air. In warm months, it transfers heat out of a hotel to cool things down. In the cooler months, it transfers heat into a hotel to warm things up. Heat pumps are powered by electricity, which cuts down on fossil fuel consumption. And since they move existing heat instead of generating new heat, they’re also energy efficient. Even in chilly weather, a heat pump can find heat to transfer.
There are several types of heat pumps, but the most popular ones are air-source pumps and geothermal pumps. An air-source pump uses a refrigerant to absorb heat from the outside and transfer it to the hotel. A geothermal heat pump is a ground-based pump that absorbs heat from the ground and then transports the heat to the hotel.
Heat pumps can be expensive to install but are worth the investment. If you’re interested in purchasing a heat pump, check out this heat pumps guide to learn more about what options are available to you.
Solar panels can be used for heating and cooling purposes. With solar heating, thermal energy is collected from the sun and then used to heat your water and your hotel. Installing a solar heating system may be pricey upfront, but just remember that once it is installed, you’ll be able to use it to generate heat for life.
Solar heating systems work with existing hydronic based systems. In this system, fluid is circulated through the solar collectors, where it is warmed by the sun. It then transfers back to a solar storage tank to heat water within the tank. The hot water is then used by your heating system.
While it is possible to install your own system, generally it is recommended to have a professional solar installer do it. You can purchase kits that make the installation process easy for the professional.
Pellet stoves can typically be bought for less than $2,500 and are more environmentally-friendly than a wood stove. A pellet stove burns pellets that are made from a renewable source. The pellets are typically made from recycled wood and sawdust from wood mills or from switchgrass. The pellets typically cost less than a load of firewood would and can easily be stored in a basement or garage.
Pellet stoves look like a wood stove but operate like a furnace. After filling the hopper with pellets, you set a thermostat so you have control over the temperature that the stove puts out. The pellets create very little ash or emission, making them great for the environment.
When searching for a stove, ask the dealer to run one for you. Some pellet stoves have noisy fans or motors. These sounds are completely normal but may be annoying to some individuals.
A masonry heater is another alternative to the traditional fireplace. Masonry heaters slowly burn wood and trap heat within the bricks of their chambers. The hotel then warms at a consistent temperature through radiant heating.
While they do require wood, they are more sustainable than a traditional fireplace because the wood burns more slowly. After burning a load of wood, the stored heat can radiate throughout the hotel for anywhere between 12 and 24 hours.
Since this method creates low smoke emission, there is no chance of having dusty or dry air. You also don’t need electricity to operate the heater, so you can use it in the event of a blackout or if you’re living off-the-grid. Some people even use their masonry heater as an oven.
Heating your hotel this winter with an eco-friendly method can help the environment and save you money. All of these methods are sustainable and can help create a more healthy environment within your hotel. Don’t waste any more resources or money by heating your hotel with non-renewable fossil fuels.