Mintek Mobile Data Solutions has released 10 action steps hotels can take to keep energy costs as low as possible during the summer:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Implement a preventive maintenance program such as Mintek’s WinTrack PM to monitor chillers, PTACs and all other refrigeration equipment in your building.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- On sides of your building most exposed to the sun throughout the day, plant fast-growing, high-foliage trees to provide shade.
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