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The Finest Hotel AC Units You Would Want To Know

The Finest Hotel AC Units You Would Want To Know

Good air conditioning must be a need for every hotel owner aiming to increase client happiness. At fact, according to 63% of travelers, air conditioning in their hotel is a need.

But what does “excellent” hotel air conditioning mean exactly? Nearly 40% of hotel energy costs go toward heating and cooling, so the finest hotel air conditioners need to be comfortable for guests while also being effective, simple to use, and simple to maintain.

Hoteliers must choose the appropriate sort of air conditioner for the needs of the building in order to satisfy all of these standards.

You may choose the air conditioner that is appropriate for your hotel by reading the descriptions of the many models that are offered below.

Different Hotel Air Conditioner Types

There are various alternatives available when selecting an air conditioner for your hotel property. In this article, we go over the three main options that, in our opinion, function best:


We’ll go through each one in detail so you can determine the best sort of air conditioning system for your home.

PTACs (Packaged Terminal Air Conditioners)

The Finest Hotel AC Units You Would Want To Know

For heating or cooling a single room, PTACs are perfect. These comparatively small wall units are often placed utilizing a sleeve that passes through a wall and sit below a window. They’re popular in the hotel sector because they’re inexpensive and simple to install.

How PTACs Operate

A PTAC’s functional design is straightforward. Coolant is pumped into refrigerant coils by PTAC compressors, which then draw air over them to chill them. While some PTAC units use the air already present in the guest room, many do so for a more effective cooling process.

In colder climates, PTACs can also heat a space by switching from cooling to heating mode or by placing an electric heating element next to the vent.

Pros And Cons Of PTAC

PTAC units have only ever had similar SEER ratings of 9 to 10 in the past. However, PTACs—especially more recent models—are fairly effective. For instance, the Gree ETAC 2 has an equal SEER of up to 13, with an EER of 11.6. Even more efficient models exist, such as the Friedrich PDE09R3SG, which has an EER of 12.2.

The award-winning Freidrich Freshaire, which has an EER of 13, is even more amazing because it incorporates innovative inverter compressor technology that enhances the design of older models.

While newer PTACs are substantially quieter because to improved sound insulation, older units have a reputation for being noisy. For instance, some more recent Friedrich PTACs have a two-motor partitioned design (one for the interior blower and one for the exterior fan) that lowers the overall noise of the entire device.

Additionally, modern PTACs are particularly service-friendly. Units can usually be repaired swiftly and independently by hotel maintenance crews. Additionally, they are rather easy to maintain. PTACs can last a very long time as long as hoteliers are vigilant about changing the filters.

In addition, of the models on our list, the upfront fee is the least expensive. Many excellent PTAC models can be found for $1,200 or less, in contrast to other models that demand a budget of $1,500 or more. Repairs are typically limited to a single room, minimizing the impact on guests, if a unit breaks down.

Some hotel owners claim that their areas become cold and clammy because PTACs can’t supply dehumidified outdoor air. Although it is a fallacy that PTACs can significantly reduce humidity on their own, some more recent PTAC models have figured out ways to address this problem. A portion of the dehumidified fresh air provided by “Outside Air” PTACs lowers the room’s humidity and improves the visitor experience.

What Kind Of Hotels Ought To Think About PTACs?

Due to its low cost and simple maintenance, PTACs are perfect for mid-range and low-cost hotels. These devices have been successful in higher-end hotels as well for a variety of reasons, including the capacity to provide temperature control for individual rooms.

VTACs (Vertical Terminal Air Conditioners)

Vertical terminal air conditioners, or VTACs, are small systems that can be installed vertically in a wall or special closet. They can be applied to a single room or several adjacent rooms to cool or heat them. VTAC devices are often concealed in a 30-inch-by-30-inch corner closet for the optimal arrangement.

The Finest Hotel AC Units You Would Want To Know

How VTACs Operate

By using a compressor mechanism to move the air in the room through refrigerant coils, VTACs operate similarly to some PTACs.

Pros And Cons Of VTAC

VTACs are often more expensive than PTACs, with the majority of models costing between $1,500 and $3,000. In order to avoid humidity problems, a DOAS (dedicated outside air system) will frequently be required by hoteliers, incurring an extra upfront expense.

VTACs are still preferred by many hoteliers since they can be concealed in a closet. The capacity to chill many rooms and the concealable design of VTAC units make them a popular option in some hotel situations. Another advantage for long-term efficiency costs is the capacity to simultaneously condition several adjacent rooms.

Law now sets minimum efficiency standards for VTAC devices as well. Many experts concur that VTACs that use a heat pump model are more efficient than other types, despite the fact that this provides an additional assurance for buying any conventional model (even though they can be more expensive).

VTACs can occasionally be challenging to install and repair if necessary because they are completely contained in a closet-like environment. Additionally, maintenance will necessitate interrupting every room that a VTAC is conditioning in order to finish the repairs.

However, VTACs are extremely strong and can simultaneously heat and chill numerous rooms. They are also incredibly quiet, so most visitors don’t even notice them.

What Kind Of Hotels Ought To Think About VTACs?

Luxury hotels that prioritize aesthetics should think about installing VTAC devices in their guest rooms. Due to their ability to manage numerous places at once, VTAC units should also be taken into consideration by hotels with suites or rooms with kitchenettes.

Mid-level and low-budget hotels should think carefully before investing in a VTAC system due to the expense and difficulties of installing or upgrading these devices, since the return on investment is frequently insufficient.

VRFs (Variable Refrigerant Flow)

To offer cooling and heating to numerous rooms or zones, VRFs, or variable refrigerant flow units, rely on an external central condensing unit. The central unit is typically installed on the hotel’s roof. The matching indoor units are then often installed closer to the ceiling in a window area or a foyer.

The Finest Hotel AC Units You Would Want To Know

How VRFs Operate

VRFs function similarly to mini-split systems but do not require ducts. Refrigerant will be fed through lines from a condensing unit located outside the building to several indoor air handlers for each room or zone. Depending on the settings, the air handlers then blow warm or cold air into the space.

Many VRF units also use heat recovery, which enables them to simultaneously cool and heat a space. To avoid using the main condenser, they accomplish this by diverting hot air from one area and pushing it into another.

Pros And Cons Of VRF

VRFs are a wonderful alternative for many different types of hotels because they are discreet, effective, and quiet. Although they are far less obtrusive than some other solutions due to their ductless construction, they will almost probably cost more and require an HVAC specialist to install.

Due to the location of the unit outside, humidity-related problems are also less of an issue. VRFs often don’t need maintenance, but the technology is a little more intricate than that of a PTAC or VTAC. You’ll also require a qualified HVAC specialist to carry out repairs if something goes wrong.

VRFs are the most expensive on our list to buy and install, despite the fact that they undoubtedly save space. According to some estimates, the price may be two to five times more than that of PTACs or VTACs. According to other data, the price difference between VRFs and VTACs can be anywhere between $5,000 and $11,000.

What Kind Of Hotels Ought To Think About VRFs?

VRFs are an excellent option for higher-end hotels with finances set aside to spend in aesthetics from a design standpoint. They are easier to conceal than other types of air conditioners because the main unit is on the exterior of the building and the air handlers are typically located closer to the ceiling.

Nevertheless, these devices work well in structures without ductwork or in locations where installing ductwork would be challenging. They can also save money over time in a new property because they are extremely energy efficient.

Other Considerations

Although the choice of air conditioner for a hotel property is important, it is not the only choice you must make. It’s crucial to consider the size of your unit and how you’ll create an energy management system when selecting an air conditioner.

The improper size unit is one of the biggest errors hoteliers make when investing in a new HVAC system. A more powerful unit can appear to be more effective for a tiny room, but in most circumstances it will be less effective, cause humidity issues, and eventually have a shorter lifespan.

As a result, it’s essential that you spend money on a system that has the appropriate number of BTUs (British Thermal Units) to appropriately condition the room. 20 BTUs are typically required for every square foot of room size. If your hotel is located in a hot area, you might think about getting a unit with 10–20 percent more total BTUs.

In addition to BTUs, you should consider your energy management system (EMS). Hotels utilize an energy management system, which combines hardware and software, to increase productivity. To more effectively maintain comfort and efficiency throughout all of your rooms, you can quickly link PTACs, VTACs, and VRFs to an existing EMS. You can then use occupancy sensors and central temperature controls.

Guests are detected by occupancy sensors to see if they are in their hotel room. The sensors can alert the device to turn off or change the thermostat when the room is empty. Additionally, you can program temperature controls to prevent visitors from adjusting the thermostat above or below predetermined levels.

Final Reflections

Hotels must have powerful, efficient air conditioners; they cannot do without them. It goes without saying that the best air conditioners for hotels need to be strong, effective, and simple to maintain. To ensure your guests have a pleasant stay, they must offer sufficient comfort and regularly deliver on their promises.

While you might or might not have the money to upgrade your HVAC system, your alternative should offer you a higher return on investment. Many hotel owners can find such answer using PTAC units.

Although VTACs and VRFs are attractive solutions for some homes, they can require more work to repair or replace, and they cost more up front. PTACs, on the other hand, are less expensive, simpler to use, and simpler to repair or replace. While remaining in the same price range, more recent units also outperform older versions in terms of efficiency ratings.

The Finest Hotel AC Units You Would Want To Know

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Written by HVAC Contributor

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