Hotel owners estimate that hotel guestroom energy consumption accounts for approximately 40% to 80% of total building energy use.
This is a very high percentage of a hotel’s operating budget, so guestroom HVAC systems should not be taken lightly. As hotel architects and engineers, the Base4 team often fields questions about what HVAC system is right for a hotel. So, to discuss the options, this series discusses the three most popular guestroom HVAC options for midscale, select service brands. For a better visual, we have created graphical prototypes for the three options (systems) for the same hotel guestroom.
1. PTAC (Packaged Terminal Air Conditioner): It is a single-unit (packaged system) combination air-conditioner and heat pump placed below a window frame.
2. VTAC (Vertical Terminal Air Conditioner): This is a compact through-the-wall packaged system, capable of providing total heating and cooling functions for single zones or multiple rooms.
3. VRF (Variable Refrigerant Flow): VRF is a single outdoor condensing unit connected to many indoor units, like fan coil units at entry foyers or bathrooms. VRF units simultaneously heat and cool different zones thanks to individually controlled refrigerant flow to different evaporators (indoor units).
Hotel owners and operators should carefully evaluate not only the upfront and operating costs but also the final guest experience each of these options provides.
In the next articles, I discuss the benefits and challenges of each option, so that you can make an educated decision on the right system for your next hotel.