The ENTOUCH Blog

06. 7. 2017

Hotel Energy Management: How The “Smart” Hotel Leverages Wireless Energy Management for Energy and HVAC Optimization

Hotel guest-rooms are notorious for wasting energy through excess HVAC use, but wireless hotel energy management systems stand to change the narrative.

It is unreasonable for a hotel manager, or even a hotel facilities manager, to tell guests when they can and cannot use in-room HVAC systems. Yet, consumers continue pushing for lower rates, and energy costs are skyrocketing. How do hotels successfully navigate these concerns while still leaving guests with an uninterrupted, enjoyable experience? The answer is simple; wireless hotel energy management controls HVAC systems behind the scenes.

Wireless HVAC Control Uses Automation to Manage Energy Use

Automated HVAC systems within rooms can use wireless connections to automatically shut down units when guests check out. Although this could be used to shut down units when guests are out of the room, it must not be misconstrued. In other words, hotel facilities managers should not take it upon themselves to change guest settings on HVAC units. However, subtle changes, like increasing temperature settings by two degrees, are not likely to impact guest experiences, and it can save big bucks in the long-term.

Wireless Systems Can Derive Power From Their Environment

As explained by Graham Martin of HVACR Business, wireless hotel energy management sensors can utilize the energy resources around them, like solar energy, to recharge batteries. Of course, if a hotel has the time when a room is not currently housing a guest, between check out and check in, the sensor can be wired to the incoming power supply of the unit. However, this may require substantial downtime for the unit.

Wireless Systems Can Identify Areas of Heat Loss or Gain

The number of times a door opens impacts the overall climate within a guest-room. In addition, window contacts connected to the system can be used to shut down or change HVAC thermostat settings when windows are left open, causing unnecessary heat loss or gain, for an extended period. Furthermore, humidity sensors and occupancy sensors can help hotels reduce other risks simultaneously, like preventing mold growth due to high humidity in a room.

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Wireless Sensors Enable Better Control Over Large Hotels

Large hotels, like those with dozens of floors and hundreds of rooms, can effectively deploy wireless sensors in every room without jamming the proverbial airwaves. Wireless systems have the capacity to integrate with certain hotel energy management software, and these devices can communicate with a central hub on each floor. The information from this floor-level collection point can be relayed through the internet or other network to the hotel’s primary facilities management system. As a result, hotels can manage more rooms without tearing into the walls and floors of every room and corridor.

Download the Property Management Solutions Brief: Enhance Operational  Efficiency and Detect Hidden Maintenance Issues

The Big Picture in Hotel Energy Management

Not every hotel is new, and many guests may prefer the experience of staying in a historic building or facility that has been converted to a hotel. Rather than replacing every HVAC unit, hotel owners and facilities managers can leverage the power of wireless technology to collect and even control HVAC systems in guest rooms. While you may not want to turn off a system while guests are staying in your facility, small changes, like increasing the thermostat temperature and automatically turning off HVAC systems upon checkout, can add up to thousands in energy savings.
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