With light visible at the end of the COVID tunnel, many UK hotels will be feeling optimistic about the months ahead. Neville Small, Key Accounts Director at Baxi Heating, looks at how facilities management providers can help them prepare for a bumper season.
According to the hotel technology provider Avvio, domestic summer bookings rose by 38% the day after the Prime Minister’s lockdown exit plans were revealed. High-end UK staycation market is also booming, with August revenue for 4- and 5-star hotels up 50% on last year.
It’s welcome news for the hotel industry, a sector that has been devastated by the global pandemic. As hotels look forward to a rapid bounce back, how can facilities management professionals help them with their preparations?
Guest satisfaction is paramount. And providing guests with a comfortable stay is primarily about the basics – ensuring optimal indoor temperatures and sufficient hot water to meet demand.
The first step is to ensure that the heating and hot water equipment is well maintained, as inefficient technology can cause heating bills to increase by as much as 30%, in our experience.
Carrying out a regular service will ensure that the heating system operates as intended. It also provides the opportunity to identify any potential problems to avoid an unwelcome emergency situation, so should not be neglected. To reduce associated time, costs and disruption, some manufacturers provide comprehensive service kits for their products, containing all the genuine parts required to carry out the service on a first visit.
Is there an adequate water treatment system in place? Routine monitoring of water quality and regular water treatment will prevent a build-up of scale, settled sludge and microbiological contamination which can lead to inefficiencies, poor performance and potential equipment failure.
If the hotel been closed for a period of time, it is critical to implement a full water treatment and legionella prevention programme. This will include pasteurisation, microbiological sampling and chlorination of domestic hot water systems where required.
Repair or replace?
Assess the condition of existing equipment – if it’s failing, will repair ultimately be uneconomical or unreliable for the hotel business? If a more permanent solution is required, encourage hoteliers to plan ahead to ensure that they can budget for the best possible solution.
Separate out the heating and hot water
Hotels present unique challenges when it comes to heating and hot water facilities as demand is seasonal, varying throughout the year and according to occupancy levels. The goal is to ensure optimum service as economically as possible, both when occupancy is low and when demand is at its peak.
Often the most effective solution is to install a dedicated water heater to satisfy the hot water demand. This will remove the need to run the boilers to heat water during the warmer months and will maximise the efficiency of both the services.
Ask manufacturers for advice on the most appropriate solution and approach to meet the hotel’s project and budget requirements. Technology is continuously evolving, so arrange for a free site visit when they will also be able to update on the latest advances.
For example, selecting high-efficiency boilers with a wide modulation ratio and enhanced control functions means they will be able to adapt to changing demand more accurately, further boosting efficiency.
Finally, consider ease of maintenance, servicing and repair as well as installation when choosing new equipment to ensure high performance across the lifetime of the products.