How a Cultural Shift in Hotel Air Quality Will Keep People Safe

The indoor air quality of a hotel plays a huge role in influencing how the hospitality business will be run in the future. Hoteliers are also still navigating a turbulent market as they reopen their doors to hesitant and even frightened guests. The hotels’ main concerns have been cleaning, personal protective equipment and social distancing protocols for the past 18 months. With winter fast approaching, indoor air quality is becoming more important, on top of lingering COVID-19 concerns.

According to a recent survey by Carbon Lighthouse, 77% of consumers He will take into account the hotel’s air quality when deciding where to stay. In addition, 52% of consumers would be willing to pay more to stay in a hotel with better air quality.

Unfortunately, there are not enough hotels equipped with the systems to provide data-driven insights into air quality, despite consumer demand. Having good filters and HVAC systems in place is obviously essential, but consumer appetite for updated air quality information is also important in influencing a hotel’s air quality facilities.

Let’s examine how the changing customer attitude and the modernization of facilities can keep people safe in the context of COVID-19 and beyond.

[Related: Interior Strategies for Better IAQ]

Why is air quality important?

Hotels are increasingly being forced to raise prices for indoor air purification. Hotel owners need to ensure that guests feel completely satisfied in their rooms and public areas, such as restaurants, the check-in desk, and bars. Natural ventilation is critical, but going that extra step by providing fresh air can give hotels a competitive advantage. Demonstrating concern for the general health and well-being of guests is an even higher standard in terms of good customer service.

Indoor air quality is also a great way for hotels to modernize and be part of a thriving technological future in hospitality. Allows hotels to update legacy systems Air quality may have previously been hidden, but hotels can now use visual dashboards that display metrics such as humidity, temperature, and carbon dioxide levels. Hotel managers can also consider providing access points through QR codes that take guests directly to the scales on their mobile phones.

[Related: Improving IAQ in the New Normal]

Changes in HVAC systems and other strategies

The most effective and common way to improve HVAC filtration is MERV-13 upgrades. It can be costly to repair the entire system, so hotels should try to avoid this by making upgrades to existing systems where possible. Dedicated outdoor air systems, dehumidification, and high-efficiency filters can be effective in reducing the spread of viruses such as COVID-19 and other unwanted pathogens.

UV-C light is also a highly effective form of air purification, sterilization, and disinfection. It can be combined with HVAC systems to easily kill air pollutants. It is an alternative to traditional cleaning products where surface disinfectants are in limited supply.

Finally, there are some basic actions hotels can take to improve ventilation in their building:

  1. Increase indoor air dilution by entering outdoor air with natural ventilation. For example, by opening the available windows.
  2. If heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems are used, they must be checked, maintained and cleaned regularly. This is critical because many hotel rooms have been dormant over the past 18 months, which can lead to mold growth due to the stagnant indoor environment. If your hotel performs regular maintenance, you will be safer.
  3. Disable Demand Controlled Ventilation (DCV) controls that may reduce air supply based on temperature or occupancy.
  4. If recirculation is unavoidable, increase outside air exchange by opening windows and reducing airflow directly from person to person.
  5. Maintains 40-60% humidity to combat the spread of viruses.
QR Code
QR codes invite people to visit the IAQ dashboard with their phones. Image courtesy of HawkenAQ.

Trust of customers and employees

For a long time, simply marking the door with a sticker claiming to be clean was enough for many hotels. However, that doesn’t convince customers anymore – they want well-presented graphics and evidence that the hotel is doing everything it can to keep them safe. Data is available in real time in almost all aspects of our lives, so customers expect it.

Before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Only 5% of business travelers Health and safety ranked as the most important factor when booking a flight, while that percentage rose to 40% during the pandemic. Quite simply, awareness of the harmful effects of poor indoor air quality has increased dramatically.

Hotels that rely on cleaning agents and solvents can increase levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which can have adverse health effects if employees are exposed to them frequently. Low air quality can cause headaches, dry eyes and throat, dizziness and fatigue. Uncomfortable employees will have less focus and productivity, which negatively affects the guest experience.

We know that air quality management is essential to the hotel industry, as poor indoor air can harm employees, guests and customers. There is no doubt that customers, especially for corporate purposes, will start to wonder how clean the hotel air is. They may be willing to pay more for particularly high air quality or the additional facilities that exist to ensure guest safety from COVID-19.

Updated HVAC systems and regular monitoring of air quality are essential to recognize the changing attitude of the general public towards air quality. Hotels can use information panels in rooms and public areas to clearly communicate air quality standards and reassure guests in the process.

About the author:

John Pullman He is the founder and CEO of HawkenAQ, a building technology startup that works to make every building safe and carbon neutral.

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