The LLumar Window Film Blog

Hotels Install Window Film to Increase Energy Efficiency

Posted by Steve DeBusk on Jun 16, 2015

When a guest decides whether to return to a hotel, much of his or her decision is based on guestroom comfort. Noise levels, the mattress, lighting quality, water pressure, room temperature – these are all factors that impact the hotel experience.

According to a 2012 J.D. Power and Associates study on common complaints among hotel guests, temperature/HVAC issues made the top three (right behind noise levels and dirty rooms). A guestroom that’s too hot or too cold may make it hard to sleep, be productive, or even get settled in.

Several things can affect a guestroom’s indoor temperature: malfunctioning HVAC equipment, solar heat gain or thermal heat loss through windows, lack of circulation, moisture levels, etc. Determining the root cause can help you select the most energy-efficient, cost-effective solution.

To help control room temperature in instances when solar heat gain and thermal heat loss occur, hotels across the country are finding success with high-performance, low-e window film. The right window tinting solution can improve insulating power of existing windows; it can reduce solar heat gain during warm months, and may also prevent thermal heat loss during cooler months.

Check out how these two well-known hotels took guest complaints to heart, and used commercial window film to improve comfort levels.

Hyatt Regency Houston

The 924,000-square-foot Hyatt Regency Houston was receiving temperature complaints from guests due to solar heat gain (especially on the building’s southeast and southwest sides). The hotel was looking for a way to solve this problem, and was also interested in lowering its annual $1.6 million energy bill.

Hyatt Regency Houston decided to install low-e window film to help reduce solar heat gain, along with an extensive sub-metering system so hotel staff could monitor energy use in rooms with window film. The sub-meters also measured energy use in rooms without window film so that energy-use comparisons could be made.

The rooms with low-e window film showed a reduction of 23% in cooling energy use and 25% in heating energy use, according to the data gathered by the sub-meters. These energy savings provided a full payback in 3.6 years, based on national average installation costs and taking into account an energy-efficiency rebate from the utility company.

Marriott Hotel – Winston-Salem, NC

The Marriott in Winston-Salem, NC, was having problems with its HVAC system: In the guestrooms receiving lots of sunlight, the existing HVAC equipment wasn’t able to cool below 78 degrees F. Complaints about room temperature prompted the Marriott to investigate possible solutions, and low-e window film was installed to address the room temperature issues.

After the window film was in place, the hotel’s HVAC system was able to cool guestrooms to 72 degrees F – six degrees cooler than before. The Marriott’s annual heating and cooling costs are expected to drop by at least 5%, saving $24,000 annually. Projected payback for the project is approximately three years.

How do you address temperature and thermal comfort complaints from tenants, occupants, and guests in your building?

Steve DeBusk is global energy solutions manager for the window film division of Eastman Chemical Company. Steve has 30 years of experience in energy efficiency. He is a Certified Energy Manager, a Certified Measurement and Verification Professional, and a Certified Sustainable Development Professional. Follow Steve on Twitter @greenbldgs.

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