As consumers become more conscious of lowering their carbon footprints and protecting the planet, demand for energy-efficient products continues to grow. Eco-friendly products are making an impact on a global scale, and the hospitality industry has made a concerted effort to integrate environmental considerations into the procurement process. Although hotel guests may leave the lights on or the AC turned up when they’re not in the room, the majority of consumers don’t want to use energy-hogging products anymore. In recognition of this trend, manufacturers are creating products that support sustainable business practices while appealing to guest preferences. “Customers have been known to demand energy efficiency and manufacturers have answered that demand by creating a competitive
environment,” says TJ Wheeler, VP of marketing and product management at Friedrich Air Conditioning, which produces heating, ventilation, and air (HVAC) systems.
Hoteliers can reduce their HVAC-related energy costs by investing in the greener systems offered by manufacturing companies today. One of the latest trends in HVAC systems is a vertical packaging unit (VRP), which brings fresh outdoor air into a hotel room and enables customers to change the temperature at will. VRP systems will undergo an innovative change in 2017 that will allow guests to change the humidity in their room without using the air conditioner. This hasn’t been done before, Wheeler says. “This not only delivers industry or class-leading efficiencies, but also solves the problem of having to get fresh air into that space in a properly conditioned format, both temperature and humidity.”
Hotel brands require suppliers to create eco-friendly products for their businesses, based on the unique needs of their properties, which in turn supports manufacturing jobs. Wheeler adds, “We’re always being challenged not only for energy efficiency, but for guest comfort.” And collaborative partnerships between hotels and manufacturers will be around for a while. “We’ve really been fortunate enough to have great ties and relationships with those types of groups and that’s really helped lead our product development and bring these great products to market.”
Companies like Friedrich are working diligently to incorporate new sustainable elements into their products that guests will appreciate during their stays. At the same time, hotels will continue to seek high-value products that enhance the guest experience but at affordable price points. “There are some constraints on technology because of the constraints of budget for equipment,” Wheeler explains. Guest expectations are at a high point in the industry, according to Wheeler, and hoteliers need to maintain their energy-efficient standards to keep guests coming back.