Things to Consider Before Reopening Hotels
things to consider before Reopening Hotels
Odds are, when COVID-19 affected your occupancy rates, you made a lot of adjustments in your hotel. With little use, you didn’t want to keep all the mechanicals running at full capacity, but you didn’t want to shut it down completely. So you made adjustments to save on energy costs.
Now that places are starting to open, and you’re beginning to see hotel guests again, you need to check on your pool and hot water.
How’s the humidity? Pool areas are a high humidity environment, and an unused room could have allowed the humidity to remain stagnant and cause adverse effects, including the growth of mold and mildew. Our recommendation for humidity setting would be 60% RH max in accordance with ASHRAE guidelines.
If the pool air handler was still running during the shutdown period, then it is possible to reduce outdoor air, but this can increase the amount of chlorine and disinfection byproducts in the air that is essentially trapped there. It is not recommended that you shut off outdoor air. Do exercise caution with temperature adjustment since the pool units were designed with specific conditions in mind.
If pools were completely shut down, including filtration, then the water needs to be tested to make sure bacteria have not taken over. A water change in the pool may be required. The filter should be backwashed and the chlorination system started to get to the proper level. It’s useful to check the water quality first because if there are high bacteria levels, it will use up a lot of chlorine in the process of establishing a proper residual level. Along with that, the process of killing bacteria also creates disinfection byproducts (chloramines) that foul air quality. So if the water is pretty bad, then a partial water change would be beneficial and reduce startup costs.
You may want to consider having a Certified Pool Operator inspect all systems and water quality.
DOMESTIC HOT WATER.
A major concern in domestic hot water systems is Legionella. It proliferates at relatively low temperatures (warm water) and in water that is stagnant. If the system has been sitting for an extended time, the entire system should be disinfected. This can happen through chlorination or high temperatures, however, every fixture needs to be exposed.
As you begin to open rooms, we suggest filling the property from the bottom floors first, that way if you do encounter any blockage in pipes you won’t flood floors below the upper levels before you notice a blockage.
If you’re looking for more information, you can reference these additional guidelines published by the CDC.
Our MEP team is ready to assist building owners with reopening. In addition to pools, we can also identify potential issues with your existing HVAC systems that could increase the risk of infectious disease transmission. We know how to help you comply with the new CDC and ASHRAE COVID-19 guidelines. If you’re interested in this service or would like more information on reopening hotels, reach out to us via our form – we’d love to help!
Hospitality Project Manager
Jesse contributes more than 15 years of hospitality experience to the Hospitality team. As a Project Manager, he is proficient at guiding projects from the early conceptual stages all the way through construction. His technical expertise in Autodesk Revit and knowledge of document detailing allows him to communicate with the technical teams throughout the document process.
JEFF RADUE, PE
Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing Engineering Lead
Jeff has more than 20 years of professional service within the engineering industry. Jeff offers an extensive background in the design and analysis of HVAC, plumbing systems, power distribution and lighting systems for industrial and commercial projects. He has also accumulated a wide range of experience in the areas of civil design, process/mechanical engineering, and environmental remediation.