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With vacation season right around the corner, it’s time to switch out your old PTAC units. The best PTAC units aren’t always bigger. In fact, “best” may mean smaller if smaller units are more appropriate for the room size. That’s why you should take these six factors into consideration when you’re investing in new PTACs for your property.

1. Reliability

Unreliable units result in uncomfortable temperature extremes, which can lead to refund requests and lost revenue. A PTAC malfunction during a stay can also lead to unhappy customers who leave negative reviews. Furthermore, frequent repairs drain your maintenance budget.

Be sure to choose a brand known for reliability. Getting units that are built to last may be more expensive initially, but the savings will add up in the long run.

2. Efficiency

GE notes that room heating and cooling can contribute to as much as 70% of a property’s energy costs. When you’re a hotelier heating and cooling hundreds of rooms, the efficiency losses and extra energy costs add up quickly.

During your search, pay attention to the EER (Energy Efficiency Ratio) ratings of units. A higher EER rating means that the unit is more energy efficient and will save you on energy costs.

3. Power

The units you invest in should be powerful enough to cool the entire room. Many vendors will include room size in the product specs, but it’s still important to calculate the British thermal units (Btus) that your rooms require. Not enough Btus will result in an overworked unit and poor air circulation, and too many Btus will make a room feel cold and clammy.

Many different Btu calculators are available online. Use one to check the Btu specs of your existing units. (Look on the plate under the front panel.)

Additionally, there are different amperage options available on the market, so if the unit receives power from an outlet, be sure that you choose the correct plug type.

4. Heat Pump vs. Electric

Heat pumps and electric heat are the two types of technology that the best PTAC units use to heat and cool a room. It’s important to choose the technology that best suits your needs by considering the property’s geographic region and local climate.

Units with heat pumps sometimes cost more up front, but they are also more energy efficient. Heat pumps are not as powerful as electric heat, so if your hotel needs to provide heat during cold winter months, electric might be a better option. But, if your PTACs are primarily used for air-conditioning, then a heat pump will save you on energy costs and still get the job done.

Though units with electric heat typically cost less up front, they use more energy. If your hotel is in an especially cold area, electric heat is probably the best option. How quickly the unit can heat the room may be more important for your guests’ comfort (and your bottom line) than the initial cost savings.

5. Ease of Maintenance

A PTAC unit must be maintained well in order to function at its best. However, it’s also important that maintenance is not so invasive as to disturb customers or put rooms out of order for days at a time. Look for units that have ease-of-maintenance features such as easy-access air filters and quick-connect power cords.

6. Product Support

If possible, choose a product with a good warranty and product support from the manufacturer. That way, the manufacturer will respond quickly if any issues arise and issues are easily resolved. Warranty previews and customer support information are often available on the manufacturer’s website. Use that information to decide which warranty is best for you.

Scope out the manufacturer’s website and reviews to determine how their customer support system works. Is it only a phone number or do they also have a way to submit requests online? Is there 24-hour support? Will they send their own technicians? Good product support combined with ease of maintenance will make repairs a breeze.

Purchasing the best PTAC units for your property is a huge investment, one that should be handled with care. So the next time you venture out to replace your PTAC units, be sure to pay attention to these important details.