Aircon – The Biggest Unmanaged Risk in Your Hotel

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If guests are going to complain about a hotel, it’s often a lack of cleanliness that gets them started. Fortunately, that’s a highly visible problem that any hotelier should be able to address. However, there are certain types of poor hygiene that don’t stand out at first glance but which can have very serious consequences for both hotels and guests. The biggest danger to health is almost certainly your air-conditioning, which can play host to colonies of very harmful bacteria.

Dirty air-conditioning is a problem found in even the very best of the 5-star hotels, and while cleaning obviously does take place, if it isn’t done properly then bacteria will begin to develop complex biofilms on the air-conditioner surfaces which allow them to build thriving colonies within your HVAC systems. One type which is all too common is the legionella bacterium which causes potentially fatal Legionnaires’ disease. Indeed, if you took the time to look inside one of your air-conditioners just before cleaning, the sight alone would undoubtedly make you think twice about spending time in the room, let alone doing anything so risky as breathing.

The problem hotels face is that simply cleaning the air-conditioner is not sufficient, while the products used to eliminate the bacteria can often pose a health hazard just as severe as the germs you want to remove. One common approach is to use alkali- or acid-based cleaners, which can severely damage your air-conditioners and which won’t actually be able to fully kill off all the bacteria in the system. As a result, you’ll still be exposing your guests to the health risk, and you’ll have to replace the air-conditioning units much more frequently as the parts begin to corrode.

The alternatives to acid cleaners are products which are enzyme-based. Not only can they eliminate bacteria much more effectively, but they are also safer for your guests and don’t corrode the coils within the air-conditioner. In fact, you can expect an increase of around 50% in the equipment lifespan, and you’ll also gain operational cost savings because a clean air-conditioner has much lower energy consumption. Enzyme-based cleaners are also compatible with the strictest hotel CSR programs which require the use of eco-friendly products.

Keeping your air-conditioners clean is vital for the success of your hotel. However, not only is it a job that must be done regularly, but it’s also a job that must be carried out with the right products to safeguard the health of your guests and staff, and to ensure the longevity of the equipment. If you’re still used acid-based cleaners today, it’s time to reconsider and take a close look at the alternatives.

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