It occurs to me that
every motel I've ever stayed at ( 20 > 200 units )
always uses a "window unit" for cooling.
Seems like it would be more economical
to have one central unit, and circulate chilled water
to heat exchanger in the rooms.
Anyone have any insight here ?
On the other hand,
I've got a neighbor who opted for window units
instead of having central air installed in his house.
He saved a bundle ! $300 vs $3000
And, he claims his electric bill is alot less too.
Maintaining a chiller is no simple task for a small to medium motel. You
have differing occupancy rates, thus big swings in load demand. Then you
have the piping to deal with, booster pumps, and, if the chiller goes down
you have the complete motel with no AC instead of a room or two.
I doubt the economics works well.
You got it. They keep a couple 3 spares out back, and when one craps out,
the in-house repair guy can swap it out like a light bulb, in less than an
hour. Not a trivial issue on the few weeks a year the place is booked solid.
BTDT, staying in cheap motels for training courses on govt dime. Note that
most places, these thru-wall units also provide at least part of the heat,
in winter. I have noticed that the bathroom wet wall usually seems to have
enough central heat so pipes don't freeze if room HVAC goes down. I presume
they bleed this off the hallway heat, if there is an interior corridor, or
from the pipe chase that runs between the blocks of rooms on older motels
with outside doors. (I haven't seen a new outside-room-door motel go up in
at least a decade.)
I dunno- in case of fire, I'd rather have a direct exit to outside. And the
trek with the luggage is usually a lot shorter. But I do understand how
some folks (women and elderly) feel more secure with an inside hallway,
against drunks and criminals. And I'm sure the doors and locks last a lot
longer out of the weather, along with the carpet near the door. Not to
mention a whole lot less snow-shoveling in winter.
Edwin hit the nail on the head. I know of several motels that got rid of
their chilled water systems for those very reasons. One was a huge
LaQuinta near the airport here, and as it was either a tilt wall or
cinder block bldg (forgot which it was) it was no small job. Most places
will purchase some extra units as spares, and when one has a problem.
they can swap it out in a couple of minutes, and either take the broken
one to an authorized service center if it is in warranty(some have a 5
yr P&L warranty), or if it is out of warranty, their maint. person can
usually repair them. True, at 100% occupancy, the chilled water system
is somewhat more efficient as far as electrical usage, but that's one of
those things that look good on paper, but in the real world---. Larry
That describes our house. 24000btu (220v) unit in DR and a 5000btu (110v) in
master BR. About $550 for both. If we need to cool both BRs we run both
units other wise just the small one at night. Keeps the house frosty with
the help of a couple small floor fans. Don't know if it's cheaper than
central cause we've never had it. Been waiting 18 years for the antique
furnace to crap out and install central on a new one but it keeps firing up
I'm sure not as efficient as a new one but with monthly heating bills that
seldom top $100 in the coldest months and never any maitenance costs (so
far) I'm hesitant to jump into the major expence of replacement. We have a
fireplace/heat exchanger and fortunately access to all the free firewood I
can cut and split so we are able to minimize our furnace use. New windows
and wall insulation, courtesy of our insurance company after a fire 7 years
ago, and our not objecting to putting on a sweater and extra blanket on the
bed also helps minimize our heating costs.
Poor Mr. Flibertyjib, with a jingle jangle jingle in his head.
We'll try the country life he said, we'll try it, and maybe if we like
we'll buy it.
I lived in the city and it was never that loud, but now that I'm in
the suburbs, the last thing I want is the noise of a room ac. Even
the fan on the central heat and AC makes more noise than I want. Even
a table fan I slow down so I won't hear it.
If all of the motel rooms were occupied 100% of the time every day of the
year, then yes it would be more economical to have a central system.
However sometimes only one or two rooms may be occupied. With the window
units, then they are only paying for electric for two rooms, not the whole
So as occupancy goes up, energy costs go up in proportion. As occupancy
goes down, energy costs go down in proportion. For bookkeeping, real easy to
calculate the cost of each room.
"<RJ>" wrote in message
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