It’s no secret that overhead costs for hotels can be crippling. Luckily, there are lots of changes you can implement that will make your hotel more efficient, more cost-effective, and even a little easier on the environment.
Heating and Air Conditioning
Don’t overheat the bedrooms. People hate sleeping in bedrooms that are too warm, so if you live in a cooler climate, turn the heat down to 65 or so and maybe invest in warmer bedding. If guests want to turn it up in the room, they can.
On a similar note, you don’t need to keep hallways, stairwells, and lobbies at a balmy 72 degrees either. Most people are fully dressed in those areas, and you can save some money by turning those zones down.
Make sure you have good control over your heating system with timers and thermostatic radiator valves and keep your thermostats away from sunlight, drafts, radiators, and fireplaces. The last thing you want is to over-heat or over-cool an area because of a poorly placed thermostat.
Don’t run the heat and air conditioning simultaneously. There should be a comfortable buffer between one and the other. Turn the heat off when the temperature hits, ~70, but don’t kick the AC on until around 75. For a lot of the year, the temperature will naturally hover in that sweet spot and you won’t need HVAC to be running at all.
Hot Water — Don’t Overdo It
When it comes to your water heaters, you don’t need to be able to make tea with what comes out of the hot water tap. 140 degrees is plenty — you’re not wasting energy that’s just leaching out of the boilers and pipes, it’s hot enough for showers, and it’ll kill virtually all bacteria in your tanks and pipes.
Don’t forget to insulate your pipes! It costs more up front, but it almost never needs to be replaced and it’s worth it from the lifetime savings.
Switch To LED Lights
LED bulbs are more expensive than CFLs or incandescents, but just barely — and the lifetime cost is far lower. Not only do they use 75% less energy, but they last 25 times longer — over two years, even if they’re on 24 hours a day. That’s a cost per kilowatt-hour of 75 times less than standard incandescent bulbs.
Not only that, but LED bulbs put out substantially less heat than incandescents, so there’s less strain on your air conditioning trying to fight them. And as an added bonus, you’re saving a lot of maintenance time if you only have to replace your bulbs every few years instead of every few weeks.
One final note: use daylight and motion sensors to turn the lights off when no one needs them. Most people aren’t sitting in their hotel rooms all day long, they’re out and about — timers and keycard systems can ensure that they’re not leaving lights while they’re gone.
Clean Smarter, Not Harder
A good chunk of your overhead comes from cleaning — chemicals, laundry, disposables like paper towels, and so on. Rags recycled from old t-shirts or discarded towels are much cheaper to buy in bulk, and serve just as well for basic cleaning tasks.
Rags also save money over paper towels, since they can be washed hundreds of times before they wear out. Buy rags at wholesale prices to get the best value.
When it comes to windows and bathrooms, consider switching to microfiber wiping cloths. Microfiber can clean windows with just water, saving you money and avoiding the harmful chemicals that come with most glass cleaners, and is also delicate enough for shiny surfaces like stainless steel and ceramic.
Finally, encourage your guests to reuse their towels with a small placard in their bathroom or when they sign in. Laundering towels costs time, water, labor, and energy, and hotels that reuse their towels can save 17% on all of the above by encouraging guests to use their towels more than once.
Or, if you don’t feel like laundering your towels at all, take advantage of a program like Star Industrial’s buyback program. They’ll buy back your used towels, recycle them into rags, and give you credit toward a future purchase, saving you time and money and helping out the environment.
Some of these tips might cost you a little more up front, but you’ll save money in the long run — and do a little good for the planet at the same time. And when you implement more than one change at once, you’ll see the savings start to really add up.