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The hotel's water-conservation program includes addressing the HVAC system. In 2012, the hotel replaced its chemical-based water-treatment system with a non-chemical solution for cooling towers that cuts back on corrosion and offers a more environmentally friendly option. Before the new system, maintenance staff routinely wheeled barrels of chemicals through guest hallways to deliver them to the rooftop HVAC room, exposing guests and employees to potential harm.
The retrofit took less than eight hours to complete with no disruption to hotel operations. In addition to providing a safer environment for staff and guests, the hotel reduced its boiler blowdown waste by 62 percent and saved more than 940,000 gallons of water annually. Eliminating the use of chemicals saved the hotel about $10,000 annually.
The installation of the hotel's chemical-free system serves as an example of the way managers can take different paths to reach their savings goals.
"Many, many facilities professionals are going to have cooling towers and air conditioning systems, and we have to make choices about how and where to get our savings," Hobbs says. "If you're trying to satisfy the health department and guests in hotel rooms like I am, then you have to be very selective about where you find your savings."
Chemical-Free Cooling Tower Solution Helps Reduce HVAC System's Water Use