Indoor Air Quality and the Hospitality Industry
The Environmental Protection Agency says that the air indoors
is 4 to 100 times more polluted than the air outdoors, even
the outdoor air of the most polluted cities like Las Vegas,
New York and Los Angeles. And the air quality in your guestrooms
is very likely more polluted and more dirty than most people's
homes. Particulates, odors, molds, bacteria, and cleaning
fumes are all trapped in your guest rooms--even your most
You may not be able to see the dirt, but it's there. And
your guests can feel and smell the dirtiness. Cleaning fumes
and deodorizers only mask odors and many of your guests
have allergies or sensitivities for these chemicals. Guests
notice dust, mold and bacteria when they breathe.Most hotel
rooms have little fresh air exchange. Mold and bacteria
thrive in an environment of vinyl wall paper and shower
steam. According to The Wall Street Journal article, many
guests feel worse when they wake up. The typical symptoms
travelers experience are sore throats, headaches, and burning
eyes. These symptoms are likely reactions to poor indoor
The condition of poor Indoor Air Quality in hotels becomes
a financial and marketing problem once we consider people
with respiratory problems. The American Lung Association
estimates that this number will increase to 3 out of 5 people
by the year 2003. This translates into an average of one
person with respiratory difficulties per family. As hotels
rush to accommodate the health and environmental concerns
of their patrons, they cannot ignore the very obvious and
universal concern with air quality
Benefits of Clean Air
Clean air is not only an amenity like ironing boards and
hair dryers: It's a necessity. Since hotel rooms generally
have worse air quality than most people's homes and since
many guests come from smoke-free communities, hotels and
resorts cannot afford to overlook their indoor air quality.
Customers will notice.
Cleaner Lobbies/Casinos and Increased Profits
A cleaner atmosphere means more comfortable guests and
happier clientele. They will spend more time enjoying their
gaming experience, casino attractions, restaurants and other
entertainment available to them. For casinos, "longer
stay time equals longer play time." And, satisfied
guests are more likely to be repeat customers
who will refer family, friends and colleagues.
Reduction of Heating/Cooling Costs
Hotels and casinos bring a percentage of outdoor air into
their establishments. This outdoor air is not so "fresh."
It contains pollen, mold, dust, exhaust, and odors that
contaminate the air in your establishment.
Outdoor air is also expensive. Over a year, each cubic
foot of outdoor air brought into your facility costs between
$1.50 and $2.00 to condition. Implementing an air quality
program may reduce the need to bring in as much outdoor
air, according to ASHRAE standards. Air cleaning will also
help to protect expensive air handling equipment from pollution
Guests will feel more comfortable and have a better quality
sleep in a room where the air is filtered. Their sleep will
not be hampered by dust, smoke, odors, molds and other airborne
contaminants that can be removed with effective air cleaning.
According to The National Sleep Foundation more than 50%
of the population have lower energy levels due to lack of
sleep, most of which is attributed to respiratory factors.
By providing a cleaner room environment, your guests will
be well rested. Well rested guests have higher energy levels
and they will be more likely to engage in hotel activities.
Reduction of Maintenance Costs
Maintaining smoking guest rooms is costly, as are sectioning
off smoking sections in lobbies, casinos and restaurants.
Pollution damage costs the U.S. economy billions of dollars
each year in repairs, maintenance and employee absenteeism.
Effective air cleaning will remove tobacco smoke and other
contaminants. Tobacco smoke will have less of an opportunity
to permeate carpets, drapes, upholstery, bedding, or settle
on to surfaces, therefore, decreasing stale
odors, yellowing and staining. When smokers ask for non-smoking
rooms, your business will not be affected when you use quality
air cleaning techniques. And there is less of a need to
separate facilities when effective air cleaning is in place.
Lobbies, gaming areas, restaurants, and bars that are free
from tobacco smoke and other airborne contaminants will
result in fewer complaints. Guests who do not smoke will
not be bothered so much by your smoking guests and will,
therefore, be less likely to complain. You do not want your
guests' enjoyment to be deminished by those who smoke.
Improve Market Share
Implementing effective air cleaning within your establishment
shows you care about those guests who have health concerns
with regard to indoor air quality and second hand tobacco
smoke. You will also have an opportunity to market to those
with allergy and asthma who make up about 43% of the population!
These numbers are projected to increase to as much as 60%
in the next few years! You will have endless opportunity
to make current and future guests aware of your concern
for their health, safety and comfort through websites, billboards,
brochures, in-room table tents, and much more.