IHG group’s new three-storey Holiday Inn Express at St Albans, Hertfordshire, provided an ideal test location for the new Daikin auto-cleaning duct accessory. Michael Oats, IHG’s Director of Engineering Design, Europe, says maintaining fan coil units in guest rooms is challenging for a hotel chain. “It’s an ongoing process of cleaning filters – and with high-occupancy hotel bedrooms, filters get dirty very quickly and the hotels can suffer poor temperature control, higher operating costs and increased failures. Clean filters mean fan coil units are more efficient and provide good comfort control – and this benefits our owners, operators and guests.”
The auto-cleaning duct was installed on a bedroom fan coil unit, part of the hotel’s Daikin VRV IV heat recovery system. It replaces the standard filter on the rear of FXDQ and FDXS slim ducted units, typically installed in hotel bedrooms. Programmed to clean itself at regular intervals it avoids any build-up of dust and the need for manual cleaning of filters and grilles. This brings improved air quality, maintenance cost savings and better system performance. Dust is collected in an internal box – and when it is nearly full a warning light alerts the housekeeping staff to empty it, via a normal vacuum cleaner hose. This is expected to be at intervals of approximately two to three months.
Auto-cleaning duct accessory
Sylvester Mascarenhas, managing director of mechanical and electrical services consultancy Sabinus, says the trial duct has been monitored closely and is already making a major difference, compared with standard systems elsewhere in the hotel. “We now plan to test the accessory in more rooms at St Albans, and will be using them in more than 200 new bedrooms that this customer will be developing in the coming year. One of the major considerations for hotels is appearance. When a standard filter is not cleaned properly, dust can be seen on the grille. With the Daikin auto-cleaning duct this problem does not occur.”