Top Warning Signs Your Hotel May Not Be COVID-Safe
Hot travel bookings over the past two months and an emboldened attitude among potential travelers may mean the long, cold COVID winter is finally over. Recent news articles indicate that available accommodation and rental cars in popular destinations have already been booked for the season. It’s No Wonder: CDC Data shows nearly 50% of the US population has received one or more vaccinations. According to an survey conducted by Destination Analysts, as of Memorial Day 2021, the number of Americans concerned about contracting the coronavirus, the pandemic’s impact on personal finance and the national economy reached historic lows. The average perception of travel and leisure as unsafe has halved compared to the beginning of the year — and business travel is emerging again.
It’s encouraging to see travelers putting some of their pandemic fears behind them and getting back on the road. Still, before they leave on their next business trip, they should be vigilant and remember that many hotels, sites, buildings and attractions have been closed for some time or are running at less than half capacity. In many cases, the shutdown also included their HVAC systems. Just switching the switch from “off” to “on” does not solve the problem. The increased humidity and stale air in facilities whose HVAC systems have been inactive for weeks or even months can be a breeding ground for mold and bacteria. Such conditions can lead to serious health problems for guests. Hopefully, the hotel in question has undergone a full HVAC system evaluation and extensive HVAC environmental cleaning before inviting guests to return.
Based on our experience with hundreds of hotels in the United States and according to microbiologists and building scientists on our staff, there are a few signs travelers should look for when assessing the quality of their accommodations. If a traveler sees any of the following five signs, it may indicate that management is not considering guest safety related to mold, bacteria, or COVID-19 itself.
1. No service records posted
If maintenance records for environmental testing and cleaning are not prominently placed, management will not take operations seriously during the current pandemic conditions. Read also : HVAC Sensors Market Growth Insights, Sales Projection, Future Trends, COVID-19 Impact, Size Value and Share Analysis By 2028 – The Manomet Current. Whether it’s the virus, mold or any other problem, now is not the time to get complacent with indoor air quality for guests.
2. Lack of new air cleaning/monitoring technology
At this stage of the pandemic, HVAC vent cleaning and air quality monitors should be in place for additional risk management. To see also : Global Smart Connected HVAC Market 2021 Future Industry – Johnson Controls, Carrier, Daikin, Lennox, LG HVAC, Mitsubishi Electric.
3. Dusty floors and walls
Such conditions should raise the alarm for poor indoor air quality and indicate that the HVAC system may have maintenance issues. To see also : Massive Growth in Bus HVAC Systems Market 2021 to 2026 Focusing on Leading Players Denso, Guchen Industry, MAHLE, Valeo, WABCO – The Manomet Current.
4. No current cleaning plan
If the current cleaning plan is outdated or does not hang in your hotel room, your hotel has most likely become a petri dish for pathogens.
5. Musty smells
Odors can be an important warning indicator of bacterial or mold growth in the building or HVAC system. Travelers should consider following their nose to a safer room.
Travelers should not only be vigilant about these warning signs, but also remember the importance of wearing masks in crowded areas.
In short, there is no magic bullet that hotel and location managers can use to prevent COVID-19 and other pathogens from recirculating through their HVAC systems. Like safety, indoor air quality is improved in layers and combined approaches.
When entering the property, travelers should pay attention to the five warning signs listed. If travelers are still in the booking process, they should never hesitate to pick up the phone and ask management about the last time the HVAC was serviced and environmentally cleaned. Ask what additional measures the resort has taken to ensure indoor air quality is optimized. Travelers will breathe easier, both figuratively and literally, knowing that their hotel or location management is doing everything they can to keep them healthy and safe.