The Quickest way I know to make Your job Easier!
In the absence of all else, price prevails. As the housekeeper
of your property, how do you make a decision on what type of
vacuum cleaners will you purchase for the property?
This article has been written to help your decision be made with
a little more purpose and understanding on how the humble vacuum
can effect the time room attendants need to clean the rooms.
Here are just 4 basics to consider - 1. Reveal the hidden cost
in energy consumption for the property. 2. Practicality of your
decision for room attendants. 3. What effects the wrong vacuum
can have on some fire protection systems. 4. Cost of ongoing
The Hidden Menace
Drudgery for the room attendants to clean multiple rooms is
undeniable. Anything that can make the process easier is welcome
by all. Dusting forms a part of the cleaning process for each
attendant. As the housekeeper you may realize that a Vacuum
cleaner really only takes and holds all the large particles of
dirt and lint in the bag or stops it at the filtration level.
However it is the fine lint particles that get through the bag
or the filter that forms part of the dust.
A great way of seeing if your property suffers this problem is
to check the top of your furniture, particularly if you have
dark furniture. Go back into the unoccupied room the following
day and see the fine lint that has settled on the surface. Run
your hand across the top and you will see the effectiveness of
your current vacuums.
Sun streaming through the window can also reveal lint particles
floating in the air during vacuuming. It's this airborne lint
that settles and creates a dust problem. Good vacuums with
proper filtration can almost eliminate this problem and
therefore create less dust, which will lessen the time a room
attendant has to dust.
All housekeepers by now will see that the fine particles that
pass through your vacuum cleaner is the demon unseen.
The very same fine particles floating in the air are also
picked up by the Hotels air-conditioning systems. Some of these
properties have a return air vent in the room. You may have seen
an egg crate looking square vent on the ceiling at the entry of
each guestroom. This houses a filter. Most housekeepers would
have seen the state of these filters when the Maintenance team
does the rooms maintenance program. The filters are often
plastered with lint similar to that that comes from your
domestic clothes dryer. Your vacuum cleaner generated most of
With out drifting into the technical side, not all hotels are
fitted with return air filters. Therefore the lint gets sucked
into the return air vent into the face of the coil that sits
inside the ceiling of the guestroom.
A simple explanation for the "coil" is like that its like the
radiator in your car, with cold water passing through on the
inside, and a fan that blows the air through the coil to get
cold air into the room.
The lint will slowly clog the airflow through the coil, which
leads to less conditioned air. The air-conditioning system needs
to work harder to deliver cool air to the room. Multiply the
effect by 300 rooms, soon demonstrates more energy usage. And
guests often complain that the air-conditioning doesn't work.
Does this happen in your property?
Fine lint can also create false fire alarms in your property.
Depending upon the type of smoke detector head on each room and
they do vary greatly, the build up of lint can cause the smoke
detector to cause false alarms.
These days Fire Brigades can charge up to $600 for a callout on
a false alarm. This is a costly and unnecessary expense your
hotel can incur.
On a practical level it would make great sense for the
housekeeper to choose all the same type of vacuums that have
interchangeable parts like the wands and cleaning heads, bags,
and the like. Multiple brands in the property lead to a loss of
interchangeability and loss of time when the room attendant's
equipment has a breakdown.
Once again we can spare a thought for the Maintenance Man. When
choosing a vacuum cleaner did you consider the marks on the
lower walls that a vacuum cleaner can leave behind?
Poorly designed vacuums will hit the wall as they pass through
the guestroom if the profile of the vacuum is not designed to
hit the skirting board first. Next time in your hotel, glance
down to the entry of the guestroom and see if you have that tell
tale signs of a vacuum cleaner hitting the wall.
Every maintenance man knows about presentation of the property.
Patching and painting of entries is not high on the list of
desired jobs. Proper vacuum selection can eliminate this problem.
Maintenance continued... Another role of the Maintenance crews
is the repair or sourcing of spare parts and interchangeability
of motors, filters and the like. Easy access to parts,
replacement bags, filters should also form part of the
housekeepers decision making process.
Some manufacturers have taken this into consideration and have
developed motors that can be changed in 2 minutes with a modular
cartridge drop in design. Think about how often you have seen
the vacuum disappear into maintenance and not repaired because
they are still waiting for parts?
Choices of vacuums out there for the housekeeper can be
overwhelming and the sales chatter you hear from representatives
touting their brand can make your decision even harder. It is
sometimes easier to resort to purchasing on price. But sometimes
the cheaper option can cost you a lot more down the road.
Some of the points raised will help you assess what your
current situation is, but more importantly give you an inside
peek into some of the issues that can be avoided by good
Because of limited space we have not touched on warranty, motor
size, noise, customer support, proper vacuum selection for
various types of cleaning jobs, etc. The full article covering
all of these issues can be found on www.lamelec.com.au/articles
When considering your next Vacuum Cleaner purchase there are
several points you should consider.
What size motor?
What size motor - bigger does not necessarily mean better. Room
attendant vacuum cleaners range from 900 watt to 1200 watt
motors, but it is the suction rates that will vary when you
compare the different brands. For example a 1000watt motor may
have more suction that a 1200watt motor.
Ask for the product sheets on the brands and models you are
considering and you will see the suction rates will vary greatly.
How much noise? As a convenience to the guests who move
around the hotel whilst room attendants are working, choosing
the quietest vacuum cleaner, should also be one of your
considerations. Manufacturers on their product sheets will state
the noise level as a decibel rating, on the sheet it will stated
as 60 db as an example. 55 decibels is considered to be a quiet
unit and 80 decibels noisy for the Hotel environment.
How long should the power lead be? Average guestroom sizes
are 4 meters wide and 5 - 6 metres long, any vacuum cleaner with
a power cord of 10 metre in length will be an advantage for the
room attendant. Having to have an extension cord or having to
reposition to another power point in the room all takes up time.
What about warranty?
Warranty is not generally considered until a breakdown occurs.
Be aware if you purchase a domestic rated vacuum cleaner that
it's warranty is likely to be reduced to 3 months when used in a
commercial environment, such as hotels.
Never mind what the Sales people tell you, call the Company
direct and ask the question. In the case of proper commercial
vacuum cleaners most come with a full 2-year warranty at the
As the Executive Housekeeper, it's worthwhile considering what
areas the vacuum will be used in. For large area's like
corridors the wider the head the less irksome the cleaning
process for the attendants. Your wise selection on style,
canister, upright, wet or dry, push type can save many hours,
backs, wages and machines. Have you had the experience of an
attendant vacuuming liquid spills? No fun.
Finally customer support is something that should be highly sort
after. A single call to solve your problems, spare parts,
warranty issues is a must.
As I stated at the top of the article in the absence of all else
price prevails. Hopefully you are armed with a little more
knowledge that can help your decision rest a little easier.