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 maintenance 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. Air-Conditioning 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 that lint. 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? Fire Alarms 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. Practicality 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 selection. 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 Part 2 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 very best. Your decision 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.