Clean Your PTACs for Occupancy

For those who wish to ignore the requirement for annual deep-cleaning of PTACs, you may change your mind when
you understand failure to keep these units in good clean order not only increases your electric bill but it in fact reduces
the quality of the atmosphere within the building which potentially reduces guest occupancy.

Guests in general have a tendency to notice poor atmosphere.  If they walk through a mall and it generally has a bad
atmosphere you can bet that many store owners will suffer from lower traffic.  As an example, who doesn’t notice where
the pretzel baker or the cinnamon roll shop is?  Everyone loves the good smells, especially around holidays.  Popcorn
at the theater, cookies being baked at home, holiday dinner at grandma’s…  Even subconsciously people with
allergies notice right away if the atmosphere is hard to breathe. So, if we know it really is that important, then why
ignore the necessity to clean the one thing that matters most, especially since it is one of the least expensive things
you can do to improve the building, and in a very short period of time.

If the units are not deep-cleaned at least annually, do you then expect to leave the windows open?  Housekeeping can
only do so much, and spray so much deodorizer before the air quality is so low that you can hardly breathe the air in
the hotel.  I haven’t met a person yet who likes the smell of mold or mildew.   Besides, how much do you spend on
chemicals each year just trying to mask “the smells”?

What are the results of failing to have the units cleaned?  Here is a list:


  1. The quality of the atmosphere in the rooms and hallways goes way down
  2. It literally gets harder to breathe because of the higher humidity in the building, especially in the hot months of
  3. The units begin to leak because the poor airflow through the front coil causes the unit to get too cold and begin
    to freeze up.  As it does this, the condensation increases and the pan fills with excess water.
  4. Higher water levels in the pan causes the evaporator fan to sling more water and the rear coil area will begin to
    “pond” up with excess water.  This further reduces the effectiveness of the unit.
  5. The excess water in the blower fan begins to create opportunity for mold and mildew.
  6. Often the worst thing happens.  Instead of cleaning the unit for a small fee, someone will decide to put cleaner
    or deodorizer in the unit.  This often gums up the fan and coil even more and causes the unit to overheat.  Can
    you imagine spraying soap and deodorizer on the engine of your car without rinsing it? It would only make it
    worse!  Imagine using only soap on your dishes at home and not rinsing it off.
  7. In the cooler months of the year the unit can continue to smell bad.  Just behind the front coil and often in front
    of the blower fan is an electric heater which has also been building up mold, gunk, soap, lint, dirt, bugs and
    more.  The first few times you turn them on as winter approaches they smell really bad.
  8. Both heating and cooling are impacted by the failure to clean the units, it isn’t just summer cooling you should
    be concerned with.  Why?  Because the unit includes both capabilities combined in one, thus the name
    Packaged Terminal Air Conditioner (PTAC).

So, if you think you are being frugal by not paying to have your PTACs deep-cleaned at least once a year, think twice.
You may just be too cheap to keep your guests happy enough to come back the next time they are in town for a
seminar, sports event, or visiting family.  Your guests will eventually become cheaper than you.