When it comes to your commercial laundry equipment, you may be thinking: If it ain’t broke, you aren’t gonna fix it. If it’s still working, it must be fine, right? Not necessarily. What you may not realize is that your trusty equipment could be costing you money.
There are all kinds of new technologies and approaches to saving water and energy, and if your laundry equipment is too outdated or isn’t built to be high efficiency, you’re missing out on saving on not just your property’s consumption, but cash, too.
Here are some of the premier water- and energy-saving features to consider when deciding whether your commercial laundry equipment is sending money down the drain.
Begin with Benchmarking
There are a number of online tools and in-person consultants to help you audit your current water and utility costs and benchmark against similar properties. Getting a sense of where you are now can help you set goals for the future and gauge the full economic impact of your in-house laundry.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR program offers a range of benchmarking tools on its Portfolio Manager website to measure and track energy and water consumption, in addition to greenhouse gas emissions.
An estimated 20-plus percent of the overall water use in hotels is for laundry, and in the U.S., it’s estimated that a conventional hotel laundry uses 25 gallons of water for each occupied room every day.
The right mix of new equipment can drastically reduce those numbers. Tunnel-washer technology and internal recycling systems are some of the water- and labor-saving options available, along with waste water reclamation systems.
More sophisticated washers also offer a wider range of water levels to choose from than the standard high, medium and low. Being able to more precisely program the amount of water used leads to less waste and lower costs.
Energy accounts for approximately 15 percent of the total cost to operate a traditional hotel laundry, with hot water heaters and dryers as the biggest cost culprits.
Laundry equipment solutions include high efficiency water heaters and extractors that pull more water from linens, making them faster and easier to dry. Dryers are also available with specialized moisture sensors to prevent over-drying. High efficiency boilers can generate steam for irons as well as natural gas for commercial dryers.
For electricity costs, it isn’t just the laundry machines to keep an eye on: Also consider energy efficient lighting in washrooms that automatically shuts off when it isn’t being used.
Laundry Products & Precision Pumps
Eco-friendly detergents and cleaning chemicals, paired with precision pumps that distribute just the right amount, reduce waste and prevent build-up. Detergents are available that are 100 percent biodegradable and free of toxic substances.
As you’re assessing your current laundry equipment, you may decide that an energy efficiency overhaul is in order but that the cost is too high. That doesn’t mean you’re stuck with your current machines until they stop working.
Outsourcing your laundry to a linen service ensures that it will be done in the most cost-effective and energy efficient methods possible, and it relieves you of the burden of replacing or maintaining your own machines.
Commercial linen services have built their businesses on their ability to efficiently handle high volumes of laundry. They'll have the most modern machines and the most experienced staff in eco-friendly best practices.
You may come to the conclusion that your commercial laundry equipment is sending money down the drain, but you do have options to turn the trend around. Environmentally minded machines or a switch to a eco-friendly linen service can save you money and peace of mind.