Laundry and dry cleaning activities use a significant amount of energy. Here are some recommendations for energy management in dry cleaning and laundry companies regarding lighting.
Due to rising energy prices, utilities bills represent a significant portion of the total operating expenses of commercial laundry and dry cleaning facilities. In many of these facilities, large quantities of natural gas are used to operate boilers to heat water or produce steam. A significant portion of the electrical load can also be attributed to space heating and cooling, lighting, dry cleaning machines, electric dryers, electric motors and reciprocating equipment such as air compressors. Water heating, space heating and gas dryers are the main end-uses of natural gas in these types of facilities.
Energy costs are among the few expenses that can be reduced without affecting quality or productivity. By implementing energy-efficient operation and maintenance strategies and upgrading the efficiency of existing equipment, you can achieve significant energy savings, not to mention many non-energy benefits such as water savings and improved working conditions in the facility.
Reducing energy costs offers a competitive advantage, especially for mid-range laundries (those that are neither discount nor high-end and that do not compete on price or exclusivity). The adoption of an energy conservation program also attracts environmentally conscious consumers, who are often willing to pay more for products and services that they consider to be environmentally friendly.
An on-site energy audit shows how much energy your facility consumes and reveals problems that, when corrected, could save you a lot of money. An audit is strongly recommended as a first step towards implementing an effectiveness program. Verifications generally consist of an inspection of the physical characteristics of a facility. Verifiers routinely check the temperature of air conditioning systems, refrigerators and water heaters; inspect weather stripping and caulking around doors and windows; check thermostat calibration; and inspect air filters and duct systems. In some cases, diagnostic equipment is used to further investigate savings opportunities in the building envelope, boiler and reciprocating equipment of a facility. Once the audit is completed, the auditor will make specific recommendations to improve the efficiency of your installation, prioritized according to the cost-effectiveness of the improvements.
Upgrading the lighting of a laundry room
Improving lighting is a lower investment and is therefore the most cost-effective way to reduce a laundry’s energy bill. Replacing T12 fluorescent lamps and magnetic ballasts with T8 fluorescent lamps and high efficiency electronic ballasts is a first step; it is recommended installing tubular LEDs or new LED lighting fixtures. Replace incandescent lamps with LEDs and install occupancy sensors in frequently unoccupied areas such as toilets, storage areas or rest rooms.