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How to achieve laundry room efficiency.

Building owners, managers and co-op and condo boards are now looking with increasing intensity to upgrade their laundry rooms. Water and energy conservation, security measures and quicker response to service calls are all areas that boards and/or owners are concerned with.

Efficient laundry service companies analyze every aspect of a building for increased water and energy savings. SEBCO, for example, explains to owners that the best method of conserving water and energy in a laundry room starts initially with installing properly-sized machines. In too many buildings, for example, the machines are either too small or too large for their pakrticular building's residents. If an owner installs an oversized washer, the machine will often run half empty and waste water and electricity. Conversely, if a building installs machines that are too small, residents will have to operate two or three machines at the same time, when one large unit would have been sufficient.

Dryers can waste 5 percent, 10 percent or up to 75 percent of their annual fuel consumption without proper care. Much of this care can be included in a superintendent's regular routine. Air flow can be accomplished by simply leaving the laundry room door ajar or by keeping a window open or a fan running. SEBCO technicians explain to an owner or super that if a dryer does not get enough air, the machine will overcompensate for the diminished air supply by burning more fuel to keep the flame alive.

Having easily trackable service personnel contributes substantially to laundry room efficiency. Using a laundry company that can reach all service personnel at any time of day or night provides an added level of comfort for an owner or superintendent.

For a laundry company to adequately service all of its buildings, fully computerized operations are also necessary. For example, SEBCO's radio dispatchers are able to track and coordinate all inventory demands and machine performance records from their first installation. This kind of feedback is essential to meet the washing/drying demands of a building. Calls on these systems can usually be registered with the service center within minutes providing extremely fast repair times.

TRAINED PERSONNEL

But without the staff to service a building, computerized operations will not be much of a benefit. A laundry company today must also make sure it has an adequate balance of service technicians to buildings. An integrated data processing system and largely mobile stock of parts, therefore, are only half the makings of an efficient laundry service installation company. Thoroughly trained personnel on the technical as well as interpersonal aspects of service are also needed.

Having well-prepared drivers ensures timely arrivals and prompt, efficient service, avoiding the need to send backup personnel who may not be familiar with a particular route.

No management wants unidentified strangers walking through their buildings. When hiring laundry service companies, this is also the case. Security-conscious laundry companies realize this and take several precautions when installing and servicing a laundry room. Our technicians, for example, realize they will not and should not be allowed into a building without being properly uniformed and carrying updated, photo I.D. cards.

Considering these field personnel are a laundry company's on site representatives, their appearance can be crucial to servicing a building. For obvious reasons, lack of identification can aggravate supers and residents and even postpone some necessary repair work.

An in-house workshop on building security should also be required for service personnel. Our service technicians, for example, teach building owners how lighting can have an effect on the safety of the laundry room and how often it may be used by residents. A laundry room that has fluorescent lighting will be more energy efficient because it uses less electricity, and therefore will have a longer life. Security training also includes advice on posting specific late-night hours and ensuring that the superintendent or other building employee periodically checks in on the laundry room.

For managers and tenants to obtain the most benefit from a building's laundry room, it is important to have the proper facility installed in a building. Laundry companies which install improperly vented machines or those with inadequate electrical supply will hinder equipment from operating efficiently and run the risk of chasing residents from the building's laundry room, and therefore, encourage them to purchase their own washers and dryers. To prevent this scenario, it is essential to have a professional laundry room installation and maintenance company review a building and recommend the proper equipment which will best meet the needs of the residents.
COPYRIGHT 1991 Hagedorn Publication
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1991, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:Property Management Supplement
Author:Breitman, Steven
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Oct 2, 1991
Words:753
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