Reducing Energy Costs in Dry Cleaning

According to the Energy Information Administration, energy costs for dry cleaning facilities can run as high as 30% of the total operating cost. The good news is there are many ways to reduce your energy costs, including:

 

  • Maintaining your equipment so that it runs at peak efficiency and reliability
  • Insulating to reduce lost heat and using waste heat whenever possible
  • Taking maximum advantage of your utility’s off-peak energy pricing
  • Replacing outdated equipment with more efficient technology 
Click on each equipment category to learn how to reduce operating costs.

Steam

Steam is essential for operating presses, dry cleaning machines and other production equipment. It accounts for a large fraction of the total energy expense in dry cleaning. Scale formation on boiler tubes is a common problem caused by improper water treatment, resulting in wasted energy and higher energy bills.

 

HSB’s new energy calculators can help you save 10% to 20% per year in energy costs. Use these calculators to lower your boilers and steam systems’ energy consumption and save money.

Boiler Calculators Insulation Calculators 
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Energy Savings Tips

Monitor the boiler-water quality. Boiler waterside scale acts as an insulator thereby preventing heat transfer from the fire to waterside. As little as 1/32 inches of scale increases fuel consumption by as much as 7%.

Compressed Air

A reliable supply of clean, dry air is as essential to dry cleaning as water, steam and electricity. Compressed air is used for both control and operation of washers, driers, garment finishing and pressing equipment.

 

HSB's compressor energy efficiency calculator can help you reduce energy costs by allowing you to evaluate savings opportunities, including equipment upgrades and changes to your installation.

Compressed Air Efficiency Calculators 
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Energy Savings Tips

Periodically check your steam and air distribution piping for leaks. Even small leaks can result in higher energy costs.

Lighting

Lighting systems can account for up to 25% of a dry cleaning facility's energy costs. In addition to supplying necessary lighting, all lighting systems produce heat. Lighting produced heat presents a considerable added load to the air conditioning and ventilation systems. An energy efficient lighting system can save as much as 30% to 50% of lighting energy, plus 10% to 20% of cooling energy.

HSB's Lighting Calculators provides a simple way to estimate how much money can be saved by replacing older inefficient lighting fixtures with newer technology.

Lighting Calculators 
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Energy Savings Tips

Replace fluorescent T-12 fixtures/lamps (1.5” diameter) with T-8 fluorescent fixtures/lamps (1” diameter). T-8 lamps typically use 40% fewer watts and produce 40% less heat. This is important in warmer months when air conditioning is needed.

Water Heating

A reliable supply of hot water is essential to dry cleaning operations, accounting for about 10% to 20% of your energy consumption. By taking a few simple steps, such as insulating water piping and storage tanks, you can reduce your water heating bills significantly.

Lowering your hot water heating systems' energy consumption can mean big dollar savings.

Insulation Calculators Boiler Calculators 
Energy Savings Tips

Inspect all hot water lines and tanks to be sure that they are insulated.

Air Conditioning

No matter what kind of cooling system you have in your facility, or what part of the country you are located, you can save money and provide a more comfortable environment for you and your employees by properly maintaining and upgrading your equipment. Improved insulation can help cut energy use. Today's air conditioners use 30% to 50% less energy than units made in the mid 1970's. If your ventilation system is not getting proper attention, energy dollars may end up on the wrong side of the fans.

 

Use the calculator links below to see how you can reduce operating costs.

Air Conditioning Calculators Insulation Calculators 
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Energy Savings Tips

An energy management system can reduce energy usage 10% to 30%. This reduction is achieved by limiting air conditioning operation during unoccupied hours.

Production Equipment

Modern dry cleaning facilities use a variety of presses and finishing machines to avoid hand ironing and pressing of garments. Always follow the equipment manufacturer's recommended maintenance schedule to ensure optimum performance and extend the service life of the equipment.

 

Professional wet cleaning systems can significantly reduce electricity and natural gas costs. PERC dry cleaning technologies are energy intensive. Studies show that wet cleaning systems require on average 12 kWh per 100 pounds of garments compared to the average of 32 kWh per 100 pounds for the PERC systems. In addition to reducing your energy costs, wet cleaning eliminates waste disposal fees.

 

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Energy Savings Tips

Check and replace lint filters frequently. Clogged filters can extend the cleaning cycle, requiring more energy for each load of garments.

Electrical

The use of electronic equipment in dry cleaning operations is on the rise. Office machines, energy management systems and computers represent a significant fraction of the total electricity used in dry cleaning. Implementing a power management program can save $15 to $45 annually per desktop computer.

Computers and other electronic equipment that remain on use electricity around the clock, even when not in use. Turning equipment off at night is an easy path to cost savings.

Vampire Load Calculators Electric Motor Calculators 
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Energy Savings Tips

Computers and other electronic equipment use electricity around the clock, even when not in use. Encourage employees to turn off all office equipment after hours and on weekends. Turn off lights, computers, monitors, printers and copiers at the end of each working day and ensure they’re not just in sleep mode.