Lucy Cripwell, Chemist at JLA, discusses how you can keep laundry loads infection-free while keeping energy costs down.
From hospitals to care homes, staying compliant is non-negotiable. But when the cost of using your laundry room’s washers and dryers is rising fast, how can you make savings while keeping your staff, patients and residents safe and comfortable?
Below you’ll find a few handy pointers that can make all the difference when it comes to keeping your laundry room running efficiently.
Invest in commercial equipment over domestic
With energy costs rising, it’s understandable that many businesses may be tempted to install cheaper domestic washing machines to power their laundry rooms. With this in mind, JLA conducted research to investigate whether domestic machines can achieve and maintain temperatures required to stay compliant. Our findings revealed that, on a programmed temperature of 60°C, an A-rated domestic machine reached a high of only 54°C for a short period of time.
Not only were the domestic machines unable to reach programmed temperatures, but their temperature holding times – vital for distributing heat throughout a load, and achieving disinfection – were too short. In turn, the results show that domestic machines are incapable of facilitating any measure of disinfection in line with the requirements of HTM 01-04.
A commercial washing machine, meanwhile, was found to be much more accurate in terms of maximum temperature achieved. When detailed programming options are introduced, commercial washers can control temperatures more effectively, and also provide the correct holding time to achieve the full penetration of the load for disinfection.
Use ozone technology to eliminate infection, not hot water
Running washes at high temperatures might seem the best way to eliminate infection from your laundry loads, but there are other ways to better guarantee loads are disinfected. One alternative to thermal disinfection is ozone technology, which uses the power of natural ozone gas to eliminate infection from laundry loads on an energy-saving cool wash.
JLA’s own OTEX laundry disinfection system uses ozone to eliminate 99.999% of bacteria, including heat-resistant strains, and has proven to be more effective than traditional thermal disinfection methods. For instance, during an in-depth study with De Montfort University in Leicester, the OTEX disinfection system was found to completely remove coronavirus from laundry.
Not only is ozone better at guaranteeing disinfection, but our research has shown that it also cuts hot water usage by up to 80%, electricity by 60%, and gas by 35%, with total energy usage down by up to 45%.* With a recent CBI survey predicting that energy prices will grow by almost 30% over the next five years, investing in ozone now could be a powerful way to save.
Additional tips and tricks
There are plenty of other reasons to pick commercial over domestic, too. JLA’s commercial machines are built to perform in demanding professional environments, making them robust and reliable day in, day out – ideal in healthcare environments where, owing to high volumes of laundry, some machines are running almost constantly.
On top of this, commercial washing machines and tumble dryers have much larger capacities, which means it will take far fewer cycles to get the job done. And then there’s the risk that a domestic machine warranty will be invalidated when the machine is used in a commercial environment, which could be costly.
Tackling rising energy costs and disinfection in 2023 and beyond
We understand the challenges that lie ahead for businesses that operate a busy laundry room. Taking some of these small steps and making the transition to commercial machines and ozone technology could play a huge role in reducing your operating costs over the long-term.