Tricks Of The Trade: Energy Costs For Gas Dryers

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By James C. Elledge, IFMA Fellow, CFM, FMA, RPA, RIAQM
Published in the February 2010 issue of Today’s Facility Manager

Q Do you have a quantification as to the costs associated to run a 170 pound Unimac gas dryer for a commercial grade laundry?
Dean Gerstein
Profit Improvement Manager
Hyatt Hotels & Resorts
Atlanta, GA

A Under test load conditions (bath towels on a 25 minute dry cycle), the unit should consume 144,296 BTUs (or 1.44 Therms). There are variables (What part of the country are you in? What is the temperature? What are the humidity levels?) which would impact the drying time, installation, and maintenance of the dryer (lint filters emptied after every load, exhaust lines free of debris and unobstructed).

Using some basic math skills, this cycle breaks into an hourly average of 346,310 BTUs. From there, you can figure out your daily gas usage based upon the hours of operation the dryer is used. There is some electrical usage to power the tumbler, but it would be minor.

Recommendations for reducing operating expenses are provided on Unimac’s Web Site. According to Unimac, energy is about 15% of the cost to operate your laundry, of which drying tumblers account for nearly 70% of all energy consumption in the laundry.

Elledge,facility/office services manager for Dallas, TX-based Summit AllianceCompanies, is the recipient of the Distinguished Author Award from theInternational Facility Management Association (IFMA), is an IFMA Fellow, and isa member of TFM’sEditorial Advisory Board. All questions have been submitted via the “Ask TheExpert” portion of the magazine’s Web site. To pose a question, visit this link.

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