Multifamily Buildings: Reducing Your Energy Load

The laundry room is one area where electric, gas and water utilities come together. A study by the Natural Resources Defense Council found that about 68% of multifamily properties are served by common area laundry facilities. If your property is one of those, you know that laundry utility costs can really pile up. By taking steps to reduce those costs, you can really take a load off your operating budget.

Take an ENERGY STAR turn

Those old washers in your laundry facility are wasting energy and water. By upgrading to ENERGY STAR® certified commercial clothes washers you save money. ENERGY STAR clothes washers are, on average, 25% more efficient and use about 45% less water than standard models.

ENERGY STAR clothes washers also provide advanced features that can improve washing performance for your residents:

  • Higher capacity. Most ENERGY STAR certified clothes washers have more capacity than conventional models. Front-loading models can wash up to twice as much laundry in a single load than a standard top-loading washer. Your residents can wash fewer loads.
  • Gentler wash. Most ENERGY STAR washers are designed without an agitator, which results in a gentler wash than conventional top-loaders with agitators.

Clothes dryers are also a big energy user in laundry facilities. ENERGY STAR certified dryers use significantly less energy than standard models while providing a higher level of performance.


Best practices for energy and water savings

The following laundry tips will help residents save energy and water and improve clothes washing performance:

  • Run a full load. Clothes washers and dryers use about the same amount of energy regardless of size of the load. Fill it up whenever possible.
  • Wash in cold water. Unless you’re dealing with tough stains, washing in cold water will generally do a good job of cleaning clothes. Switching from hot to warm or cold will reduce energy use by 50% or more.
  • Use high-efficiency (HE) detergent. Front-loading washers are designed for HE detergent. Using standard detergent can affect the machine’s washing and rinsing performance.
  • Leave the washer door open after use. Front-loading machines use air-tight seals to prevent water from leaking. Leave the door ajar after use to avoid trapping the water in the machine, which can lead to mold.
  • Clean the dryer lint filter. Cleaning the lint filter after every load will improve air circulation and dryer efficiency.

Whether you have a a common laundry facility or in-dwelling units, upgrading to high-performance washers and dryers will save energy and money and make your property more attractive to current and potential residents.