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Focus on Energy Savings and Maintenance.

Tuesday, June 28, 20110 comments

Here in the south, we are moving into the dog days of summer.  Its been hot, families are taking their summer vacations, the general public is wearing less dry cleaning and many cleaners are starting to feel the pinch of all of this.  Not to worry though, in a couple months things will be going wide open again and you will be wondering when you will have the time do many of the necessary maintenance items, let alone those items that are not as critical and are easily put off for another day.  That is what I say now is the time to focus on those energy saving and money saving ideas that are often put on the back burner and in the end, continue to nip at those profit margins. 

A few items you might want to consider to save you $$$$.
  • Check all the insulation on steam pipes and hot water pipes, making sure all are insulated.  Not only can this save greatly on energy, but it can also cut down on the temperature inside the plant.  This is a very easy, less expensive approach to saving energy that will definitely pay you back.
  • Check your steam traps to make sure the are working properly and not blowing through.
  • Check for steam leaks and repair or replace leaky valves. Often, all it may take is just a little turning of a pipe or packing nut around a valve stem.
  • Check and clean condensing coils on your dry cleaning machine.  A clogged condensing coil can drastically reduce your solvent mileage
  • Check the drying times, dry control and drying temperature on your dry cleaning machine, making sure all are operating properly. These can help to conserve energy and increase solvent mileage.
  • Clean the base tanks.  Especially you hydrocarbon guys.  Nothing can ruin your day worse than a bacterial smell developing in your dry cleaning machine.  This can lead to lost production, angry customers, discarding of solvents, filter changes and can often be easily prevented. The base tanks are very often the culprit and are quite often overlooked when doing routine maintenance.  It isn't a fun job, but it sure can save you the dollars in the long run. 
The slower months also offer a good opportunity to do some housekeeping.  Cleaning the lint and dust off the overhead piping is a nasty job and easily put off, but with the slower summer months this can be a good time to do this and a good way to give the employees some extra hours.  This is also a great time for a fresh coat of paint, wallpaper or rejuvenating of the lobby.  Nothing says "do business here" more than good curb appeal.  Summer can be a slow time for us dry cleaners, but is also the perfect time to take advantage of this slowdown, in order to get ready for the busy months that will soon be on us.


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