Re: Another Laundry Question
From: Douglas G. Larson (
Date: Sun, 18 Nov 2012 07:56:10 -0800 (PST)

>> I'm curious as to how well the large commercial sized equipment works for
small households.  We all know it is more energy- and resource-efficient to
run full loads but as little laundry as my 
>> household does, to run a full load may mean doing laundry every 3-4 weeks
which isn't feasible.  Does the commercial size work okay for small
households, without being too wasteful of energy and 
>> water?

>> PatZy Boomer
>> Mtn View Cohousing Community

Our commercial grade laundry machines (Speed Queen) have drums that are not
significantly larger than residential machines. Commercial machines come in
different sizes, though you may have to switch to a different brand to get a
different size. The primary benefits of commercial machines are- 

1) Durability and robustness. They are manufactured to take the beating of
high volume use, though like anything manufactured, there are brands that
are more prone to break-down than others. Even within a good brand you may
get a lemon, a sample defect so to speak. One has to do research as best you
can to determine which brand to buy. 

2) The energy efficiency. I know that the Department of Energy's "Energy
Star" program has ratings for commercial machines but I have not looked at
them for laundry machines. Generally, natural gas (for dryers) will be more
efficient than electric, if you have that resource in your neighborhood. 

But overall efficiency depends on many factors which have nothing to do with
grade of the machine. Factors like - 
A) number of loads run, 
B) whether or not the drum is filled to optimum (don't under fill washers,
don't overfill dryers)
C) The electric/Gas rates in your area, 
D) whether you use cold water, warm water, hot water or some combination of
E) whether or not you have a moisture sensor in the dryer (it turns off the
heat when it senses that the moisture has reduced below a certain level.
This feature can save 15% of operating costs.)

Douglas G. Larson
Songaia Cohousing,
Bothell, WA

Utility is when you have one telephone, luxury is when you have two,
opulence is when you have three - and paradise is when you have none. 

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