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California Laundromat Owner Aims for Greater Energy Efficiency

Staff Writer |

SIMI VALLEY, Calif. — One year ago, Art Jeager opened his sixth Laundromat here, the Simi Valley Laundry Center, with 44 washers and dryers. When it came time to choose a water heater, Jeager turned to equipment to help reduce utility costs and maximize his return on investment.

“One of the most important things any laundry owner can do is to ensure they’re running an efficient operation,” Jeager notes. “This keeps utility costs as low as possible, which means your gross margin will be as high as possible. The efficiency of each element of the system must be taken into consideration, starting with the water heater.”

He had met with representatives of Lochinvar at the 2011 Clean Show, and the manufacturer helped Jeager design an installation that would provide the greatest energy efficiency for his 6,000-square-foot laundry.

Jeager worked with Lochinvar to install two 199,000 Btu/hr ARMOR Condensing Water Heaters, stacked with two 120-gallon insulated storage tanks, for a total system load of 400,000 Btu/hr. The system, designed for redundancy, future expansion and overall footprint, has the ability to deliver thermal efficiencies as high as 98%, according to Jeager.

The units are equipped with Lochinvar’s SMART SYSTEM interface, which provides control of all ARMOR functions. The system features a built-in cascading sequencer that allows the two units to work together to fire as low as 20% of total maximum input and smoothly modulate up to 100% as demand increases. A night setback feature is pre-programmed to shut off when the laundry is closed and to start up an hour before it opens.

“One of the greatest benefits of the SMART SYSTEM control is that it allows for a direct connection with my outside alarm company, which alerts me if there is ever a problem,” Jeager says.

Following the installation, Jeager estimates that he has experienced a 50% savings on utility costs at the Simi Valley Laundry Center, compared to his other laundry facilities with less efficient equipment. He is planning to add a third ARMOR unit as he works to expand the Simi Valley Laundry Center and further increase its efficiency.
 

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