FALL RIVER, Mass. — With high natural gas bills a constant concern, operators are focusing more and more on their dryers. Is it time for new, more energy-efficient dryers? Should I keep my old dryers but raise prices?John Olsen is American Dryer Corp’s (ADC) vice president of sales and marketing. He recently addressed the state of coin laundry drying.DRYER TECHNOLOGYOlsen: With the recent rise in energy costs during the last few years, dryer efficiency is a major focus. Most of the dryer manufacturers have not answered the call for a more efficient dryer.ADC’s Solaris dryer utilizes 100 percent axial airflow in a completely sealed drum utilizing lower Btu and airflow in a more efficient manner. The system dries laundry in the same amount of time using less gas.As far as dryer technology, the microprocessors have come a long way and dryers now come with user-friendly controls, multilingual displays, self-diagnostic modes and front serviceability. These are all important features that laundry storeowners want because they make ongoing operations a whole lot easier.OPERATOR RESPONSIBILITYOlsen: Maintenance has always been and will always be a factor of running a laundry. Like any other machines, there is a certain amount of preventative maintenance that goes along with operating commercial dryers.Dryer fires, for example, are for the most part something every laundry facility faces. However, a sealed drum makes it virtually impossible to start a fire in one of the tumblers. Coin laundry owners should definitely select dryers that are equipped with this modern safety feature. Fire-suppression systems are also available as an option for coin dryers. This unique technology is designed to extinguish fires that may start in the tumbler whether the dryer is in an idle start or in operation.EQUIPMENT MIXOlsen: The use of larger washers has certainly created a demand for larger dryers. In the past, a store may have only had one or two 50-pound dryers. The rest of the dryers were 30-pound stack units. Now many owners have moved to a mix of several 50-pound and 75-pound dryers to accompany their 30-pound stack units.I believe we will continue to see larger stack and single-pocket dryers in coin stores.THE CLEAN SHOWOlsen: Clean Show attendees will see energy-efficient dryers and larger dryers (both stack and single-pocket). They will have to figure out if the new dryers are high-Btu machines designed to get their customers in and out of the store faster, or if the new dryers are energy-efficient machines that will save them money on their monthly gas bills. Either way, airflow and durability are always the starting point when considering a new dryer.PRICING MINDSETOlsen: Coin laundry operators are being forced to do two things: raise dryer prices and replace old equipment with newer, more energy-efficient equipment. Without efficient dryers and competitive pricing, the operator may as well close the doors to his store.COMPANY CHALLENGESOlsen: Our short-term challenge is to continue to respond to the needs of the overall marketplace, while at the same time providing options for coin stores with different geography and demographics. That is why we offer a dual product line with different models and features. We do not believe in the “one shot fits all” approach that some other manufacturers utilize.Our long-term mission is to continue to provide a variety of high-quality products that exceed our customers’ expectations.ADC designs and manufactures energy-efficient drying solutions for commercial coin-operated, on-premise and industrial laundry markets in 90 countries worldwide.