A Breath Of Fresh Air: Saint Francis Hospital And Medical Center’s Envirosaver Il Ozone Installation
- Created on Tuesday, 02 May 2006 07:50
- Written by Jamie Kiffel
It cuts heating costs and chemical needs, helps the environment, saves money, freshens the air and produces brighter whites. “It” is ozone—essentially, electrically charged air—and the laundry at Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford, Connecticut, has recently discovered how powerful it can be.
“The reason we went in this direction is we realized that costs to run a laundry can be outrageous, and we needed to do all we could to make sure everything ran as efficiently as possible,” says Mark Arcelaschi, General Manager. “Already, the savings are significant.”
Running six days per week, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. with 46 full-time employees, the laundry processed seven million pounds in 2005. That includes over five million pounds of healthcare linens from the hospital’s own 617 beds The basics: sheets, blankets, towels, uniforms, says Arcelaschi, plus about two million pounds from another
hospital and a nursing home.
For anyone concerned that his facility isn’t modern enough to handle ozone, take note: “Basically, we didn’t change any of the equipment that we were using,” says Arcelaschi. That includes two 800-lb. Ellis Washers, one 85-lb. Milnor washer-extractor, one 400-lb. Ellis washer, one HiPro Ironer from 1965, one American five-roll Troy Master Roll
ironer from 1968, three Braun return-to-feed small piece folders, four extractors, and three 200-pound Challenge dryers.
“The Ellis machines are from the early-to mid-80s,” says Arcelaschi. “The extractors are ancient. They don’t even make them anymore. We have a good mechanic and do a lot of maintenance on the machines.”
So a $100,000 EnviroSaver II Ozone installation from WET-TECH, fitted to the three Ellis machines and the Milnor, was no whim.
“We’re able to use the same equipment, but our wash formulas are shorter, we’re using less water and less chemical,” says Arcelaschi. The payback for the ozone equipment was calculated at $100,000 in 13 months; it’s been installed for 14.
Although the hospital calculates savings house-wide, “I know that energy-wise, numbers are down, and I know that is due to the ozone,” says Arcelaschi. “Just the steam we save is significant. That’s because you don’t have to run at high temperatures with ozone. We’re running at a high of 145 as opposed to 160-165.” Plus, “The comments we’ve received are that the linen is brighter and lighter,” adds Director of Environmental Services and Laundry David Crowell.
Installing the ozone system was nearly stress-free, Arcelaschi adds. “It probably took less than half a day to have the units put up on the wall, connect the airlines and away we went.” Maintenance is minimal. “There’s a dryer on the airlines which takes out the moisture. You’ll hear that every once in a while, but it’s pretty much self-sufficient. Unless we start smelling nasty linen, we know it’s working!”
The ozone, Arcelaschi explains, makes the laundry smell significantly better. “It smells like a rainstorm,” he says. “It’s got that clean smell to it, and you don’t notice the nasty odors you can get with healthcare linen.” He pauses. “It runs cleaner, and we’ve gotten great customer feedback. That makes a big difference and helps staff morale, as well.”
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