LEXINGTON, KY -- With prices going up – everyone is looking for ways to compensate. Lexington’s Holiday Inn North is no different. They were seeking a way to cut some corners in the laundry for a 302-room hotel that processes sheets, towels, terry and napery.
That’s when Bert Mullins, the director of rooms introduced ozone into the laundry. Mullins had a background in chemistry from college, so he understood the concept and chemistry behind the use of ozone.
“I spoke to our GM, Mike Curd,” says Bert. “When I told him we’d be turning down gas consumption and saving money, his ears perked up. He pushed the idea up the line. We are owned and managed by Interconnential Hotels Group,” he adds. “They have also been looking into ways to be more environmental and this was a good opportunity to not just walk the walk – but to talk the talk.”
In March of 2007, an Articlean ozone system was purchased for the Holiday Inn laundry that works with two 100-pound Unimac washers, two 65-pound Unimac washers, a 65-pound Milnor washer two 150-pound Cissell dryers, two 100-pound Unimacs dryers, and one 75-pound Cissell dryer. The laundry also uses a Chicago Comet for finishing.
Although the initial installation could be considered costly, at approximately $20,000, Bert says that in nine months the laundry has been able to show that amount in savings through less gas, water and detergent.
“We annually produce just over 1 million pounds of room and banquet linens,” says Bert Mullins, director of rooms. “We have realized amazing savings since our ozone installation. During the first seven months we had spent 5.5% of total revenue on energy costs, down 1% from last year.”
A further savings coup Mullins noted, is that as prices for utilities climb, lower consumption allowed further cost savings. “We experienced a savings of 12% for the same two time periods, April through November of ‘06 and ’07. That pattern continued in ‘08 as the budget was maintained without increase. “No matter what prices do, we won’t jump. We’re inline with budget expenses.”
Net benefits contribute to and extend beyond monetary benefits, says Mullins. And, they are equally important. “Dependency on harsh chemicals and hot water has decreased and now we’re seeing a longer life span for linens and terry products. That adds to reduced replacement costs. Less drying time is also required – saving even more for the laundry. Employees process linens more quickly and efficiently. Laundry rooms are cooler for greater comfort than when hot water occupies washers and dryers run continuously. And we’re reducing our carbon footprint. It’s a win-win.”
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