The biggest drain on electricity in municipalities is the improper use of washing and drying equipment in laundry rooms

Energy is draining away in the laundry rooms of various municipal service organisations in Sweden. Electricity is being consumed unnoticed, and completely unnecessarily. With simple energy-saving solutions, better know-how and awareness, waste can be avoided. The biggest drain on energy is improper use of equipment, for example when energy-saving features such as timers stop working and are not replaced.

The municipality of Gothenburg aims to reduce annual energy consumption by 10 percent during the winter. Generally, during the day there are 13 local service engineers who control the heating, fans and cooling systems in around 1,500 properties via remote monitoring. But they have less control over the energy used by on-site facilities, especially at night. That’s why one of the engineers came up with the idea of a visiting a couple of selected schools and preschools in the municipality one winter night, to locate where electricity could be saved.

“A lot of lights were left on, in stairwells, corridors, cellars and toilets. Open windows and radiators on full were also found. But perhaps the worst thing was that the smart timer functions on drying cabinets weren’t being used, meaning they ran all night, completely unnecessarily!” Petri Valo, a municipal service engineer, told Dagens Samhälle.

Naturally, having drying cabinets running all night is a problem when you need to save energy, especially since older models often have a high energy consumption. Nowadays, much more modern drying cabinets are available, designed to dry clothes using less energy and which are equipped with smart sensor functions that include shutting the cabinet off when the laundry is dry, thus minimising electricity consumption.

Replace old energy wasters - or fit new timers

In Gothenburg, the problem with drying cabinets running at night was mainly due to broken timers, which made it difficult to turn off the machines. One way to stop future energy loss is for municipalities to refurbish their drying cabinets, or replace models that are getting old.

Nimo also provides spare parts for older dryers, such as timers.

“Nimo believes it’s a matter of course to offer spare parts to our customers. After all, we want our products to be used correctly. A dryer without a timer is no good, so contact us or your dealer for help,” says Maria Falk-Jonsson, Nordic Key Account Manager at Nimo.

Nimo has dryers with sensor technology that automatically switch off once the laundry is dry. There are also dryers with heat pump technology that reuse the hot air in the machine’s circuit, resulting in about half as much energy consumption as a traditional drying cabinet. Read more about Nimo's energy-efficient drying cabinets here.