Purchasing A Vintage Laundromat? How Can You Tell Whether Upgrades Are Worth It?

Posted on: 8 April 2016

If you've recently purchased or inherited a small laundromat that hasn't been updated for decades, you may be wondering how you'll be able to afford the upgrades you need while also paying to repair and maintain aging appliances. Fortunately, advances in energy-efficient laundry technology can mean that upgrading your washers, dryers, and other fixtures will save you enough in utilities to quickly offset the initial investment. Read on to learn more about some of the money-saving laundromat upgrades that can help pay for themselves, as well as those you may be able to bypass until you have a few years of profit behind you.

Which laundromat upgrades are worth the investment?

As businesses go, a laundromat may seem like a fairly simple one -- washers, dryers, and change machines as the three primary components. Indeed, if your laundromat hasn't been updated for years, these appliances and some folding chairs and tables may be all the fixtures you purchased along with the building itself. However, one of your first steps may be to consider the installation of security cameras or another type of wireless surveillance system, especially if you're opting for a 24/7 laundromat or one without a staff person available during all open hours. Not only will this help your customers feel more secure and allow you to quickly detect and respond to burglary attempts, vandalism, or other criminal mischief, having a surveillance system can reduce your business's insurance costs. 

You'll also want to carefully look at the amount of water and electricity being consumed by your current washers and dryers by requesting detailed copies of the utility bills for the last several months. Depending upon the utility rates charged in your area, switching from washers that use a static quantity of water to those that weigh each load and use only as much water as needed could save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars on your monthly water bills. By that same token, a dryer that can sense the moisture level in the clothes inside and adjust its heat accordingly could allow you sip, rather than siphon, electricity. 

Most new commercial-grade washers and dryers include information about the electricity and water consumption in their published specifications. By dividing your monthly water and electricity usage by the number of units in use during that month, you'll then be able to plug in the projected numbers for a new washer or dryer and determine your energy savings. You may also qualify for some business tax rebates if replacing older, inefficient appliances with newer and more energy-efficient ones. Contact a company like Metropolitan Laundry Machinery Sales Inc. to find out what options are available for new equipment.

Which upgrades can wait for a while? 

If your change machines are still in good working condition, you shouldn't need to upgrade them -- even if they've clearly seen better days. The same principle goes for chairs, tables, and waiting area vending machines. While a clean and well-lit environment is expected (and appreciated) by customers, having working and efficient washers and dryers takes priority over the ambiance of an otherwise safe area.  


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