Why Community Area Laundry Rooms?


The results are clear

An independent nationwide study concluded that when residents are given the option of a clean, convenient, attractive and affordable laundry room, most would not pay more rent to live in an apartment unit with laundry connections, or even a unit with a washer and dryer provided.

Airing some dirty laundry

The common perception of community area laundry rooms used to be that they're stuffy, cramped, noisy, and generally unfriendly looking places where residents don't want to spend their time or money doing their laundry. Unfortunately, years ago that idea wasn't far from reality.

But that was then.

When residents began putting pressure on owners and developers to build apartments with in-unit washer and dryer hookups, many in the industry believed — incorrectly — that it was because they didn't want community area laundry rooms. The reality is they just didn't want the common area laundry rooms of the past.

The Case for Community Area Laundry Rooms

MLA and its member companies have always known about the benefits of community area laundry rooms, for everyone involved:

For residents

Expense

Residents would just as soon not spend (or cannot afford to spend) the money for washers and dryers and the necessary maintenance costs associated with them. And if they pay their own utilities, in-unit washers and dryers drive up those costs as well.

Space

Most apartments are not known for their sprawling floor space or storage capacity, and because in-unit washers and dryers often take up valuable square footage, that makes them unappealing to residents.

Time

With busy lives, residents like doing more than one load of laundry at a time and getting done with the task faster.

Easy moving

When it's time to move, most residents don't want the hassle of having to move heavy machines out of their apartments.

For apartment owners/managers

Business focus

Most owners and managers want to focus on property management and not laundry. Using a professional MLA laundry route operator allows an owner or manager to reap the savings and other benefits without having to become experts in laundry services for their properties.

Expense

In-unit washers and dryers not only use a lot more water and drive up overall utility costs, but they also can lead to flooding or other water damage, not to mention floor and wall damages when moved. And, in-unit connections require more plumbing, venting and electrical wiring which is costly.

Click here to view Laundry Room Calculator

Money savings and extra income

Not only do community area laundry rooms save money, but they also can generate income for the owners.

For cities/communities

Water conservation

Community area laundry rooms save a lot of water. In cities and communities across America , citizens are becoming more keenly aware of the need for water conservation and are taking action. A nationwide study shows residents with washers and dryers in their apartments do many more, smaller and less- efficient loads and that, on average, an apartment with an in-unit washer wastes approximately 8,500 gallons per year on laundry. Multiply that, for example, for a 150-unit building and it comes out to 1.275 million gallons per year.

Energy conservation

Residents who utilized community area laundry rooms were found to save 500% more energy than residents who used in-unit washing machines. Most of the energy use associated with laundry comes from heating the water. Nationwide, most apartments with in-unit washing machines have an electric water heater while most community area facilities have gas water heaters; the study was consistent with these assumptions. Gas water heaters are more efficient, hence increasing the overall conservation benefit of a community area laundry room.

In addition to the energy savings associated with washing machines, there is a likely comparable energy savings with dryers. Approximately 96% of domestic dryers used in in-apartment-unit applications are electric. Only 36% of the typical dryers in community area laundry rooms are electric. According to the California Energy Commission, the cost of electricity needed to dry a typical load of laundry is twice the cost of gas needed to do the same.

Just about any way you look at it — when you run the numbers, when you talk to residents and owners/managers or developers — community area laundry rooms make more sense for the vast majority of multi-housing properties.

If you're an apartment owner or manager and you'd like help or advice on designing and constructing a community area laundry room, see our Laundry Room Guide and contact us.