Of everything going on in a busy on-premises laundry, drying should be straightforward, right? One tumble dryer should be pretty similar to another. That’s definitely not the case. Here is why.

While washer-extractors appear to have all the technology, tumblers have their fair share and can greatly impact efficiency, throughput and labor. Below are a variety of features to consider when upgrading equipment on the dry side.

Over-dry protection. One of the biggest developments in recent years has been technology that eliminates the all-to-frequent issue of over-drying linens. Drying loads to “bone dry” not only wastes utilities and labor, but severely degrades linens. That means facilities have to replace linens more often, which is costly. By drying to a preset moisture level, linens last longer, and laundry operations reduce energy consumption. They also increase throughput. Not all systems are created equal. Managers should look for systems that use large sensors. Moisture sensing accuracy depends on greater surface area and well-designed algorithms behind the scenes.

Step drying. This is another tool that uses technology and moisture sensing accuracy to reduce energy consumption. Tumble dryers equipped with this feature blow the hottest air at the load when it has the highest moisture content and gradually step the heat down as the moisture is removed for a highly efficient drying cycle.

Laundry management systems. Over-drying has long been the result of operator error – opting for the maximum dry time to ensure the load is completely dry when they return. Over-dry protection systems help eliminate that issue, but managers also want to know employees are selecting the proper cycles. Laundry management systems collect operations data for management to review and ensure staff is following processes. Selecting correct cycles ensures optimum efficiency and the longest linen life.

Decontamination. The current year has taught us to expect the unexpected. Selecting a dryer that could also be used to decontaminate PPE is an added bonus to reduce costs help position the facility to respond to any shortages of the gear. Remember decontamination is not just about blowing high temperatures at gear; temperature consistency is key prerequisite.

Doing your homework and asking questions when it comes to tumbler upgrades will be time well spent. Not all tumble dryers are created equal, nor is the technology behind the scenes. Selecting the best, will pay dividends in cost savings and efficiency measured in decades – that’s the difference between purchase price and operating cost.