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The Cost (and payoff) of Adding In-Unit Laundry

Would you believe it if we told you that the average American household completes 8 loads of laundry each week? That’s upwards of 30 loads each month, and over 400 loads of laundry every year. Multiply that by the number of families in your multi-family housing complexes, and the numbers grow quickly. Between water, electricity and time… laundry can be expensive.

Builders and property managers alike want to provide modern, accessible amenities that make a building attractive to current and potential renters. In-unit laundry is a sought-after amenity, but adding appliances in apartments can be a big expense for property managers. The need to attract and retain renters must be balanced with the cost to install and maintain amenities like laundry facilities.

The National Real Estate Investor looked at millennial lifestyle trends and found as they begin to move into urban areas and rent apartments, they look for (and expect) housing options with amenities. Laundry, specifically, has seen a large shift in recent years, moving from the typical coin-operated laundry room, to more efficient in-unit laundry.

“In 2014, 70 percent had laundry in the unit and only 10 percent had laundry rooms; in the early 2000s, 57 percent had in-unit laundry while 33 percent had a laundry room; the remainder had washer-dryer hook-ups only.”

There can be challenges to adding traditional in-unit laundry to buildings, especially in ones that weren’t originally built with these appliances in mind. Construction and labor is expensive. Costs to add vent runs, equip the building for makeup air and re-finish after the appliances have been installed can add up quickly – that is, if you’re using traditional laundry appliances.

Ventless laundry appliances are game changing. In-unit laundry is feasible for most buildings (both new construction, or existing buildings) when you consider ventless laundry as an option.

Because ventless dryers don’t vent, but instead recycle the warm air they create, they save energy and there isn’t a need for expensive construction. These economical machines are a cost-effective solution for small spaces, tight deadlines, or limited budgets. They can also be installed in closets or under countertops since they have minimal hookup requirements. 

Everyone can understand the appeal of having in-unit laundry, but for builders and property managers it comes down to offering strong amenities for attracting and retaining residents and increasing cost savings.

What is the investment of adding in-unit laundry?
The total investment of adding in-unit laundry depends on a variety of factors, and each situation is different. Here are some common questions to consider:

  • Is an older building being renovated, or is in-unit laundry being spec’d into a new construction project?
  • Will the appliances be washer/dryer combos, stackable, or side-by-side units?
  • Will contractors be used, or will the install work be done in-house?
  • How many units are needed?

Is adding in-unit laundry profitable?
The short answer: yes. Adding in-unit laundry increases property value, increases rent by $50-100 per month on average, and the highly-efficient machines dramatically decrease water and energy consumption costs for residents. Offering amenities like in-unit laundry also increases resident retention, so less time is spent searching to fill vacancies.

What challenges can arise with adding in-unit laundry to an older building?
One of the biggest challenges we see is finding adequate space for the units. If you plan to use traditional laundry units for a building, residents will see increased energy bills, more space will need to be allocated and vent runs will need to be constructed so the machines can properly vent and not cause a fire. Ventless units, however, require less space and no venting, so they can be installed under countertops, or even in closets – saving time, square footage and money for property owners.

These are excellent questions, and at FJS Distributors, we know our multi-housing customers are concerned with both the satisfaction and retention of residents, in addition to your cost savings. 

To see the cost savings for yourself, check out our cost comparison chart which compares two leading appliance brands in the ventless and traditional laundry families. We think you’ll be impressed with the results.

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Using the Compact Ventless LG Washer/Dryer Combo

If you’re thinking about adding in-unit laundry to your property, you’ve probably done your research. You know that adding laundry to your units is a value-add project that will increase your property value, and that in-unit laundry is a highly desired amenity.

An entry on Review.com points out that in Europe, ventless dryers are simply called “dryers.” Vented appliances aren’t an option in many countries around the world. Strict space and energy regulations have made smaller, ventless dryers the norm. Energy efficiency and the cleanliness of the clothes are larger concerns than the length of time it takes to dry. In the United States where space is less of a concern, individuals tend to lean toward larger, vented appliances.

Ventless laundry is the perfect solution for units with limited space, because they work without the need for expensive vent runs, and you don’t need to retrofit your property for make-up air.

Easy installation is often an attractive feature for property managers, and the long-term cost savings in energy and water usage add up quickly.

Still, we know many property managers hesitate before purchasing ventless laundry units because of common misconceptions like:

  • They’re difficult to use
  • They don’t dry clothes
  • The cost doesn’t outweigh the benefit

The truth is that ventless laundry units like the Compact Ventless Washer/Dryer Combo from LG work very well and are quite easy to use – they’re just a little different than the conventional vented units that have been common in the United States for many years.

There is a misconception that that combo units don’t perform as well as traditional laundry. But, if you take the time to sort clothes according to fabric type and color, follow the care instructions on your garments and don’t overload the machine, you’ll see optimal results every time.

When you’re thinking about simple and fast updates to increase your property value and raise resident satisfaction, remember that ventless laundry units are:

  • Easy to install
  • Simple to use
  • Water and energy efficient

We want to help you improve your property and attract residents. We know that adding ventless laundry to your units is a value-add project that leads directly to increased property value.

That’s why we’ve put together this cheat sheet for the LG Compact Ventless Washer/Dryer Combo. Once residents understand the different settings, they’ll be able to “set it and forget it” from the comfort of their own home, never worrying about competing for a unit in the laundry room ever again.

Get the Cheat Sheet

As an added bonus, we wanted to share this video that further explains how to use the Dry Only feature on the LG Compact Ventless Washer/Dryer Combo.

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Your Guide to Affordable Stainless-Steel Kitchens

It’s timeless. It’s durable. It’s affordable. It’s stainless-steel.

It is no secret that renovated apartments rent faster and can command higher rents. Upgrades to flooring, cabinetry, countertops or windows require construction, which can be difficult, expensive and timely. Upgrading appliances, however, is a quick but solid investment in your property.

Whether you are overseeing renovations on an existing property, managing a new construction project or operating a multi-family housing development, adding stainless-steel appliances is a value-add project that will increase your property value.

The Benefits of Stainless-Steel Appliances

Stainless-steel has been the appliance finish of choice for over 15 years. A few minutes spent watching any home renovation shows on cable TV is a testament to the popularity of stainless-steel. Potential renters seek stainless-steel because it looks great, is easy to clean and makes an apartment feel like new.

Some of the many benefits of stainless-steel include:

  • Durability
  • Cleanliness
  • Versatility
  • Attractiveness

Stainless-steel appliances are an investment in your property that will add value for years to come. Design trends come and go, but stainless-steel remains in style.

Want more detail? Learn more about stainless-steel kitchen appliances in our Guide to Stainless-Steel.

This guide is designed to share more information about stainless-steel kitchen appliances, and some of our favorite products.

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[Free Tip Sheet PDF] Stackable vs. Combo Ventless Laundry Solutions – Which is Right for Your Property?

When it comes to property management, you know your stuff.

You know, for example, that in-unit laundry is one of the most desirable amenities in any rental property, be it a condo, an apartment or a multi-family housing unit.

You probably know that adding in-unit laundry allows you to increase rent by $50-100 per month, per unit – and you’ll increase property resale value and decrease turnover at the same time.

Unfortunately, adding in-unit laundry can be an operational nightmare, especially if retrofitting an older property. Vented dryers in particular introduce a host of headaches, from vent run length limits to the need for industrial HVAC systems to provide massive volumes of makeup air.

But there’s a way to get the benefits of in-unit laundry without the headaches – even if you have an older property or a limited budget.

FJS has put together a free PDF tip sheet to help you do just that.

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Ventless Dryer Guide

In-unit laundry allows you to increase rents by $50-100 per month per unit. Plus, it decreases turnover. Ventless dryers make in-unit laundry possible for almost any building – without expensive retrofits.

People often come to us with questions about ventless dryers.

  • Can you use a ventless dryer with a gas connection?
  • Will an all-in-one washer dryer combo work in a closet with the door closed?
  • How does a ventless dryer work, anyway?

For over 15 years FJS has been selling ventless dryers, we’ve heard just about every question you can imagine. And we love it.

The new generation of ventless dryers are not only eco-friendly and easy to install, they perform just as well as a vented dryer – though the process is a bit different.

Ventless dryers remove moisture from air by a form of condensation. Dry air is recycled back into the drum to gather moisture before it is condensed once again. This cycle repeats itself until the laundry is dry.

The environmental profile of ventless dryers is very friendly. Ventless dryers are highly efficient because unlike conventional dryers, they recycle the heat they create.

Advantages of ventless dryers

  • The new generation of ventless dryers offers the performance of traditional laundry without the need for external vents or high-capacity plumbing
  • Space and connectivity flexibility makes your design and construction projects easier, more efficient, and more profitable
  • With stackable and combo options, even small apartments can be outfitted with in-unit laundry, increasing rents by $50-100 per month per unit
  • Ventless dryers and front-loading washers are highly energy-efficient and water-efficient, so they align with green-minded communities, and are often eligible for Department of Energy rebates

Want more detail? Learn more about ventless dryers in our Ventless Dryer Guide.

This guide is designed to answer the most common questions about ventless dryers, including:

  • What types of ventless dryers are available?
  • What are the space, connectivity and makeup air requirements?
  • What factors do you need to consider when selecting laundry appliances?

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Quick-Start Guide to In-Unit Laundry

In-unit laundry is a smart investment. And now, with advances in laundry technology, you can reap the many financial and operational payoffs of in-unit laundry without the tradeoffs. For example, you can add in-unit laundry to an older building without expensive retrofitting.

Benefits of in-unit laundry with ventless and combo appliances:

  • Increase Net Operating Income
  • Reduce turnover
  • Avoid vent construction costs, maintenance and hazards
  • Avoid ADA compliance issues and expenses
  • Increase rent $50-100 / month per unit
  • Increase resale value $5,000-10,000 per unit

Ventless Dryers and High-Efficiency Washers

  • Modern ventless dryers perform just as well as vented dryers
  • Stackable units available
  • No make-up air needed – simplify your mechanical systems and save thousands in HVAC costs
  • No vent cleaning, bird nests, leaks, mold, fan repairs or fire hazards
  • No need to design around the chases, finish work or fire codes –reduce your construction costs and complexity

Combo / All-in-One Washer-Dryers

  • Automatically washes and dries in a single operation
  • No make-up air needed
  • Low additional load (15AMP/110 volt)

 Get the Free Guide

The full version of this guide is a convenient, printable PDF with additional material, including a frequently asked questions (FAQ) section. Get it free! Just click the button below.

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