Water consumption is a major factor in terms of how much energy a warewasher consumes. That’s because most of the energy used by a warewasher is to heat up the water. By using less water, you use less energy.
Using less water also means less detergent and rinse aid is needed. And less water going through will extend the life of the water treatment system, too, according to the Foodservice Equipment Association.
This is why manufacturers have developed technologies to use less water, and to keep the washwater cleaner for longer, such as sophisticated multiple filtration systems, reduced wash tank capacities and more efficient rinse systems.
Energy saving features
There are plenty more technologies that can help operators save on the running costs of their warewashers. They include heat exchangers that recycle energy normally lost in waste water or steam, designs that eliminate the need for heat pumps on larger machines, and machines that operate vent-free, taking out the need for direct ducting and extract fans that use energy continuously.
Then there are variable wash cycles. This will mean that if your crockery is only lightly soiled, then you can run a quick program using less water, power and chemicals. Conversely, if you’ve just served a sauce-heavy dinner, a more powerful wash will ensure the ware is hygienically clean.
Many machines also offer ‘eco’ modes. If you’ve time to spare, using it will reduce energy consumption – but it will mean the wash cycle takes longer to complete. However, if the pressure’s on and you need to clean quickly, then simply revert back to the standard or fast wash cycle.
Warewashing best practice
- Only wash when the machine is fully loaded. Turning on a half empty machine wastes resources.
- Buy equipment that offers energy, water and chemical saving features, such as energy heat recovery, more efficient rinse systems, double insulation and machines that operate vent-free. Pre-rinse machines that use recycled waste water can reduce consumption of all three, too.
- Check filters daily to ensure they are not damaged or allowing food waste to pass into the unit.
- Ensure that the water treatment system is looked after. Scale causes major faults to warewashers and impacts on cleaning results.
- When purchasing pre-rinse spray units, look out for optional water-saving faceplates and guns.
- The right rack can make a big difference, not only in terms of cleaning, but also protecting the glasses or dishes being washed and preventing breakages.
- The right chemicals and the correct dosing are important, too.
- Pot washers or utensil washers are more hygienic and efficient than washing by hand – plus, in the long run, they will be more cost effective.
Meiko is the Platinum Partner sponsor of the Warewashing category of FEJ Kitchen Excellence Week. For information about Meiko and its range of products, call 01753 215120 or visit www.meiko-uk.co.uk