Facility managers have many choices to make when it comes to carpet maintenance, including the systems and types of products used, frequency, and time of day. To get a complete picture of expenditures and effectively stay within budget, it is important to consider the hidden costs of carpet cleaning and how they affect the facility’s utilities.
Different systems use varying amounts of water at different stages in the cleaning process. Low-moisture encapsulation typically involves mixing cleaning products with a small amount of water, pre-spraying the mixture onto the carpet with a handheld or machine-mounted sprayer, and then agitating the chemistry into the carpet fibers. The soils crystallize and are then vacuumed away. Hot water extraction, for comparison, propels hot water and cleaning products into the carpet and a powerful vacuum removes the water and soil.
Take into account how much water is used in each application of the facility’s carpet maintenance plan. Water costs can add up in large facilities, especially if there are high traffic areas that must be cleaned frequently.
Increased Load on HVAC Systems
In addition to using more water during cleaning, wet or damp carpet left by some methods can create heavier loads for air conditioners. The increased moisture levels make air conditioners work harder to dehumidify the space, resulting in higher energy bills. Don’t forget about fans or dryers that can help carpet dry faster; these can make high traffic areas safer by reducing slips on wet carpet, but they also consume more energy.
Lighting During Non-Peak Times
For some businesses, it is essential to avoid disruption to operations during the day. Night cleaning achieves this, but it comes with its own set of additional costs. Contractors often charge a premium rate for nighttime employees, and the facility must provide access to cleaning teams and keep additional lights on during non-peak hours.
Powering Cleaning Machines
All of the points we have highlighted so far concern the facility and how it is affected by carpet cleaning systems. One key factor that can’t be overlooked is powering the carpet cleaning machines themselves. Consider how many machines will be in use and their productivity – how many square feet can they clean in an hour? Is your space obstructed, like an office with desks and chairs, or does it consist of open spaces like hallways and ballrooms? Machines with lower productivity can translate to more power usage because it takes them longer to clean an area.
These hidden costs can increase utility bills and tighten a facility’s budget if they are not taken into account. For help with understanding non-hidden costs please refer to our Smart Care® Cost Calculator, which includes product costs and labor costs based on the square footage and cleaning frequencies.