Step Up Your Green Cleaning Program

05/27/2016 | By Jennie Morton

Are your janitorial machines supporting your sustainability goals?

You’ve already switched to natural cleaning formulas, recycled paper towels, microfiber cloths and products that have minimal packaging – so now what? Take a look at your cleaning machines. This equipment can reduce energy and water consumption, support indoor air quality and protect workers from injury.

Vet Your Vacuums

Vacuums should be effective at removing dirt from carpet without contaminating the air with particles. Look for models that are Seal of Approval/Green Label certified by the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI). This program ensures that vacuums maintain high soil removal, won’t damage the pile and keep dust locked into the chamber. CRI also offers a separate certification for carpet extraction equipment. “HEPA-like filters improve indoor air quality, and disposable, sealable bags are essential to contain the particulate during bag replacement,” adds Gary Tourre, Senior Sales Technical Trainer for Staples.

Particularly with the rise in day cleaning, machines shouldn’t create noise pollution for workers or put users at risk of hearing damage. Under the LEED category for the High Performance Green Cleaning Program (EQ3.1), the credit recommends that vacuums “operate with a sound level of less than 70 dBA (A-weighted decibels).”

If your facility has large expanses of carpet, using a vacuum “with variable power levels will reduce energy consumption as well as lower sound levels,” Tourre notes.

Straighten Up Scrubbers

Scrubbers don’t need to use excessive amounts of product, water or power to get your floors to sparkle. Tourre recommends “an optional precise dosing system to minimize the use of cleaning chemicals. Foam-activated scrubbing systems and electrically converted water systems can further reduce the need for chemicals.” It’s also possible to use plain tap water if soiling is light.

“Orbital scrubbers with rectangular heads minimize the amount of chemicals and water needed,” Tourre adds. “Floor pads for both orbital and disc-type machines eliminate the use of chemicals to remove floor finish as well.”

If you have propane-powered equipment, LEED recommends models that have “high-efficiency, low-emissions engines with catalytic converters and mufflers that meet the California Air Resources Board (CARB) or EPA standards for that engine size.” These should likewise operate under 90 dBA. Points are also available for automated scrubbers with variable-speed feed pumps.

Elevate Ergonomics

Green cleaning is so much more than the type of soap or machines you use. Your maintenance staff deserves to complete their tasks without the risk of injury. “Ergonomic equipment reduces back strain, repetitive stress injuries and other ailments caused by manual methods,” stresses Tourre. The LEED EQ3.1 language also emphasizes that “powered equipment [should be] ergonomically designed to minimize vibration, noise and user fatigue.”

For wand tools, like dusters or brushes, “adjustable handles that consider the operator’s height are helpful in reducing hand and wrist injuries,” says Tourre. Budget permitting, upgrading from walk-behind to ride-on equipment is also better for operators because it reduces fatigue and accidents. As an added bonus, Tourre adds, riding machines can also increase productivity by up to 40%.

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See how professionals like you are taking advantage of the highest performing precision cooling system for their computer rooms and data centers, and why Data Aire is fast-becoming the number one choice for facility managers and building owners looking to decrease their energy consumption. 

Data Aire understands how digital technology and data gravity is rapidly impacting and transforming businesses. That’s why they developed ultra-efficient cooling technology to support the most modern (and not-so-modern) data centers.  Learn how One Wilshire in Los Angeles, one of the most advanced carrier hotels today, is surpassing California's strict energy efficiency requirements with Data Aire’s purpose-built system, which provide full-economization for 260 days – almost 72% of the year. That’s a measurable savings! Furthermore, the projected PUE on an annual basis for a full load is at or below 1.2.


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