I want to advertise my drop-off wash-dry-fold service, as well as the pickup-and-delivery option I offer with this full-service product. I currently charge an extra $10 for pickup and delivery, and this seems to be turning away some potential business. Should I change something?

Customers don’t like seeing “extra” charges or feeling like they’re paying “extra.” As a result, I would suggest simply increasing your minimum pickup poundage or adding a minimum dollar amount for your pickup-and-delivery service.

I’m building a new laundry, and I have to make a decision about my heating and air conditioning units. Should I install a combination heating and air conditioning unit on the roof of the building, or should I keep them separate?

The best and least troublesome option is to install separate units. The air conditioning unit should be at ground level for much easier cleaning and overall maintenance. Installing your air conditioner on the roof will create problems. After all, you’re exhausting a lot of lint from your dryers, which collects in your air filters. If not regularly cleaned, this situation will overheat the air conditioning unit and blow the compressor, which is extremely costly to replace. In addition, rooftop temperatures are much higher than at ground level, so you will be overworking your AC unit on very hot days.

When installing a ground-level AC unit, be sure to enclose the unit with a cage to prevent vandalism. Also, install a sun shield on top to prevent the sunlight from directly shining on and overheating the unit.

If you keep your air conditioning unit separate from your heating system and install the air conditioner at ground level, you will experience less maintenance issues and better performance, and your AC system will have a much longer life.

I own a laundromat in a small town in the Midwest. Recently, a customer informed me that an apartment building in a neighboring city is having a bed bug epidemic and is washing those linens in the large washers at my laundromat. What steps do I need to take in order to ensure that these bed bugs are not left alive in the machines and in my business? I want my regular customers to know that my laundromat is safe for them to use?

My suggestion for bed-bug-infested linens is to not wash these items first. Instead, the best way to eliminate this problem is to immediately toss the items – including the laundry bags they came in – into a dryer or series of dryers, set at high heat for two or three cycles.

The problem with washing the infested items first is the fact that bed bugs have an extremely high tolerance for moisture. In addition, very often the detergents and other wash chemicals will not kill them. In fact, the very best and most efficient way to kill bed bugs is through the extraction of moisture. When the linens are in your dryers, the moisture is being extracted, and the insects will die almost immediately once the dryer drum reaches a certain temperature. This way, the bugs are destroyed before you ever wash the items.

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