The dryer is one of the biggest energy wasters in my house. If I’m using the dryer regularly, my electric bill doubles. You might save some money on your electric bill by buying spending $500-$1000 on a new “efficient” dryer, but clearly that doesn’t save you money, that costs you money!
My dryer is I-don’t-know how old, and I bought it for $40 (the same price as my washer actually, though from different people).
The best way to save money on drying clothes, is to do it for free.
Enter the clothesline.
People have been drying their clothes like this for thousands of years. It’s cheap, effective, and your clothes smell great!
But what about the crunchy towels?
I don’t mind line-dried towels, but this is a common complaint. You can try shaking them out, or hanging them slightly overlapping so the edges are bumping each other as the wind blows. If those aren’t enough for you, just toss them in the dryer for a couple minutes on air fluff, and that should do the trick.
But what about when it rains?
For this I have to thank a dedicated line-drying friend of mine. She recommended putting the clothes on a rack in a room with a ceiling fan. It’s genius! If you don’t have any ceiling fans, just turn on a regular fan pointed at the clothes.
Fans use very, very little energy, and they create enough breeze to dry your clothes in less than 24 hours.
A drying rack or indoor clothes line is essential for this. I got ours at a thrift store, and I really need a second one to dry a full load on. I’ve just been biding my time, hoping I can find another used one. I have been eyeing up retractable clothes lines though, for in my guest room (where I dry the clothes).
Even in the summer when it’s sunny, I use the indoor rack. I use it for underwear, wash cloths, hand towels, little boy shirts and shorts, and other things that would take too many clothes pins to hang them all on the line.
But what about the winter??
I could leave my clothes outside for days and days in the winter before they would dry. Even indoors, my house is fairly cool, so they take a long time to dry even with the fan on.
Enter your heating system.
I put the drying rack over the heat vent. Voila. They are dry overnight. I actually love drying clothes in the winter now indoors, because it’s so fast! I pick the vent with the strongest blowing power, which happens to be in the foyer. I hang the clothes before bed, and fold them in the morning to get them out of the way.
I usually use the dryer for sheets in the winter (and some times towels), just because they take so much room to dry.
And sometimes your clothes line can save your garden from being damaged by these crazy storms we keep having…
What are your line-drying tips?