How Much Energy We Use to Dry Our Clothes

Spring is here and summer is coming soon. As the weather changes, we also need to make some changes in our day-to-day lives. Time to exchange that winter coat for tank tops, those boots for flip flops, and start drying your clothes on a line outside?

(c)PetarPaunchev

Yes, as we all know, drying our clothes with a machine is not as environmentally friendly as we would like. But how much energy and money do we spend every time we use a dryer?

Here’s some information for you to decide if it’s worth it…

Cost of Using a Clothes Dryer

Considering an average dryer requires 3.3 Kilowatt hours and every kilowatt costs $0.11 cents approximately, we are looking at $0.36 cents per 45 minute load. Depending on the amount of clothes you have to dry, number of people in your family, if you use a coin-wash or laundromat (dryers in buildings cost around $1.50 per load), and how often you do your laundry, you can decide how many loads you need. Let’s say you’ll need 24 loads, that is $8.64 per month.

This number may not seem significantly high until you look at the entire year which could cost you around $103.68. Not to mention drying also wears away your clothes which would make you buy new items sooner than your wallet may want to.

What if I Don’t Have a Backyard?

Not all of us are lucky enough to have a backyard in which to hang a clothesline, but we can always get a little creative in our apartments or small houses. If you have a guest room (with no guests using the room…) you can always put your clothes to dry there. Another option is the basement, a hall or that space in the dining room nobody uses.

Here is one idea from our friends of Apartment therapy that would cost you 5 bucks to do yourself:

Eye Hooks $0.49 cents each (0.49×3= $1.47)

Carabiner $0.99 cents

Rope (cost depends on length)

 Cleat $0.49- $0.99 cents

Here’s an Idea that Would Cost You Nothing!

Have chairs? Have hangers? Have a broom and a mop stick? Great, because that is all you need for those shirts, skirts, shorts or anything fairly lightweight.

 

Put the chairs back-to-back, spaced as far apart as they can be and still hold the mop stick. Put another stick in the other extreme, and now you have two lines to hang clothes with your hangers.

 

What about the water dripping on my floors?! For this concern I place a bucket, container or the winter boot tray under the makeshift clothesline. You can later use the water for your plants.

 

You would be surprised on how fast shirts and kids’ clothes dry when hanging them and letting them air dry.

Benefits

 

  1. Not only will you save on energy bills and help the environment, but also, by making this a family activity, you will reinforce familial bonds, spend time together and work as a team, something that you don’t get by tossing the clothes to the machine.
  2. Just thinking about how many times we use our hands to complete a job instead of letting machines do things for us, it seems also a little therapeutic to connect with a more natural approach to life.
  3. Opening windows. Something as simple as turning off your heat or air conditioner helps the planet but also your immune system. Considering the air inside our homes is more polluted than the air outside, opening the windows will refresh your home with new clean air, getting rid of viruses and bacteria that might be trapped inside, not to mention very unwelcomed mould.
  4. No need to use dryer sheets. You can always use vinegar: just a quarter cup and it would do the same as fabric softener in the rinse cycle and it doesn’t leave any lingering smell in your clothes. Besides the savings, say also goodbye to the annoying static!
  5. Clothes look like new for longer. See all that lint in your dryer’s trap? That is the material of your clothes falling apart.

 

Let us know what you think. Did you try drying your clothes naturally? Do you have a better way to save money and the environment?

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