I am proud to say that I have been clothes dryer free for the last three weeks. Late in June I had an epiphany. As I was transferring clothes from my washing machine to my dryer and my air conditioning was running non-stop, it occurred to me that I was using energy to dry my clothes which was in turn heating up my house, which was then causing my air conditioning to run and use even additional energy! Very costly and not green at all.
I decided to go “old-school” and buy myself a clothes rack to dry our clothes on. I ended up buying two racks so that I could fit an entire load on the racks at a time. A clothesline is ideal but we don’t really have an appropriate place to hang a clothes line and this was a good alternative.
I wanted to know how much I could save by not using my dryer. According to www.ehow.com “you can expect to pay between 44 cents and $1.32 per load as of January 2011”. Variables include whether you own a gas or electric dryer, your energy rates, how big a load, how long it takes to dry your clothes, etc. But let’s take a number from the low end. Let’s go with $0.50/load. If you dry 10 loads a week on the rack you are looking at a $5/week savings. Multiply that by 52 weeks a year and you’re looking at a savings of $260. Not planning on drying your clothes on a rack in the winter? Multiply that $5 a week savings by 16 weeks and you’ve saved $80 – that’s not even taking air conditioning savings into account.
- Don’t need to use dryer sheets; air drying eliminates static cling.
- Energy savings from not using the dryer.
- Energy savings from not running the air conditioner.
- Clothes dried outside smell fresh and wonderful!
- Sunlight can help to bleach and disinfect your laundry.
- Line drying is better for your clothes than the dryer.
- Simplifies your life.
- Conserving resources and energy.
- Have to purchase a clothes rack or line if you don’t already own one.
- The turnover between loads is longer.
- May need to use the dryer for a few minutes to release wrinkles.
- Laundry dries quicker during the day.
- Difficult to try larger items like sheets on a rack (easy on a clothesline).
- Limits how many loads can be done in a day (Three a day for me).
The simple pleasure that I have derived from this endeavor has astounded even me. I am really enjoying drying my clothes outside and all the benefits that come with it. The switch was easier than I thought it would be and I plan on taking full advantage of the sunny days and gentle breezes ahead.
For more information on how to dry clothes outside, check out this article here.