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Tuesday, June 22

My Frugal Miser: Air Drying my Laundry

This summer I will reduce my electric usage by 20%. One of the ways I am doing this is by air drying my laundry. Before, my partner and I did about 3 loads of laundry each week. The dryer is usually the second highest energy hogging appliance in the house, after the refrigerator. I imagine mine is even worse. When I moved in 2008 the dryer door came open as I was unloading it from the moving truck, and then it was bent backwards. To get the door to close I had to take a hammer to it, and sense then it hasn't sealed as well. What I'm trying to say is, a load of laundry that used to take 30 minutes to dry now takes about an hour.

Pros and Cons of Air Drying Laundry
  • Pro: lower energy bill
  • Pro: clothes last longer
  • Pro: the fresh smell of clothes dried by the sun
  • Con: Stiff clothes and towels
  • Con: longer drying in humid climates
I bought the drying rack seen above at IKEA last week. The first load of clothes were shirts, and I was satisfied with the results. I imagine towels will be more of a challenge - we shall see. I was also pleasantly surprised at how fast the shirts dried. They would have taken an hour to dry in the dryer. I hung them outside on my patio on the drying rack at 6 PM one evening. It was 92 degrees with 49% humidity. By the next morning, I was satisfied with how dry the shirts were.

Using an online calculator, I estimate it costs $.30 in electricity for one load of laundry. Now, I know this is a conservative figure, but assuming it is close, I was spending about $1 per week to dry my clothes. This single change should make it much easier to reach my goal of reducing electricity usage by 20%.

1 comment:

  1. I always air dry my my mom did. I have a wire in one balcony, the one headed south (warmer). In the raining season clothes take a bit longer to dry but I have enough jeans to wait 2/3 days for dry ones.
    Good weather all year round is one of the advantages of living in Portugal :)