Forego The Dryer – Daily Financial Challenge

clothes line - save moneyDryers are quite convenient, but they are also an expensive convenience. In fact, most electric clothes dryers use roughly 5 kw of energy which is more than most central air conditioners. If you dry an average of a load of laundry a day, you are paying about $150 a year to dry your clothes.

The best saving advice is to just not use your dryer at all. Hanging clothes on a clothes line may seem old fashioned, but it gets the job done and doesn’t cost a cent in energy costs. There are even convenient clip hangers or indoor drying racks that you can get at most discount stores which allow you to dry your clothes indoors if you neighborhood has regulations that forbid you to dry them outdoors.

If you do have to use your dryer, let the clothes naturally dry as much as possible before putting them in the dryer. Simply leaving them in a basket and letting the sit for a few hours after a wash instead of putting them directly into the dryer can save up to 25% (or $40) on your energy bill. Placing them on an indoor rack to dry first and then using the dryer only to dry them that last little bit and to take out the wrinkles can save up to 75% (or over $100).

Another simple step you can take is to clean the lint tray every time before you use the dryer. The dryer has to work harder, which costs you money, when the airflow has to pass through accumulated lint. Just letting clothes sit a bit before drying them can take a nice chunk out of your energy bill.

For more tips to reduce the energy costs associated with using your dryer, you can visit Dryer Tips To Save Money

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8 Responses to Forego The Dryer – Daily Financial Challenge

  1. Szarka says:

    I took a lesson from one of those travel clotheslines when I set up my backyard one this spring. Rather than running a single line between trees, I doubled it, twisting the two cords as it was strung. Now when I hang things, I don’t really need clothespins, as I can pull folds of fabric between the cords to hold them in place. Small items like socks particularly benefit.

  2. Derek says:

    One caveat for people: Do not hang your clothes outside if you have allergies, especially in the spring. This might sound like common sense, but it amazes me when I see people who have allergies hanging their clothes outside in April. Ya, it saves you money, but suffering from allergies is far worse then the money you will save, not to mention you will probably need extra medication.

  3. SteveL says:

    For $150/year I think it is more economical to use the dryer, how many extra hours does it take to put that stuff on the close line?

    What do you think?

  4. muckdog says:

    Almost stumped me with the comment question there. Is that from a high school exit exam?

    I think folks should make sure they do full loads of laundry. And not a bad idea to let clothes dry a little before throwing them in the dryer. I should probably do that…

  5. Max says:

    I’ve been rocking the line my whole life.

    Benefits include a) fresh air b) staying on top of the weather 3) saving money on electricity 4) clothes smell and feel better.

    As far as the time it takes to put the clothes up, it’s not like most people are forgoing some hourly job while they are hanging clothes. It’s not like, “oh, I better not hang the clothes and put them in the dryer instead because I am going to lose part of my hourly wage”.

    I’m with you all the way on the line drying. Great thing.

  6. sue says:

    Actually I do this in reverse. I air fluff about 1/3 of the way done and hang shirts on plastic hangers. I have an over the door rod that I can hang up the clothes. I have a rack for the towels. The dryer fluffs them first.

    When the weather is nice, dress shirts don’t have to be pressed (or just touched up) if you fluff and then hang on a hanger. Put on a clothes line outside and use a clothes pin to separate the hangers by clipping on the line so they are about 5 inches apart. This allows air flow and takes out most of the wrinkles.

    Sheets smell WONDERFUL on the line!

  7. Kristina says:

    I have not used a dryer in months. Even in the winter I only partially dry items. In the summer I hang it outside. If I use the dryer I can’t use the AC (my own personal deal with myself). There is no real need for a dryer longer than 10 minutes for anything heavy (or easily wrinkled that I don’t want to have to iron) and almost always hang anything I wash.

  8. bosch says:

    It isn’t always reasonable to assume that people are able to hang their clothes outside to dry. I live in the desert, which may sound like it’s a good idea, but the amount of dirt compiled, blowing in the wind from the desert would just ruin my clothes, not help the cause forcing me to rewash them and do the process all over again.

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