April 28th, 2023 by
With the energy crisis not set to improve any time soon, many others are searching for ways we can cut costs by reducing the amount of energy they use, whether that means turning the heating down or off, changing or reducing the usage of other electrical products with as little impact as possible on our day to day lives – one of these important aspects includes laundry – ultimately we need to wash our clothes and with washing comes the need to dry but using tumble dryers (which is the most popular drying method) can really run up you energy use of the year.
Tumble Dryers Consume A Lot of Energy
It is understandable why tumble dryers are the most popular options after all they are fast and easy so you can power through your laundry much quicker, and for big family laundry can sometimes feel like a never-ending task! However, tumble dryers aren’t very energy efficient – in fact, they are one of the biggest energy guzzlers in the home (alongside washing machines – but unfortunately, it’s much harder to cut these out!)
While energy prices vary for each different supplier on average a vented tumble dryer costs £1.82 per cycle, condensers cost around £1.77 per cycle with heat pump dryers being on the lower end of the spectrum costing 73p a cycle (these dryers are not as common in the household due to their higher initial costs) this means that in a year using a tumble dryer can cost between £88 up to £216! This is no small amount of money no matter how you look at it. This is why many people have made the choice to reduce the usage of their tumble dryers and search for alternatives.
Thinking of alternative ways to dry your laundry, especially after the convenience of a tumble dryer for so long can seem tricky but fortunately, there are solutions available to help and while this is no way to say you should never use your tumble dryer again it can certainly help to alleviate the cost by reducing the amount it is used. So, let’s take a look at some of these alternatives
The simplest and most traditional way to dry clothes is by hanging them on a clothesline or drying rack in the garden. Especially on breezy and sunny days, this can be a fairly fast way to get your clothes dry and with plenty of fresh air to circulate many people feel that clothes feel fresher and smell cleaner when dried this way! When hanging clothes on a line it is important to not overlap and to leave a small gap between each piece so that the air can flow freely and dry the clothes all over, when choosing where to place your line – always try to position it in an area that is well ventilated and gets a lot of sun during the day time!
Now living in England, we know that temperamental weather means that drying clothes outside isn’t always possible, likewise for those who live in apartment blocks and don’t have access to balconies or a garden this solution isn’t going to work, so let’s take a look at a couple more.
Non-Heated Clothes Airer
So, when the outside isn’t an option, drying racks and clothes airers can be used indoors to dry clothes. Clothes airers come in a range of sizes and have the advantage of being incredibly portable so you can easily move them around your home to position them in a place with the most sunlight and airflow. Most models fold flat too so they can easily be stored away when not in use, so you don’t need to worry about bulky appliances taking up large areas. Using these traditional clothes airers are a fantastic way to save money as they do not incur any additional costs after the initial purchases making them one of the best ways to save money.
Now unlike with tumble dryers’ clothes, airers have the downside of taking much longer for clothes to try dry and in areas with poor airflow can result in clothes developing a damp odour, luckily there are a couple of things you can do to help improve the drying time.
Use a dehumidifier
A dehumidifier is an appliance that removes moisture from the air and can be used in your home where your clothes airer is placed in order to increase drying time. They work by pulling water out of the air and into their internal reservoir, so if there's any humidity in your home or apartment (and there probably will be with wet clothes hanging), then this will help speed up the drying process for your laundry. The best part about using a dehumidifier as part of your laundry routine? You don't even need space in order to use it--you can place it anywhere! If there isn't enough room near where you plan on placing your clothes while they're being hung outside on lines or racks (or if those options aren't available), just find an area where there's minimal foot traffic.
Use a fan
Another great way to help dry clothes quicker is by simply adding more air flow to a room, this can easily be done with the use of a desk fan. Most fans require very little energy in order to run, so while you will still be using electricity using this method the cost is a fraction of the price of a tumble dryer. Simply place your clothes airer near a good source of airflow such as an open window and point the fan in the direction of the clothing the fan will circulate the air from the window pas through the clothes allowing them to dry quicker – more air will also reduce the risk of any damp odours from forming too.
Electric Clothes Airer
Clothes airers have come an incredibly long way in recent years and we have seen an increase in electric clothes airers. These airers use electricity to heat the rods which the clothes hang over in order to dry them more quickly than traditional clothes airers. These airers often come with a cover which traps the heat inside in order to increase the drying times.
While still needing electricity in order to run, these airers are still a much more economical choice since they require such a small amount of power to run – most electric clothes airers use as little as 80w to run which means the cost of running even though the drying period is longer is a fraction of the cost of a single cycle.
Ways to Make Tumble Dry Use More Economical
Now it is quite understandable that busy homes with lots of laundry loads can find switching to a slower drying method inconvenient and sometimes not even plausible especially if you have work or children’s uniforms that require frequent washing. Well, not to worry we have a few tips you can try to make your tumble dryer usage a little bit more efficient.
Increase Your Spin Cycle
Increase the spin on your washing machine settings to remove as much moisture as possible, this will allow you to then reduce how long the clothes will need to try and ultimately reduce the cycle time.
Use tumble dryer balls
Use tumble dryer balls while completing a load – these balls are usually made of tightly wound wool or heat-resistant plastic and they work simply by ensuring the clothes do not lump together and the hot air is better able to flow through each piece of clothing allowing them to dry much quicker and evenly so you will not need to use as much power on one load.
Run a full load
Try to ensure you are drying full loads rather than half loads – this is simply because there is minimal difference between the energy use of a half load and a full load, so wasting energy to dry smaller loads more frequently will result in higher energy usage.
Dry consecutive loads
Where possible try to dry consecutive loads, this way you will trap the heat inside the dryer for the first load and this will then make the second load dry much quicker as the tumble dryer does not need to heat up again as it has still retained its heat.
Clean the filter
While this is important to ensure your tumble, dryer continues to work as it should and does not break down (which can be very costly to repair) a build-up of lint can restrict air flow, meaning that laundry loads will take longer to try than normal using more energy and increasing the cost of usage.
We hope that you found these tips useful and that you will be able to find the right balance for you so that you can find the perfect way t dry your laundry while keeping costs down.
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