We get it. It’s winter. The weather is damp and miserable and there’s no way your washing will dry outside. That’s why clothes dryers are fantastic. But they are expensive to use. According to Canstar Blue running an average 6kg dryer costs $1.17 per cycle. Do that a couple of times per week and you’re looking at around $120 per year.
Clothes dryers also cause quite a bit of damage to your clothes. You can clearly see this every time you gather the thick layer of lint from the filter. Every bit of that has been ripped from the fabric of your clothes during the drying process.
This ages the clothes much faster than line drying. And that means you will have to spend money to replace your clothes more often.
There are many alternatives to using the dryer. A cheap and cheerful drying rack is the perfect solution if you have a spare room or space on a balcony to leave it. It’s quieter, cheaper, and won’t slowly chew your clothes to pieces.
Drying racks come in a range of options, like this one from IKEA which is perfect for small loads and fits easily over a door, bathtub or rail.
If your building has a communal drying area or shared clotheslines, use them. And if you don’t want to leave your clothes all by themselves, on a reasonably warm or breezy day enjoying a book or podcast for an hour will be time well spent and your clothes will be dry enough to finish off indoors on a rack.
Using your dryer efficiently
But it’s raining outside, we hear you cry. Very well, go ahead and use the dryer. Just bear in mind the following energy-saving (read: money-saving) tips from Sustainability Victoria.
Regardless of the type of clothes dryer you own, you can reduce your energy bills by running it efficiently.
- Dry outside whenever possible: If the weather is dry take advantage of the opportunity to dry your clothes outside.
- Clean the filter before each use: A clogged filter reduces airflow (and drying capability) and can overheat the machine.
- Avoid mixing heavy and lightweight clothing together: Mixed items will not dry as quickly.
- Dry several loads one after the other: Make use of the heat in the machine from the previous load.
- Don't overload the dryer: The motor can overheat and this approach is hard on the machinery.
- Consider a heat-pump or a gas dryer: Especially if you use your clothes dryer frequently.
- Look for models with auto sensors: Auto-sensors can help you to avoid over-drying.
- Ventilate when drying: Leave a window open when drying, or install a venting kit, to minimise humidity.
Tips courtesy of Sustainability Victoria