How to Save Money By Air Drying Your Laundry
Doing laundry can be expensive, especially when factoring in the costs of running a clothes dryer. However, there is a simple and effective way to save money on laundry: air drying. Here is a comprehensive guide on how air drying your laundry can help you cut costs significantly.
Why Air Drying Saves Money
Using a clothes dryer is one of the most energy-intensive household appliances. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, clothes dryers account for about 6% of a home’s total electricity usage. In addition, dryers typically run for 45-60 minutes per load, using 3-5 kWh of electricity in that time.
At an average energy cost of $0.12/kWh, that’s $0.36 to $0.60 per load just to run the dryer! For a family doing several loads per week, these costs really add up. Air drying eliminates the need to use the dryer, saving you money instantly.
Below is a table comparing the estimated costs of machine drying vs. air drying:
| Drying Method | Estimated Cost |
| Clothes dryer | $0.36-$0.60 per load |
| Air drying | $0 per load |
As you can see, the savings from air drying instead of machine drying can be significant over time.
Ways to Effectively Air Dry Laundry
While air drying is simple in concept, there are several techniques you can use to dry your clothes more efficiently:
Use a Drying Rack
Investing in a drying rack provides the best way to air dry clothing and linens. There are many types of drying racks to choose from:
Freestanding racks – These stand on their own and can be folded up for storage when not in use. They work best in a laundry room, basement, or other out-of-the-way spot.
Wall-mounted drying racks – These attach to the wall and fold flat against it when not needed. They are space efficient for apartments or small homes.
Umbrella racks – An umbrella setup allows you to dry multiple items in a limited floor space. The rods extend out like spokes from a central pole.
Laundry racks – Longer horizontal poles designed for drying many garments at once. These take up significant floor space but maximize drying capacity.
Nothing beats the nostalgia and effectiveness of old-fashioned clotheslines. You can install one in your backyard or string up a small retractable line indoors. Hang heavier items like jeans and towels on the bottom, while smaller pieces like shirts and undergarments go on top.
On a warm breezy day, laundry will dry in no time on a clothesline. Just be sure to use rust-resistant pins and clips to avoid damaging fabrics.
Strategic Furniture and Space Use
With some creativity, your existing furniture can double as drying surfaces:
Drape washed clothes over folding drying racks placed near heating vents or in front of a fan. The increased air circulation will cut down on drying time.
Lay clothes flat to dry on towel racks, shower curtain rods, or ladders. This vertical space is ideal for air flow.
Arrange thicker items like sweaters and jeans on chair backs, couches, or empty tables around your home.
Use Dry Towels
For delicates like lingerie or swimwear, lay the piece flat and cover with a dry towel. Gently press or roll over the item to wick moisture into the towel. Replace it with another dry towel and repeat until the garment is barely damp. This prevents stretch and warping of fitted pieces.
Time It Right
To make the most of natural airflow, do laundry when the weather is dry, warm and breezy. Avoid rainy, humid days. Drying indoors? Position racks near heating vents, radiators, or in front of a fan to keep air circulating.
During winter, the indoor air also tends to be drier, so laundry dries faster than in summer’s humidity. Take advantage of this and save energy by air drying all year round!
Benefits Beyond Cost Savings
Aside from the direct financial benefits, air drying your laundry has other positives:
Less wear and tear – Machine drying deteriorates fabrics faster. Air drying helps clothes retain color and last longer.
Reduced energy usage – Relying on renewable wind and solar energy instead of electricity is better for the environment.
Less static and wrinkling – Air dried fabrics do not tend to cling or become wrinkled like machine dried clothes.
Fresher scent – The heat from dryers bakes in undesirable odors. Air dried laundry smells cleaner and feels fresher.
Simple and space efficient – Drying racks fold up for easy storage. No need for a bulky dryer taking up space.
So by implementing these air drying strategies, you can save money in the laundry room and beyond! Your budget and wardrobe will thank you.