How to Save on Your Energy Bill By Air Drying Your Clothes

How to Save on Your Energy Bill By Air Drying Your Clothes

How to Save on Your Energy Bill By Air Drying Your Clothes

Air drying your clothes is one of the easiest ways to reduce your energy usage and save money on your energy bills. With just a few adjustments to your laundry routine, you can cut way down on the energy your dryer uses while still keeping your clothes fresh and wrinkle-free.

Why Air Drying Saves Energy

Using your dryer is one of the biggest energy drains in your home. Dryers account for around 6% of total home energy use in the US. Every time you run your dryer, you are using electricity or gas that costs you money.

By air drying clothes instead of using the dryer, I am able to eliminate around 95% of the energy used in drying each load of laundry. That adds up to big energy savings over time!

Some key reasons why air drying is so much more energy efficient than machine drying:

  • Dryers use a heating element that requires constant electricity or gas to generate heat. Air drying relies only on natural airflow and ambient heat.

  • Dryers must run for 45-60 minutes per load, using high heat the entire time. Air drying takes longer, but doesn’t actively consume energy.

  • Modern dryers use a motor and spinning drum that uses additional electricity. Air drying has no motors or moving parts.

Simply put, air drying allows clothes to dry naturally without any external energy input. The only energy used is the negligible amount needed to run a fan or dehumidifier.

How Much Money Can I Save By Line Drying?

The amount of money you can save by air drying will depend on:

  • Cost of electricity or gas in your area

  • Size, efficiency, and usage of your dryer

  • Amount of laundry your household does weekly

As a general estimate, switching to line drying can save the average household $60-100 per year compared to machine drying everything. With air drying Just two loads per week, I save around $150 annually. In some areas with higher energy costs, the savings could be over $200!

Over time, the savings really add up. If I continue air drying for 5 years, I will save $750 vs machine drying that whole time. Given that a new energy efficient dryer can cost $600 or more, the savings from line drying can really outweigh the convenience of machine drying rather quickly.

Effective Methods for Air Drying Clothes

Switching to air drying doesn’t have to mean hanging wet laundry all over your house. Here are some great options to dry clothes naturally without making a mess:

Use a Laundry Drying Rack

A collapsible drying rack allows you to air dry laundry neatly in any room. I use one in my laundry room so clothes can dry out of the way. Position near an open window or vent to promote airflow if possible. Fold up when not in use.

Install a Ceiling Drying Rack or Retractable Clothesline

These devices mount above your washer/dryer and pull down when needed. They take up minimal space and keep clothes off the floor and out of the way. Great for small laundry rooms.

Dry Clothes Outside Whenever Possible

Outdoor drying is the most energy efficient option. The sun and breeze will dry clothes faster than any indoor setup. Use a clothesline or outdoor drying rack.

Try a Portable Umbrella Clothesline

These pop-up clothes drying racks allow you to line dry outside even without a permanent clothesline. Bring it outside when drying laundry, then collapse and store.

Use Smart Wash Cycles and Dryer Balls

Washing in cold water and using the high spin cycle leaves clothes with less moisture to remove. Wool dryer balls can cut drying time by up to 25%.

Tips for Successful Air Drying

Follow these tips to ensure your air dried clothes come out fresh, unwrinkled, and ready to wear:

  • Shake items out and hang properly on the line to avoid creases. Hang shirts by the bottom, blouses upside down by the side seams, etc.

  • Wash similar fabrics together since lighter items dry faster. Heavy cottons take longer than athletic wear.

  • Check progress and rearrange/reshuffle items on the rack or line throughout drying.

  • Separate pieces as they dry so air can keep circulating.

  • Once dry, immediately fold or hang to avoid wrinkles from setting in.

  • Rotate items to expose the damp undersides. Drying happens quickest when air reaches all surfaces.

  • Add a dehumidifier to laundry room to help draw moisture out of the air.

With a good setup and effective technique, I find I can air dry loads of laundry successfully. The energy savings make the minimal extra effort well worthwhile! Evaluating your situation and trying different drying methods will help determine the best approach for your household.

Bottom Line

Switching from machine drying to air drying laundry is one of the simplest ways to slash energy use and save money each month. With a drying rack, clothesline, or other setup, I can easily save $100 or more per year. It just takes a bit of planning and getting used to a new routine. Optimizing wash cycles and trying different air drying techniques ensure clothes dry effectively. Going forward, I will continue relying on this “old fashioned” laundry method to cut my energy bills!