A dryer is a big investment, and you may feel like it’s worth the cost. But when you think about how much money you can save by not using it, the overall cost of ownership plus cost of use can be staggering. The average dryer sells for about $140. That’s a lot of money for something that does questionable work. And it’s not even all that efficient – the average dryer uses some 8,000 Watts while the energy-efficient models use less than 5,000 Watts.
You don’t have to be a statistician or engineering expert to know that you can find ways to minimize the cost of any appliance. Enter air-drying. We’re not telling you to ditch your dryer completely. We’re simply suggesting for you to consider the benefits—both financial and economical, of minimizing your dryer use. Let’s dive right into the facts.
How much money can you actually save?
If your typical power bill is 15 cents per kilowatt-hour, each drying load will cost you roughly 50 cents. If you do four loads of laundry each week, you’ll save around $100 per year on laundry costs. However, this number ultimately depends on multiple factors such as the size of your home, the number of loads you do per week, the quality and type of laundry you’re drying and the cost of natural gas. There are many other ways to save money on laundry you should also check out!
So what’s the bottom line? If you can save even as little as $5 per week, then that’s a reasonable amount to consider. You could easily see this amount of money add up very quickly.
The drawbacks of using a dryer
So how exactly is not using a dryer going to save you money? The list of negatives to using a dryer is long and varied, but for now, we’ll cover the most important parts.
It costs you both time and money
The average load of laundry takes about half a day to dry on the line, rather than the 30 minutes required in the dryer. While it may take longer to air dry, you can hang more loads of laundry at once, which saves both time and money considering the amount of power needed to run multiple dryer cycles.
Dryer repairs typically cost anywhere from $100 to $600. And this is only if you have a dryer that’s still under warranty. If you have an older, less-efficient dryer, the hours of labor required to repair it can be incredibly high.
Your clothes are at risk of damage
The moisture inside your clothes can wreak havoc on the fibers – a situation called rot. This can lead to major problems with your clothing, including fading, pilling and runs in fabrics. Furthermore, dryers can be harsh on your clothes. Think about it: when you run your clothes through the dryer, they’re exposed to high heat while getting pulled every which way, at the same time!
Dryers cost money
When buying a dryer, you should expect to shell out at least $600 for a really nice, energy-efficient model. Even then, it would still cost you a pretty penny to maintain and run various cycles throughout the week. Meanwhile, you can buy an entire set of nice clotheslines, with the clothespins and drying rack included, for around 10 bucks.
What’s so great about air drying?
There are a lot of benefits to air drying. We’ve covered several, but here are just a few that may convince you to reconsider how you go about your laundry.
Cleaner clothes without the high cost of energy
When you use a dryer you’re essentially using a giant heater to finish your laundry. That heater uses a lot of energy and ultimately converts a lot of your clean, fresh clothes into hot, dry lint.
When you air-dry your clothes they’re drying in nature’s own oven: the sky. The sun is an amazing energy source that can be harnessed to heat reasonably priced air.
The sun is a natural bleaching agent
When you air-dry your clothes, they become whiter and fresher than if you had used a dryer. However, it’s important to pick the right time of day to load your laundry. The sun can bleach fabrics – even if they’re not in direct sunlight – if they are exposed to too much heat and humidity. This is something you should think about it if you’re hanging vibrant colors.
Fewer upfront costs
Air drying is significantly cheaper than using a dryer. But it doesn’t stop there. Air drying also saves you money in the long run. Dryers will last you around 10 to 13 years on average. Whereas a clothesline (which typically costs less than $10 to put up) will last you a lifetime.
And the best part is that you can use your clothesline in any weather, so long as you have a place to secure it.
You’ll minimize clothing mishaps
It’s common for dryers to shrink or fade clothes. A clothesline, on the other hand, will not do such a thing (provided you don’t put your clothes in it wet). You’ll also never have to worry about your dryer being too hot for towels or delicate pieces of clothing.
Lower electric bills
Utilizing the sun to dry your clothes will save you money, but you can do even more. By drying your clothes outside on a clothesline, you’ll be keeping them away from germs and bacteria that thrive in dryers. Keeping everything away reduces the need for hot water, which means lower bills each month.
Dryers are an expensive and energy-intensive way to dry your clothes. However, by investing a little time and money in a clothesline, you can reap major benefits: cleaner clothes that never go through the cycle of shrinking, fading or destroying fabrics. What’s more, you’ll save yourself quite a bit of money in the end.
A clothesline and a couple of hangers, like these from Home Depot, will keep you on track and lead to huge savings in your electric bills.. Remember, what’s good for the environment is often good for your wallet. In the case of air drying and reducing your electric bills, a lot of the benefits apply to both.
And then there are all those advantages to living a life that’s greener than most. You’ll look back and think: “What were we thinking?”
Any questions or comments? Please leave us a note in the comment section below! We’d love to hear from you.