Drying Racks Can Save You Money
Why Should You Dry Your Clothes On A Drying Rack?
Drying racks are a low tech tool that can save you lots of money. Not just in terms of energy savings but also in terms of how long your clothes last. They're perfect for situations where clothes lines are not appropriate for your property, your physical condition or the season, like winter. In such a small amount of space, you can dry many articles of clothing.
Drying racks can be found at major retailers for as little as $10 and are either pre-assembled or are easy to put together yourself. However, you could find a good deal on one by searching Craigslist in your region. I found mine posted on Craigslist for $5 and it was well worth the investment as it doesn't cost anything to use it. And the more I use it instead of the dryer, the more I save.
Quick Facts About Drying Racks
- Drying racks can be used any time of the year, including winter.
- If you live somewhere without a clothesline or where you cannot set one up, you can use drying racks in your back yard or on the porch as an alternative.
- They can be used indoors, so they are convenient and can be folded up and stored away until you need to do laundry again.
- They help increase indoor humidity, which can be very beneficial during the winter when indoor humidity is at its lowest in most regions.
- They make your clothes last longer due to less wear and tear from your dryer and high temperatures from your dryer.
- They cost nothing to use, and save money by allowing you to use your dryer less or not at all if you don't need to.
Benefits of Drying Racks VS Gas/Electric Dryers
Gas or electric clothes dryers are great at saving you time and drying your clothes quickly, but they also cost money to operate. Every load might only take less than 50 cents worth of energy (depending on how much you pay for electricity or gas), however that adds up over a years time and that's a lot of money to be saved by not using your dryer. Another problem with dryers is that when you use them, the heat and moisture they generate (as well as the exhaust from gas dryers) is vented outside. If air is being blown out of your home, air is leaking in from other places to replace the air vented by the dryer. In the summer, this means extra work for your air conditioner which has to cool the warm air leaking into your home when you do laundry. The opposite case is true in the winter, as your heating system has to heat cooler air that is leaking in when the dryer is operating.
Obviously drying racks aren't going to get your clothes dry as fast as a gas or electric dryer, but they have the potential to save you lots of money over time. The best place to put one is near a floor vent or in a warm location. If the climate inside your home is dry, the moisture from the clothes will increase the humidity of the air in your home a little, making it more comfortable and during the winter, the extra humidity helps make the air in your home feel warmer. Plus the smell of drying laundry is just nice to enjoy.
And using a rack instead of a dryer will prolong the life of your clothes. The heat in a dryer causes fabrics and elastic to deteriorate over time, wearing your clothes out faster. This is avoided with a drying rack by allowing them to dry at a lower temperature. And the less you use your dryer, the less lint buildup you will have and reduce your chances of having a dryer fire. When your finished drying your clothes, your rack or racks can be folded and stowed away, something you can't do with the others!
Sample Dryer Costs Table
|Loads Per Week||Cost Of Electricity (kwh)||Cost Per Load (USD)||Cost Per Year (USD)|
How Much Can You Save With A Drying Rack?
Well, it simply depends on how much you pay for electricity, how many loads of laundry you wash per week and how dedicated you can make yourself to not being lazy and using the dryer just because its easier. If you wash a load or two of laundry per week and you pay a very low rate for your electricity, then you won't save a lot in a year. However, looking at the table above, depending on the rate for electricity you pay, you can save quite a bit, depending on how many loads you dry with drying racks rather than the clothes dryer.
Determine how many loads of laundry you can and will be able to dry on racks per week and multiply this number by either 52 (the number of weeks in a year) or however many weeks you will be using drying racks indoors when the weather is not conducive to line drying your clothes, then multiply that by the closest cost per load (based on your cost of electricity). For example, if I wash 2 loads of laundry per week and I pay 10 cents per kilowatt-hour and I also assume that I don't have access to a clothesline:
2 loads of laundry X 52 weeks per year = 104 loads of laundry per year
104 loads of laundry per year X $0.30 per load = $31.20 per year
Note that the above table lists calculations done in Excel and the costs per year and per load were rounded to the nearest hundreds place. This does change the calculations somewhat, yet it gives a good quick estimate of how much your dryer costs you and how much you can save by using a dryer rack instead. So in the above example, if I were to dry all of my loads of laundry on a rack instead of using a clothes dryer, I can save somewhere around $31.20 per year. That's enough to cover the cost of two or three drying racks from Walmart or another retailer like Target.
What to do about stiff clothes?
While drying racks can do a good job of drying your clothes and saving you money, they can leave some clothes stiff. Toss them in your dryer for a few minutes and use the Tumble/Fluff setting with no heat to soften them up if you find its necessary.
Jeremiah Simpkins (author) from Pulaski, VA on January 20, 2012:
nifwlseirff, its always a good thing when you have one less major appliance to haul around. I usually dry my sheets on a clothesline outside during the spring, summer and fall and maybe when the weather is unusually warm during winter, haha.
Kymberly Fergusson from Germany on January 20, 2012:
I haven't had access to a dryer for years! The only time I miss using one is for drying sheets - they take ages to dry folded over a rack! It's one less appliance to shift when moving house, or to buy when setting up somewhere new. Plus too many fabrics seem to dislike dryers these days.
BrightMeadow from a room of one's own on January 13, 2012:
I used drying racks. It did take longer to dry and some clothes came out stiff, but the stiffness disappears pretty quickly once you put the clothes on and start moving around.
Jeremiah Simpkins (author) from Pulaski, VA on December 31, 2011:
That's very true Cara. Personally as a guy, that doesn't bother me. But I've found that just a few minutes on the no heat Tumble/Fluff cycle in our dryer that it softens them up. I will be adding that to the hub, thank you!
Cara from New York on December 31, 2011:
I have used drying racks and the one downside are the clothes get stiff and scratchy, even socks. I did however learn the best way to rotate clothes and when to wash and get them on the rack in time to wear them.
If there were a way to keep the clothes soft,especially towels, it would be something I might use more often, if I had to.