How Much Can You Save by Line Drying your Clothes?

A normal dryer will use about 3000 watts (3 kw) of power for about an hour per load, meaning a use of 3 kw*hr of energy per load. At 0.133 per kw*hr (residential national average, June 2021), that is $0.40 of electricity per load. We do probably 2.5 loads per week, more if you have kids, making your dryer cost $1.00 per week, or $50 per year. But that is just us.

America does a lot of laundry.

I read that the average family uses over 1000kw*hr per year of energy on drying their laundry! That would be more than twice as many loads as our family of three does! America, are you really doing that much laundy? Maybe part of the problem is that people are washing some things unnecessarily. You don’t need to wash pants every time you wear them! Anyway, saving 1000kw*hrs+ would mean that the average American family would save over $130 per year by hang drying their laundry.

Sell your dryer?

The other good news is that less wear and tear will be put on your dryer and you won’t need to buy a new one for significantly longer. Heck, maybe you want to go all in and not have a dryer at all and free up some serious space in your house.

Tips to make it a bit easier to hang dry

If it is too rainy to use a clothesline, you can use a drying rack in a sheltered place, maybe under a ceiling fan. I would run a line under a covered porch, but we don’t have one. I don’t bother to take the time to hang little things like socks, I just quickly strew them around the bottom of the basket to dry there. It takes a LITTLE extra time to hang clothes and every once in a while you will be cursing under your breath when a surprise rain storm hits your clothes that were nearly dry, but I take heart by realizing an extra efficiency: shirts are pants are already half folded when hanging on the line. Just lift them off while maintaining that folding, and half your folding is already done.

Venting the dryer indoors to save its heat is not recommended

Indoor venting is probably not worth it. We tried venting our dryer right into the laundry room to capture its heat output, but it adds so much moisture to the air that it should only be done when the humidity is low and it is cold enough that your heater is actually on. Even in this ideal case, the air had to blow toward SOMETHING in our house, and ended up causing a lot of condensation on the wood walls that were 5 or 6 feet away. The air from the dryer also has little fiber particles from your clothes, even if you have a mesh filter on your output vent. Those micro-fiber particles probably aren’t great to be breathing in.

Even hang dry in the cold, in low pressure areas!

     I have heard that at high altitudes where they is low pressure, you can hang-dry your clothes outside even in the dead cold of winter, and even if they freeze, the ice will “sublime” off of them, going directly from solid to gas phase.

Leave a Comment