There are all sorts of great reasons to use a clothesline instead of a dryer and saving money is only one of them. Here are five reasons why hanging clothes to dry is better than using an electric clothes dryer.
7 Benefits of Using a Clothesline
- Clothes last longer when hung to dry: Clothes that are hung to dry last longer. Not just delicate clothes; everyday clothes, bedding and towels all last longer and stay in better shape when they don’t spend time in the dryer. That lint trap is your first clue. Heat and friction are the enemy when it comes to fabric longevity. The lint trap shows how fabrics deteriorate bit by bit in the dryer.
- Fewer wrinkles: Have you every pulled a wrinkled mess of clean clothes out of the dryer because you left them too long after the cycle ended? Out of sight is out of mind in the dryer. That may not be a worry with sleepwear and undergarments but it can be very inconvenient with other clothes. Shirts and pants hung on the line dry virtually wrinkle free. (Do you really need a better excuse not to iron?)
- Clotheslines save energy: Hanging your clothes on a clothesline is a simple way to save energy. Appliances account for 13.6% of your total houselhold energy use and cost. Skipping the dryer, especially during spring, summer and fall, helps keep that money in your pocket. The sun is an efficient clothes dryer and clothes will dry outside even on breezy partly sunny days.
- Convenience: It’s hard to beat the convenience of the dryer but in the long run it may not be that much more convenient. Large items like bedding and towels are quick to hang on the line and extra easy to fold and put away when dry.
- Energy wasted “drying” already dry clothes: Can you remember all the times you've put your dryer on for a second cycle? Maybe you forgot to take the clothes out of the dryer the first time and turned it on again to fluff them up. Or maybe you stuffed too many heavy items in at once. Running two cycles for the same load increases the chance that the dryer will continue to run long after the clothes have fully dried. Using a clothesline is an easy fix.
- Dryers heat your house up: Dryers run from 51°C to 57°C depending on the cycle. Even though dryers are vented, the residual heat when they are running warms your home. That’s fine during cooler months but in summer – prime clothesline season, that extra warmth isn’t welcome in anyone’s home. What’s more, with the dryer running, your cooling system will have to work harder to keep you comfortable.
- Clotheslines reduce fire risks: Have you ever forgotten to clean out the lint trap? According to Statistics Canada, a small percentage of housefires are caused by dryers. Clogged vents, ducts, and filters are the primary causes of dryer fires. Hanging your clothes on a clothesline reduces the risk of a house fire caused by your dryer.
All these benefits, combined with the fresh, clean scent you can only get from drying your clothes outside, make clotheslines a favourite energy-saving option, especially during the warmer months.
If you still need to use the dryer from time to time, here are 8 helpful tips for efficient clothes dryer use.
Looking for other simple ways to save energy around your home? Check out our energy saving checklists. As well, we offer incentive programs for home efficiency upgrades.
Are clotheslines worth it?
Definitely—it only takes a few minutes to hang one load of laundry. You save money, and the sun can kill microorganisms on your clothes. That means your clothes are cleaner and last longer. Take a couple of minutes for yourself to relax and soak up some vitamin D while you hang out your clothes.
How does using a clothesline help the environment?
There are over 90 million clothes dryers in North America alone. Widespread use of clotheslines could save millions of tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions each year. One small and simple action you can take today makes a big difference to the environment. To learn more about the steps you can take to save energy around your home check out the energy efficiency programs available in New Brunswick.
What are the benefits of air-drying clothes?
On top of the energy savings, drying your clothes in the sun's UV light disinfects them. That keeps your clothes fresh for longer and helps remove odours. Air-drying is also gentle, and there's less risk for snagging or shrinking the fabric.
How much money can you save using a clothesline?
When calculating how much money you can save using a clothesline, you need to consider all the things that cost money using a dryer. There are energy costs and you also spend money on dryer sheets, machine wear and tear, and clothing wear and tear. There's no need to worry about any of these things when using a clothesline. When you add these cost savings to the environmental benefits, it's worth it.