Laundry:  Line-Drying Clothes


Cost –  $15 – 50 for indoor, $80 – 200 for outdoor

Savings –  $50 -125 per year[1]

Installation time   None for indoor racks, 1 hr. for outdoor lines or racks requiring concrete base

Materials/Tools Needed   Drying rack or clothes line

Maintenance   None

         A clothes dryer is typically the second-biggest electricity-using appliance in the home (after the refrigerator).  Most dryers operate using a 240v outlet.

Instructions Indoors

1.    Use existing shower or laundry room rods to hang clothes on hangers or clip hangers (jeans or pants), or add a retractable clothes line.

2.   Fold-away racks take little space and dry a large amount of laundry.

Instructions Outdoors

1.    Traditional lines between T-posts, umbrella style or retractable lines.

2.    Great fresh, outdoors smell without dryer sheets, chemicals or cost.

3.   Before installing, check that city codes or HOA rules do not regulate outdoor drying..


Even if you canŐt give up the dryer, there are ways to greatly reduce its cost:

á       Remove lint from the filter before every use.  This improves airflow and allows the dryer to operate more efficiently.  ItŐs also a good safety practice.

á       Use the cooler permanent-press cycle.  Clothes will last longer and look better too.

á       Use the dryerŐs moisture sensor.  A dryer will shut off automatically when laundry is dry.

á       Dry similar types of loads together.  Light-weight materials will dry in less time than heavy items like jeans or towels. 

á       Sequence loads to use residual heat.  Dry lighter loads first, then heavier loads; the heavy load will use the left-over heat to dry faster and with less energy.

á       Allow heavy materials to go through an extra spin cycle or to partially air-dry before placing in the dryer.  Use a very short dryer cycle to complete drying, smooth wrinkles and/or fluff towels.

á       DonŐt over-fill or under-fill the dryer.  Over-filling prevents laundry from tumbling and reduces airflow; under-filling uses the same amount of energy as a regular load.

á       If you use dryer sheets, thoroughly clean the lint filter once a month.  Use a toothbrush to remove residue that can limit airflow.


Ż  [1]