Clothesline vs. electric dryer expense.

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by dlangland, Jul 20, 2005.

  1. dlangland

    dlangland dlangland

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    Does anyone have an estimate as to how many dollars might be saved per month if for the most part exclusively using a clothesline instead of an electric dryer? I know it's relevant to how many loads a family washes, cost of electricity in your area. And my clothes dryer is so old I couldn't even begin to put yr. to it, so I know it's not energy efficient. The clothesline at my new place is totlly shot. Not even the poles can be salvaged. I thought maybe just have a hypethetical figure of savings might help get other give us the inspiration to get on built sooner instead of later. I am so very excited. For the first time in my life I have a ground floor laundry room...straight through the back porch to the imaginary clothesline! Sure bets doing laundry in my former dungeon of an unfinished basement. Thanks for your thoughts.
     
  2. Jolly

    Jolly Well-Known Member

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    Too many variables, but an easy way to compare is to peruse the energy ratings next time you waltz through Sears or the Borg.

    Clothesline is inexpensive, and a set of poles can be made from scrap.

    We have a dryer, but mostly use it only on bad weather days, or if one of the kids is headed back to college and needs all their clothes done quickly - and then we use both....
     

  3. mistletoad

    mistletoad Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I have seen quotes of about $85 a year to run an electric dryer (or 30-40 cents a load), but our electric costs have gone up by 50% in the past year so I would think this is a low estimate.
     
  4. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    Believe it or not I have heard of some communities that won't allow clothes lines and actually encourage power waste with clothes dryers.

    Like said above, it depends on the rating of your dryer and how much time it's on. I believe that next to the electric hot water tank, the clothes dryer is the most energy consuming appliance in the home.
     
  5. texastami

    texastami Zone 7B Supporter

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    Yep, I live in one of those communities!!! Can you believe it?? We also have Reliant Energy..... highest place around... constantly raising their rates!!

    What I learned researching the same thing you asked is that depending on the age of the dryer is the amount of savings you can afford to see..... We had an old (10 yr) dryer whose heating element was very bad, and it cost us big bucks to run it (altho we didn't know it until it died) When we replaced the element, we discovered our electric bill had gone down $60 a month!! (I was doing laundry every week, 10 loads) I could have replaced that thing for $135 and saved $$ for at least 2 years!! (Never again will I buy a dryer used without checking the condition of the element!!!)

    So I decided to hang some lines (Even tho they are ILLEGAL) I keep them below the fenceline so the neighbors can't see them and they are under the radar of the "inspector" of the week...... and we discovered we saved $135 or so - per month.... which really helped!! And got me to thinking more about saving electricity!!

    And now, comparing my electric bills from last year this time - to current bills and two price increases from the electric company in 2005) and hanging my clothes out on the line for the last three months.... we are still $50-75 a month lower than last years bills..... :clap: :clap: :clap: To me, thats a huge accomplishment!! But a $500 electric bill still makes me gag!!! UGH!
    (thank goodness for balanced billing!!!) :)
     
  6. crashy

    crashy chickaholic goddess

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    I would rather line dry in the winter I will use the dryer but I still dry as much as I can outside. We have a covered deck and we put up a line up high by the rafters works great!!
    I know we saved like $20.00 in one month by not using the dryer. The kids would rather not line dry but too bad...pay me 20 bucks and we will talk about the dryer LOL :bash:
     
  7. Bonnie L

    Bonnie L Well-Known Member

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    When I stopped using the electric dryer, our electric bill dropped about $15-20 per month. When the weather is bad, we use a drying rack & a line in the laundry room/bathroom. I love drying clothes outside - it's a good excuse to be out in the sun.
     
  8. Melissa

    Melissa member

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    I have seen estimates of anywhere from 50 cents to $1 a load, depending on the cost of electricity in your area. You might contact your electric company, they often have pamphlets with average costs.
     
  9. MorrisonCorner

    MorrisonCorner Mansfield, VT for 200 yrs

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    I hate to throw a damper on everyone's fun (sorry.. it was a good pun too..) BUT... I don't own a dryer. Have, in fact, never owned a dryer. But I do own a very good iron. Because without a dryer "wash and wear" isn't. Every one of my husband's shirts and work pants needs to be pressed. My cotton dresses go without saying... but the husband's wash and wear stuff also needs ironing.

    Since I've never owned a dryer, even as a kid, I'm not sure what you "get" from a dryer, but I do know that I iron on Sunday nights. Last Sunday it was so hot and humid I didn't need the steam setting, if you get my drift. So what I *think* you get for your electricity and cost of a dryer is a substantial time savings... from hanging out the wash to taking it in, to doing the ironing. And I think you need to factor in the cost of running an iron for a couple of hours (as well as wear and tear on you in the heat).
     
  10. Bonnie L

    Bonnie L Well-Known Member

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    Irons use much less electricity than a dryer as they are plugged into a regular outlet. Many articles of clothing don't have to be ironed - underwear, tee shirts, jeans, knits, etc. Nor do I iron pillowcases & sheets. Many of my own & the kids clothes don't get ironed because any wrinkles will dissapear with wear. I usually only iron a few of my husband's better shirts when he needs to look sharp. Kids do their own ironing if they want to look sharp.

    The only thing my kids have complained about is rough towels. Once I found an unscented fabric softener, I started using that in the rinse, but only in the towel wash.
     
  11. starjj

    starjj Well-Known Member Supporter

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    lol this question hits home since I mentioned to Phil about putting the clothesline back up. Apparently there was one when he bought the house and he took it down. The poles have been sitting in back of the shed for years and years. I remember though he used the poles this year to rig a support system for the pole beans so I am out of luck. We never had a dryer growing up and nothing beats the fresh smell of clothes dried in the sun.
     
  12. mistletoad

    mistletoad Well-Known Member Supporter

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    It's funny - I can't stand those soft, floppy dryer dried towels - give me scratchy sun dried towels any day. Same goes for jeans, they feel so limp if they are dried in the drier. Actually I can't stand the feel of anything dried in a dryer, must be why I only ever owned one for about 2 years and that was almost 20 years ago. The boys complain sometimes about waiting for things to dry, but I tell them to plan their laundry needs a little better :)
     
  13. Maura

    Maura Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I don't own a dryer. I hang my husband's shirts on a hanger to dry and they don't need ironing.

    As for towels, I don't use laundry detergent, makes the towels stiff and coarse. I use Borax.
     
  14. Burbsteader

    Burbsteader Well-Known Member

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    I've wondered about savings as well. We have a gas dryer though, so technically it uses both gas and electricity.
    I would dry on the line way more than I do now. My big problem is the weather. I'm in the PNW and what is it known for? Rain! Often light showers or a drizzle that totally disrupts the day because I'm not going to keep running in an out taking clothes off the line or putting them back on. The time wasted hovering near the line on questionable days could be far better spent (you know, like posting here! LOL) so I use the dryer.

    We've been talking for awhile now about enclosing our patio and turning it into a greenhouse type set up with big windows for air circulation, and I plan to hang a clothesline in there for the questionable days, esp. during the winter. Then I won't have any more excuses to use my dryer as much as I do.
     
  15. katlupe

    katlupe Off-The-Grid Homesteader Supporter

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    I can't help it - it makes me smile. I haven't owned a electric dryer or a iron for over six years! Or a washing machine either. But the best part is that I haven't had a electric bill either!

    I agree with the great feeling and smell of the towels that come from the line. I do not miss the dryer at all. Maybe the washing machine, but I will get one in the future.
     
  16. ihedrick

    ihedrick Can't stop thinkin'

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    For me, the line saves me $20-30 each month. I don't have anything that really needs ironing, but I do have an iron if needed. I make my laundry soap and don't have too much problem with the stiffness that is gone when the cloths go through the dryer.
     
  17. mikell

    mikell Well-Known Member

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    It's not just the dryer the newer washers spin at over 1000 rpm to get more water out. So a new washer/ dryer pair can pay for themselves in a few years.

    mikell

    Test Engineer Whirlpool / Maytag
     
  18. JAS

    JAS Well-Known Member

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    My clothes line use to be a rope tied between two trees, now my husband got all fancy and used some left over high tensile wire rigged up between two trees. Actually it is three trees, it is wrapped around one and comes back to a separate tree to form a V. I can get two to three loads on it.

    My problem with the drier is that my husband has the vent venting into the house . It is nice in the winter (it does heat the house up) but instead of reventing it in the summer he knows I have to use the line :confused:
     
  19. Grandmotherbear

    Grandmotherbear Well-Known Member Supporter

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    When our small umbrella-type folding solar dryer got taken out by last summer's hurricanes our city electric bill went up by $40 a month. because of more intensive dryer use. (he had always dired the permanent press in the dryer)

    You have to PLAN your laundry- early a.m., hang by 8 and down before the afternoon thunderstorms.

    There is NOTHING to beat the good smell and feel of linedried sheets, pillowcases, towels, and T shirts!
     
  20. Cindy in PA

    Cindy in PA Well-Known Member

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    My electric dryer has a plate inside the door that says 5600 watts, which should be the watts per hour. That is 5.6 killowatts per hour. Since my loads always take at least an hour when I use the dryer, it would be 5.6 KW times .09 cents per KW or .50 per load if they only take an hour. I suppose all dryers have this number listed somewhere.