Summer is that time of year when nature cooperates in ways that can help us save money. For example, warmer temperatures and more sunshine allow us to hang laundry outdoors rather than running the electric or gas dryer. It may not seem much, but hanging your laundry out during the summer can save you money. How much? Let us take a look using data gleaned from the Saving Electricity blog.
The average clothes dryer accounts for as much as 12% of household energy use. With an electric dryer, a 45-minute cycle consumes about 3.3 kW of electricity; the typical gas dryer consumes 22 thm of gas and 0.21 kW of electricity. Your energy savings on a dryer could be a couple of hundred dollars per year if you abandoned it altogether. We are talking about only part-time use of outdoor laundry drying, so your actual savings could be between $50 and $100. However, there is more to it than that.
Also, consider that most of us have our clothes dryers installed in either the basement or a first-floor closet. During the winter months, the heat generated by the dryer is quite welcome. Nevertheless, during the summer, that heat rises upward as the dryer sucks in cooler air at floor level. The rising heat travels up from the basement and into first-floor spaces. If you are running an air conditioner, your dryer simply adds heat that needs to be removed. Drying laundry outdoors removes the unnecessary heat from the equation.
Other Helpful Tips
During the summer months, it is helpful to do your laundry early in the morning whenever possible. The heat issue is a factor once again. Assuming you use cold water on most of your loads, the water traveling through the pipes will be at its coolest during the morning hours – before the hot sun is able to heat pipes and increase water temperature.
If you do intend to use your dryer, early-morning or evening hours are best for the most efficient drying of clothes. Keep in mind that humidity plays a role in how well your dryer works; summer humidity tends to be lowest in the early morning and late evening hours. Furthermore, remember that your dryer pulls air in and vents it outdoors. That air has to be replaced somehow, usually being drawn back into the house through a chimney or other vented area. That means hot air is coming into the house to replace the air the dryer has vented out.
Here at My Divine Concierge, we are happy to come to your home and help you take care of those chores you just can’t seem to find time for. One of them may be laundry. Just give us a call and we will set up a schedule that effectively gets those chores done reliably and on time. We can do your laundry, perform routine housecleaning, do your grocery shopping, help you with meal planning, or just about any other needs you can think of.
Enjoy your summer while it’s here. Get out there and make the most of the beautiful sunshine, warm temperatures and lighter work schedules. After all, summer will not hang around forever.