Clotheslines Making a Comeback

The old fashioned clothes line is making a comeback as more consumers become aware of the importance of saving energy to preserve our planet.  A Housewives Prayer reads:

“Help me to concentrate today on the simple gifts you offer, the smell of my neighbor’s bubbling jam; the ‘hello’ of the postman, the breeze that fluffs my wash on the line…”  Are the pleasures of air drying clothes like grandma did gone forever?  Or should something old be made new again?

Over 80 percent of American homes have clothes dryers, one of the largest energy consumers in the home.  About 6 percent of residential electricity is used by clothes dryers.  Though many newer appliances are more energy efficient, dryers have changed little. 

In spite of the energy cost, clothes dryers are a wonderful convenience that most Americans refuse to be without.  If everyone line-dried their laundry, the savings would amount to enough to shut down several power plants.

About half of all electrical power plants use coal and each pound of coal burned creates over 2 pounds of carbon dioxide, a global warming gas.  Clothes dryers use nearly 2,000 pounds of coal each year.

Families can save an average of $25.00 per month on their electric bill if they air dry their laundry.  The benefits of line drying include:

  • Significant Energy Savings
  • Preserve the Environment
  • Natural bleaching and disinfecting from the sun
  • Fresh smell
  • Clothes last longer – machine heat breaks down elastic, weakens fibers and ruins T-shirt designs

Of course there are some disadvantages to line-drying laundry

  • Clothes can dry stiff
  • It’s time consuming

The solution:  When clothes dry stiff, fluff them in the dryer.  Try line-drying some laundry while the dryer is doing its job as well.  Of course, no one is going to give up the automatic clothes dryer altogether, but line-drying some laundry will help reduce energy consumption.

Doug and Janice Bittner are the Dryer Vent Cleaning Sterling VA Wizards, and owners of Dryer Vent Wizard of Northern Virginia.  Though they make their living cleaning and installing dryer vent systems, they are not worried about losing work by encouraging people to solar dry clothes.  This is because the Wizard works to educate the public about preventing dryer fires and saving energy.

Dryer fire prevention is the Wizard’s main focus; however, dryer vent cleaning does much more than eliminate a fire hazard.  Poorly installed dryer vent systems and those clogged with lint accumulation can make clothes dryers cost an additional $300 per year to operate. 

Increased drying time is the most common dryer ailment that people complain about.  Rarely is this a dryer malfunction.  The dryer is operating just the way it is expected to.  The dryer vent system is the problem.  A poorly vented dryer will not operate efficiently.  Eventually, the machine will overheat, break-down, or cause a rapidly spreading house fire.

Dryer vent cleaning service ensures clothes dryers operate safely and efficiently.  A well maintained dryer vent system will allow adequate air flow to dry clothes more quickly.  Proper dryer and dryer vent maintenanceprolongs the life of the clothes dryer, conserves energy and eliminates a fire hazard.

Clothes dryers and clothes lines both require heat and air flow to do their job.  The biggest differences are convenience, energy cost, and maintenance requirements.  I’ve never seen a clothesline cause a fire!