Archive for July, 2009

Make Going Green a Breeze – Line Dry Your Clothes

Despite the convenience of the clothes dryer and decades of objections to backyards full of clothes, line drying your clothes is coming back. Americans are now looking at the clothesline, as a way to save money on energy and reduce their impact on the environment.

Line Dry Your ClothesUp until the early part of the 20th century, there was no other way to dry your clothes than hanging them out on a line and no one thought anything about it. Near the end of the 20th century, clothes dryers became popular. Today, a renewed consciousness about the environment and the high cost of utility have many people starting to dry their clothes outdoors again. It saves money and helps save the environment.”

Here are some facts to consider in favor of line drying:

1. Electric dryers account for 5 to 10 percent of a household’s energy costs.

2. There are more than 88 million dryers in the United States today. Each one consumes about 1,079 kilowatt-hours of energy per household and releases 2,224 pounds of carbon dioxide.

3. Repeated mechanical drying can significantly shorten the wearable life of an article of clothing. Clothes dryers can cause shrinkage, pilling, stretching, pulls and static electricity.

4. Across the country, homeowners are challenging local community bans on clotheslines, which is opening doors for this cost saving and ecological method of drying clothes.

Line Dry Your ClothesNew line drying systems are addressing appearance concerns and space constraints, making them a fit even in the suburban landscape. Yard-based rotary units now collapse. Other systems use a wall-hung unit to house retractable lines. Homeowners simply mount the units on the side of the house and stretch the lines to a discrete anchor point. When done, they can retract the lines back into the unit. Still another option is a wall-mounted frame that extends a few feet from the wall when in use, then folds down flat against the wall when you’re done with it. And expandable indoor units can do double duty on a deck or patio.

Line Dry Your ClothesConvenience has long been the big advantage of the electric clothes dryer. This has significantly changed with these new line drying systems. People no longer need to have two unattractive poles, sunk in the ground at opposite ends of the yard with several lines strung between them. These modern line dryers are collapsible, retractable and designed to provide maximum utility in a minimum of space.

Americans, it seems, are also finding benefits beyond cost and energy savings. Some people are turning hanging the clothes out into an opportunity for the family to spend some quality time together in the fresh air. Others find sitting on their back deck and watching their rotary clothes dryer turn in the breeze to be very restful. Plus, parents can and do use line drying as a practical lesson in green living for their children.

Did you know that in Australia and New Zealand, 90 to 95 percent of the population line-dry their laundry? On the other hand Americans are just catching on and it’s because they are viewing it as a very cost-effective green home improvement to get one of these systems installed.

All in all, the bottom line does seem to be the money saving benefit, though the environment is not far behind. Line drying saves money and it’s a “green” home improvement at a time when even the smallest eco-friendly improvement can add value to a home and to your bottom line.

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