Author Topic: I make $12/hr drying my laundry  (Read 2482 times)

solon

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I make $12/hr drying my laundry
« on: February 09, 2020, 04:34:47 PM »
I have a clothes dryer in my house, and it costs about $1 in electricity to dry one load of laundry.

Today I hung two loads on racks in my basement. It took about 10 minutes. That's an hourly rate of $12. I wasn't planning on doing anything else, so my opportunity cost is zero. It's all pure, tax-free profit!

GuitarStv

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Re: I make $12/hr drying my laundry
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2020, 04:51:22 PM »
We had a dryer when we moved into our home about ten years ago.  We've only used it a dozen times or so since then.  Drying racks are great!

ApacheStache

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Re: I make $12/hr drying my laundry
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2020, 05:05:22 PM »
For the past 5 years, I've typically only used the dryer for a full dry cycle when I'm drying towels or bedding. For 95% of the clothes that I need to dry, I'll put them in the dryer on the energy efficient setting for about 5-10 minutes to remove some of the wrinkles and more importantly to pull out the dog hair and then I'll hang them up to dry the rest of the way. It's crazy to think I was previously drying all of my laundry on a high setting for 30-40 minutes.

I also use the $10 gizmo (attached below) to hang up smaller items to dry.

v8rx7guy

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Re: I make $12/hr drying my laundry
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2020, 06:13:05 PM »
Curious as to how you get to $1 in electricity?  I've done the math for our situation and it's much lower, but we also have pretty cheap electric in WA...

MasterStache

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Re: I make $12/hr drying my laundry
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2020, 06:23:58 PM »
Curious as to how you get to $1 in electricity?  I've done the math for our situation and it's much lower, but we also have pretty cheap electric in WA...

+1. We have gas so it's even cheaper. But calculated electric cost for us was around 36 cents per load. I still hang my clothes to dry as much as I can.

GuitarStv

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Re: I make $12/hr drying my laundry
« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2020, 07:21:23 AM »
The average dryer uses about 3000 watts to run.  So, assuming you're paying 10 cents per kWh, and running it for an hour . . . that works out to about 30 cents.

jambongris

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Re: I make $12/hr drying my laundry
« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2020, 08:43:52 AM »
Maybe someone smarter than me can clarify this for me.

If you live in a northern climate and you heat your house and you’re hanging your clothes inside the house to dry instead of putting them in the dryer then the energy to dry them still has to come from somewhere within the house. Does your furnace not have to run ever so slightly longer to dry the clothes? How does the energy consumption compare between the two options?

I try to hang dry our clothes outside when I can but in the winter it’s not clear to me that hang drying would save much energy over the dryer. The energy to dry the clothes still has to come from somewhere in the house.

Thanks.

GuitarStv

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Re: I make $12/hr drying my laundry
« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2020, 08:53:17 AM »
Our home without running a humidifier ranges from 0 - 20% humidity all winter long . . . this is very uncomfortable, and I get nose bleeds without running a humidifier.  Hanging clothes just reduces the need for a humidifier.

But you don't have to hang clothes in the house if you don't want to.  Wet laundry will completely dry if hung on a line outside too (even if it's well below freezing).  Winter air is very dry.

jambongris

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Re: I make $12/hr drying my laundry
« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2020, 09:03:47 AM »
But you don't have to hang clothes in the house if you don't want to.  Wet laundry will completely dry if hung on a line outside too (even if it's well below freezing).  Winter air is very dry.

This seemed unbelievable to me at first. I assumed that the humidity in the clothes would just freeze and stay in place but according to other internet sources the ice in the clothes will sublimate in to the cold dry air.

Makes me want to actually try this and see how long it takes.

jambongris

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Re: I make $12/hr drying my laundry
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2020, 09:11:47 AM »
It’s always seemed odd to me that we have this appliance that generates tons of hot air that we immediately pump out of the house all winter long. 

I wonder if they sell dryers with built in heat exchangers for those of us in northern climates so the heat can be salvaged.

jambongris

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Re: I make $12/hr drying my laundry
« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2020, 09:21:02 AM »
Our home without running a humidifier ranges from 0 - 20% humidity all winter long . . . this is very uncomfortable, and I get nose bleeds without running a humidifier.  Hanging clothes just reduces the need for a humidifier.

But doesn’t the evaporation draw energy out of the heated air thereby lowering its temperature which in turn causes the furnace to kick in sooner? This is what I wasn’t clear on. Thermodynamics is not my forté.

I guess you’d still come out ahead because you’re not having to run your humidifier as often and you’re not venting all the hot air from the dryer directly to the outside of your house.

Plus hanging clothes is relaxing.

GuitarStv

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Re: I make $12/hr drying my laundry
« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2020, 09:32:12 AM »
Our home without running a humidifier ranges from 0 - 20% humidity all winter long . . . this is very uncomfortable, and I get nose bleeds without running a humidifier.  Hanging clothes just reduces the need for a humidifier.

But doesn’t the evaporation draw energy out of the heated air thereby lowering its temperature which in turn causes the furnace to kick in sooner? This is what I wasn’t clear on. Thermodynamics is not my forté.

I guess you’d still come out ahead because you’re not having to run your humidifier as often and you’re not venting all the hot air from the dryer directly to the outside of your house.

Plus hanging clothes is relaxing.

I'm unclear on this myself . . . but as mentioned, we would be running a humidifier anyways so I think it's a wash for us.

JLee

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Re: I make $12/hr drying my laundry
« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2020, 09:32:34 AM »
The average dryer uses about 3000 watts to run.  So, assuming you're paying 10 cents per kWh, and running it for an hour . . . that works out to about 30 cents.

Damn, I wish. North of 16 cents here...makes solar pay for itself pretty quickly, lol.

jambongris

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Re: I make $12/hr drying my laundry
« Reply #13 on: February 10, 2020, 09:34:57 AM »
Our home without running a humidifier ranges from 0 - 20% humidity all winter long . . . this is very uncomfortable, and I get nose bleeds without running a humidifier.  Hanging clothes just reduces the need for a humidifier.

But doesn’t the evaporation draw energy out of the heated air thereby lowering its temperature which in turn causes the furnace to kick in sooner? This is what I wasn’t clear on. Thermodynamics is not my forté.

I guess you’d still come out ahead because you’re not having to run your humidifier as often and you’re not venting all the hot air from the dryer directly to the outside of your house.

Plus hanging clothes is relaxing.

I'm unclear on this myself . . . but as mentioned, we would be running a humidifier anyways so I think it's a wash for us.

A bit of Googling found this ACEEE paper from 2010 on dryer efficiency:

http://www.aceee.org/files/proceedings/2010/data/papers/2206.pdf

From the paper:

Quote
Advice to Consumers

Consumers can dry clothes with less energy by using (in order of energy savings):

1. Outdoor clothes lines get clothes dry using no energy and with no HVAC impacts.
2. Indoor drying racks use no direct energy but do have an HVAC impact. The total energy
impact is lower than any currently available dryer.
3. A natural gas dryer is cheaper to operate and has lower environmental impacts than an
electric dryer.
4. High washer spin speeds are more efficient than evaporating the water in the dryer.
5. Drying full loads is more efficient than a larger number of partial loads.
6. A “low heat” setting is more efficient than higher heat settings.
7. A “less dry” setting is more efficient than “normal” or “more dry.”

Photograph 51

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Re: I make $12/hr drying my laundry
« Reply #14 on: February 10, 2020, 02:53:45 PM »
I have a clothes dryer in my house, and it costs about $1 in electricity to dry one load of laundry.

Today I hung two loads on racks in my basement. It took about 10 minutes. That's an hourly rate of $12. I wasn't planning on doing anything else, so my opportunity cost is zero. It's all pure, tax-free profit!

Make sure you factor in the reduced wear and tear on your clothes when then aren't being battered in the dryer.  That should increase your wage per hour.

GuitarStv

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Re: I make $12/hr drying my laundry
« Reply #15 on: February 10, 2020, 03:53:09 PM »
I have a clothes dryer in my house, and it costs about $1 in electricity to dry one load of laundry.

Today I hung two loads on racks in my basement. It took about 10 minutes. That's an hourly rate of $12. I wasn't planning on doing anything else, so my opportunity cost is zero. It's all pure, tax-free profit!

Make sure you factor in the reduced wear and tear on your clothes when then aren't being battered in the dryer.  That should increase your wage per hour.

This is actually the reason I started hang drying things.  My clothes last way longer.

solon

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Re: I make $12/hr drying my laundry
« Reply #16 on: February 10, 2020, 03:54:36 PM »
I suppose you could factor in maintenance and depreciation on the dryer too. That would make the hourly rate higher.

okcisok

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Re: I make $12/hr drying my laundry
« Reply #17 on: February 10, 2020, 07:27:55 PM »
https://www.acehardware.com/departments/heating-and-cooling/thermostats-and-heating-supplies/dryer-and-vent-hose/42227?store=11878&gclid=Cj0KCQiAm4TyBRDgARIsAOU75sqdDQB0pr-yiQCOsS9Ej2SgwJxVLiw-rE27nKCAZPqmQqW_7aYWJ74aAsQyEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds

If you have an electric clothes dryer, you can attach this gizmo to the dryer hose and keep the warm, moist air in the house. I have had one and they really do work! My current w/d setup is in the detached garage or I'd have one right now.

Cranky

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Re: I make $12/hr drying my laundry
« Reply #18 on: February 11, 2020, 06:37:34 AM »
My laundry is in the basement, and my thermostat is upstairs. It's always cooler downstairs than upstairs, so I don't think the wet laundry causes the furnace to run more often.

My drying racks are directly under the furnace vents, and clothes dry astonishingly fast. I dry outside in the summer. The only iffy months are April and October, when it's cool and wet outside, and not really so cold that the furnace runs much inside.

meghan88

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Re: I make $12/hr drying my laundry
« Reply #19 on: February 11, 2020, 02:45:06 PM »
Here's to drying racks.  I can't fathom a downside.  More humid indoor air in winter, less wear and tear on clothes, less electricity consumed.

DaMa

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Re: I make $12/hr drying my laundry
« Reply #20 on: February 11, 2020, 07:14:45 PM »
I do this, too.  It was great seeing everyone else thinks about it the way I do.  Lower energy use, increasing humidity in the house, etc.  It is amazing how much longer clothes last when you don't put them in the dryer.

I do use 3 wool dryer balls and put the dry clothes in the dryer for 10 minutes on the no heat setting.  That works well to remove the stiffness and wrinkles.

Lucky13

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Re: I make $12/hr drying my laundry
« Reply #21 on: February 11, 2020, 09:05:10 PM »
Growing up my next-door neighbor would hang clothes to dry outside in the summer. I asked her about it and she said she liked the smell better than using the dryer.  Much later I learner they were millionaires, who left all their money to their college when they passed. (they didn't have children)  literally the "millionaire next door" who lived a modest life. So maybe air-drying clothes was also due to their frugality. Thanks for reminding me of this. :)