Author Topic: Why dryers are (or are not) a waste of space and money  (Read 11719 times)

MilesTeg

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Re: Why dryers are (or are not) a waste of space and money
« Reply #50 on: October 12, 2016, 03:38:34 PM »
The True Believer (TM) zealotry about driers is one of those things that is absurd.

It costs about $25 a YEAR to run one if you do 1 load a week. (and another $25 for each additional load). If you are being careful with your clothes and running on low heat settings, it will cost even less than that. Spinning the drum doesn't cost much, it's the heating that uses the most energy. Conveniently, using low heat settings and longer run times also lessens the wear and tear on your clothes -- particularly shrinking.

They are certainly not essential, but not using one isn't going to make you FIRE earlier.

I feel like wear and tear on clothes would be the more significant (yet much harder to calculate) cost. Hmmm...sounds like an experiment...

I personally air clothes that would benefit more from it - clothes prone to pilling, etc, and run the dryer with the sturdier materials.

Most of the wear and tear in a dryer comes from using it on high heat and setting the dryer to "extra dry". Leave the dryer on "low" and don't fry your clothes by setting the dry setting to "dry like the surface of the moon" and most of your wear problem goes away. With modern high RPM spin washer dry times are still short.

The lint in your dryer is not created by the dryer, but by the washing machine -- in particular dousing your clothes in strong bases used as cleaning agents.

Metric Mouse

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Re: Why dryers are (or are not) a waste of space and money
« Reply #51 on: October 12, 2016, 09:04:40 PM »
The True Believer (TM) zealotry about driers is one of those things that is absurd.

It costs about $25 a YEAR to run one if you do 1 load a week. (and another $25 for each additional load). If you are being careful with your clothes and running on low heat settings, it will cost even less than that. Spinning the drum doesn't cost much, it's the heating that uses the most energy. Conveniently, using low heat settings and longer run times also lessens the wear and tear on your clothes -- particularly shrinking.

They are certainly not essential, but not using one isn't going to make you FIRE earlier.

I feel like wear and tear on clothes would be the more significant (yet much harder to calculate) cost. Hmmm...sounds like an experiment...

I personally air clothes that would benefit more from it - clothes prone to pilling, etc, and run the dryer with the sturdier materials.

Most of the wear and tear in a dryer comes from using it on high heat and setting the dryer to "extra dry". Leave the dryer on "low" and don't fry your clothes by setting the dry setting to "dry like the surface of the moon" and most of your wear problem goes away. With modern high RPM spin washer dry times are still short.

The lint in your dryer is not created by the dryer, but by the washing machine -- in particular dousing your clothes in strong bases used as cleaning agents.

Great info.  Some delicates still get hung up, but mostly everything I own goes into the dryer.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Why dryers are (or are not) a waste of space and money
« Reply #52 on: October 13, 2016, 11:27:53 AM »
Most of the wear and tear in a dryer comes from using it on high heat and setting the dryer to "extra dry". Leave the dryer on "low" and don't fry your clothes by setting the dry setting to "dry like the surface of the moon" and most of your wear problem goes away. With modern high RPM spin washer dry times are still short.

The lint in your dryer is not created by the dryer, but by the washing machine -- in particular dousing your clothes in strong bases used as cleaning agents.

Lint production also depends on the fibres and method of prep.  Flannelette sheets will shed forever, because the threads are loose spun and short fibres, so the fibres are held loosely.  A long fibre spun tightly will not shed, so once the few loose fibres are gone the shedding is over. 

For plant materials it also depends on source - bast fibres (linen) are long and strong, no shedding, seed fibres (cotton) are short and work their way out of the thread more easily.  The same goes for wool - woolen yarns (spun loosely from short fibres) shed (-> "pills"), worsted (true worsted, long fibres spun tightly) doesn't shed much (think suiting fabric).

So things that will shed easily anyway need more gentle treatment than things that are shed-resistant.

Merrie

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Re: Why dryers are (or are not) a waste of space and money
« Reply #53 on: October 13, 2016, 08:01:32 PM »
We have two small children and want to do something with our time other than chase the kids around and clean the house. Line drying would chew up more time and psychic energy than what we're willing to spend when both of those things are at a premium. We already have a dryer and I calculated it takes 50 cents to dry one load and I feel that's worthwhile. We probably spend somewhere in the neighborhood of $3 a week that way and I'm willing to spend $3 on that. Others may differ on where they want to spend their $ and they are entitled to their opinions on what works for their life. When we were cloth diapering I line-dried the diaper shells to avoid ruining the elastic, but other than those and delicates everything gets run through the dryer.

kite

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Re: Why dryers are (or are not) a waste of space and money
« Reply #54 on: October 14, 2016, 09:05:56 PM »
I've hung my laundry to dry for all of my adult life, for 30 years of marriage. This is not hard.  Clothes come out of the washer and go onto a hanger.  The hangers go on the clothesline and when dry, go straight to the closet.  I never have to listen for the dryer cycle to end and then go fold or hang things immediately to prevent wrinkles, because they are already hung.  I can use a laundromat in a pinch, but usually opt not to because solar and wind power is enough.  I do think things last longer if not sent through a dryer. 

Chranstronaut

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Re: Why dryers are (or are not) a waste of space and money
« Reply #55 on: December 06, 2016, 07:19:06 AM »
The thermal fuse burned out in our dryer a couple weeks ago and we've been doing similar until we get around to replacing it.  I usually hang about half my clothes, but it hasn't been that bad to do them all.  My fiance prefers the dryer, but he's happy enough in the mean time.

BTW if your dryer stops heating (or you want to buy a cheap used one from a friend that's broken), it's one of three parts and they are all super cheap to buy online.  If you can change your oil, you can probably fix a dryer.
Hah, jokes on me.  I just got my dryer working again... 3 months later.  Turns out the part spec'ed for my dryer was WRONG!  Always dig deep into the forums online, kids and don't keep replacing parts blindly like I did *smacks head*

I have to admit, after hanging all my laundry for months, I am really glad to have the dryer.  I won't miss crunchy stiff bath towels.  I keep it on Delicates - Extra Low Heat - Normal Dry settings.  Anything hotter than that and it's physically too hot to touch my clothes - why do they do this!?

Lint production also depends on the fibres and method of prep.  Flannelette sheets will shed forever, because the threads are loose spun and short fibres, so the fibres are held loosely.  A long fibre spun tightly will not shed, so once the few loose fibres are gone the shedding is over. 

For plant materials it also depends on source - bast fibres (linen) are long and strong, no shedding, seed fibres (cotton) are short and work their way out of the thread more easily.  The same goes for wool - woolen yarns (spun loosely from short fibres) shed (-> "pills"), worsted (true worsted, long fibres spun tightly) doesn't shed much (think suiting fabric).

So things that will shed easily anyway need more gentle treatment than things that are shed-resistant.
Fascinating!

Chris22

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Re: Why dryers are (or are not) a waste of space and money
« Reply #56 on: December 06, 2016, 07:38:46 AM »
My daughter had a stomach bug this weekend.  Went through a TON of towels, as well as clothes, sheets, etc.  Reinforced why a dryer is beneficial as our washer and dryer basically ran non stop all weekend. 


Also, I get the whole "hang up shirts and pants" to dry.  Got it, no big deal, and almost all my shirts and pants I either hang on a drying rack (polos) or dry clean (dress shirts and pants).  That's not a big deal.  But there's no friggin' way I'm line drying things like socks, undershirts, underwear, t-shirts, and all the little clothes my kid wears. 

boarder42

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Re: Why dryers are (or are not) a waste of space and money
« Reply #57 on: December 06, 2016, 07:57:27 AM »
the cost to operate a dryer is next to nothing as far as total energy costs are concerned.  so if you have the sapce then no real issue with it in my mind.  trying to pinch a penney ... i'd be interested to know where people keep their thermostats who are so hell bent that line drying is cheaper.  b/c i bet they have much more waste running their HVAC systems than a dryer would cause.

Chris22

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Re: Why dryers are (or are not) a waste of space and money
« Reply #58 on: December 06, 2016, 08:03:03 AM »
the cost to operate a dryer is next to nothing as far as total energy costs are concerned.  so if you have the sapce then no real issue with it in my mind.  trying to pinch a penney ... i'd be interested to know where people keep their thermostats who are so hell bent that line drying is cheaper.  b/c i bet they have much more waste running their HVAC systems than a dryer would cause.

Even "having the space"... my dryer is ~30" by 30".  My stupid folding drying rack is not a lot smaller.  And I'd need like 5 drying racks to dry 1 load of clothes, and we generally do multiple loads on laundry day.  Or I could do it outside, but that doesn't work ~5 months out of the year here in Chicago, and the other 7 months it rains, etc. 

tralfamadorian

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Re: Why dryers are (or are not) a waste of space and money
« Reply #59 on: December 06, 2016, 08:07:05 AM »
Yeah today is like +70% humidity and it feels very dry.

This.

I live in Virginia too and I love to dry clothes on a line outside in the summer.  But if I want them to dry in less than a full day, they need to be in direct sunlight.  When I visit family in Colorado, you can throw clothes on an inside drying rack and a couple hours later, they're bone dry. 

Making Cookies

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Re: Why dryers are (or are not) a waste of space and money
« Reply #60 on: December 06, 2016, 08:11:18 AM »
FWIW - everyone with a long dryer vent pipe - go check it. Mine was an aluminum foil hose from the early 1990s. It finally failed and put alot of lint into my crawlspace. The inside of the tube was upholstered with tons of lint.

Looked ripe for a fire. When we were involved with scouts one of the suggested easy fire starters was lint.

Rebuilding the dryer vent tube with smooth wall metal tubing. Not expensive.

We could not get along without a dryer. Weather (humidity and rains) and work schedules conspire against reliable laundry line use. We like using the line when we can.

The old saying around here is if you don't like the weather just wait a bit, it'll change. Not good if the last load of laundry is on the line and we are across town at work when the rains come.

Daleth

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Re: Why dryers are (or are not) a waste of space and money
« Reply #61 on: December 06, 2016, 08:15:25 AM »
Meh, I'm 80% in favour of using the dryer. The cost is worth it to me.

The cost is massively worth it to me. In the time I do NOT spend stringing laundry up in the yard and taking it down again, I can spend time with my family, read great books, work and earn $125-$150/hour... the list goes on. Not to mention, air-drying laundry is not an option for probably half the year in my area, and sometimes it's impossible to predict (hot summer days turn into thunderstorms on a fairly regular basis).

As far as initial cost, there are always dozens of used washer/dryers for sale.

We got a Miele washer/dryer set on Craigslist for $300 that was around $3000 new. It was coming up on ten years old (Mieles are known for lasting 20+ years). I used to have a habit of typing "Miele" into Craigslist every couple of weeks just to see what was available. Now that we have the w/d, and a great floor-model vacuum cleaner, I don't do that anymore.

GuitarStv

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Re: Why dryers are (or are not) a waste of space and money
« Reply #62 on: December 06, 2016, 08:43:29 AM »
Meh, I'm 80% in favour of using the dryer. The cost is worth it to me.

The cost is massively worth it to me. In the time I do NOT spend stringing laundry up in the yard and taking it down again, I can spend time with my family, read great books, work and earn $125-$150/hour... the list goes on.

If you would otherwise be earning 125 - 150$ an hour during the time that you normally do chores around the house, you should do no chores of any kind.  Working a couple extra hours each week and hiring some servants would be a more efficient use of your time.

Conversely you could work 80 hr weeks for a couple years, net well over a million dollars and then retire.  You would have to hang your own laundry, but having those 80 hrs a week free would probably make up for that.

Metric Mouse

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Re: Why dryers are (or are not) a waste of space and money
« Reply #63 on: December 06, 2016, 09:18:38 AM »
Meh, I'm 80% in favour of using the dryer. The cost is worth it to me.

The cost is massively worth it to me. In the time I do NOT spend stringing laundry up in the yard and taking it down again, I can spend time with my family, read great books, work and earn $125-$150/hour... the list goes on.

If you would otherwise be earning 125 - 150$ an hour during the time that you normally do chores around the house, you should do no chores of any kind.  Working a couple extra hours each week and hiring some servants would be a more efficient use of your time.

Conversely you could work 80 hr weeks for a couple years, net well over a million dollars and then retire.  You would have to hang your own laundry, but having those 80 hrs a week free would probably make up for that.

Even with earming far lower amounts per hour, or even earming no money, dryers are often so cheap to run that any free time netted is well worth the cost. Unless one values their free time at $0/hr; in that case, all sorts of chores begin to make sense.

Chranstronaut

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Re: Why dryers are (or are not) a waste of space and money
« Reply #64 on: December 06, 2016, 09:24:07 AM »
FWIW - everyone with a long dryer vent pipe - go check it. Mine was an aluminum foil hose from the early 1990s. It finally failed and put alot of lint into my crawlspace. The inside of the tube was upholstered with tons of lint.

Looked ripe for a fire. When we were involved with scouts one of the suggested easy fire starters was lint.

Rebuilding the dryer vent tube with smooth wall metal tubing. Not expensive.

We could not get along without a dryer. Weather (humidity and rains) and work schedules conspire against reliable laundry line use. We like using the line when we can.

The old saying around here is if you don't like the weather just wait a bit, it'll change. Not good if the last load of laundry is on the line and we are across town at work when the rains come.

I believe there are municipal codes for how long the ribbed tubing can be because it is so prone to lint build up.  It's quite short - just a few feet - before you need to be using a rigid tube instead.  Rigid tubing is recommended and the shorter the entire vent tube, the better.

AlanStache

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Re: Why dryers are (or are not) a waste of space and money
« Reply #65 on: December 06, 2016, 10:02:18 AM »
...

I believe there are municipal codes for how long the ribbed tubing can be because it is so prone to lint build up.  It's quite short - just a few feet - before you need to be using a rigid tube instead.  Rigid tubing is recommended and the shorter the entire vent tube, the better.

[snicker]

The codes I have read also reduce the allowed length for each 90deg turn.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2016, 10:04:13 AM by AlanStache »

Making Cookies

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Re: Why dryers are (or are not) a waste of space and money
« Reply #66 on: December 06, 2016, 02:51:21 PM »
I live in a place that doesn't enforce codes very strictly. Not a bad code though b/c this thing was ready to light off. 12-15 ft of that cheap ribbed hose.

Even the home inspection at time of purchase did not mention the foil tube.

Upgrade/repair is done. All less than $50.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2016, 02:17:46 PM by Joe Lucky »

Daleth

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Re: Why dryers are (or are not) a waste of space and money
« Reply #67 on: December 07, 2016, 08:21:02 AM »
If you would otherwise be earning 125 - 150$ an hour during the time that you normally do chores around the house, you should do no chores of any kind.  Working a couple extra hours each week and hiring some servants would be a more efficient use of your time.

True from a purely financial standpoint, but I have kids and don't want them to grow up thinking that we don't clean up our own mess, we don't take care of our own space, etc. They're toddlers, and boys, and already helping with laundry and vacuuming. I want them to know how to do it and be accustomed to doing it.

That said, it is true that we don't have to in-source ALL of our chores ALL the time in order to give the kids the right message.

Conversely you could work 80 hr weeks for a couple years, net well over a million dollars and then retire.  You would have to hang your own laundry, but having those 80 hrs a week free would probably make up for that.

There is no way I'm hanging laundry out while working 80 hour weeks! That's all the more reason to use a dryer. But other than that I like this thinking.

mskyle

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Re: Why dryers are (or are not) a waste of space and money
« Reply #68 on: December 07, 2016, 08:38:09 AM »
I would have a dryer if we had the space for it but we really don't. Yes, the drying rack also takes up space but it can be taken down when it's not in use (I don't mind having the drying rack in the dining room or on the patio a few days a week but I can't keep an electric dryer on the patio and I wouldn't want to have one in the dining room when I'm having people over, e.g.).

Having just a washer is way better than having no laundry machines at all; a dryer is nice-to-have but by no means essential.