Author Topic: Stopped using clothes dryer - $276 annual savings  (Read 5427 times)

banjarian

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Stopped using clothes dryer - $276 annual savings
« on: June 08, 2015, 10:53:47 AM »
As a new (~1 year) homeowner and long-time apartment dweller, I've never really been exposed to the actual energy cost of operating washer/dryer laundry machines. A few months ago, though, I decided to buy a couple of clothes drying racks, for about $20/each, and start hanging up my laundry to dry, rather than running multiple loads through the dryer every weekend.

A few months into this experiment, I've carefully reviewed my electricity bill. With no other major changes (we're not big power users, really) we're now saving about $23/month, just based on that change! So I've already earned back the cost of the racks I bought, and now I'm on track to be saving $276 a year.

Finding $200 here, $300 there is really making it easier to pay off my student loans, mortgage, etc. early. Every time I find a little bit of savings like this, I adjust my monthly debt payments accordingly.

Josiecat

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Re: Stopped using clothes dryer - $276 annual savings
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2015, 11:43:12 AM »
I don't use my dryer anymore either.  I think it's easier on your clothes too.  They seem to stay nicer for longer.

Cougar

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Re: Stopped using clothes dryer - $276 annual savings
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2015, 12:11:42 PM »


 Darn.

 In my browser all I can see is this in the thread title, "Stopped using clothes"

 Was thinking mmm was about to get it's first NSFW thread.

banjarian

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Re: Stopped using clothes dryer - $276 annual savings
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2015, 12:15:56 PM »
I don't use my dryer anymore either.  I think it's easier on your clothes too.  They seem to stay nicer for longer.

I've been air-drying my jeans for a long time, based on the recommendation of the store I usually get them from. It does seem to extend their life.

I should also say, there are still a few things I use the dryer for. Bed sheets, for example, are pretty big, and a giant pain in the ass to effectively hang & dry without a real clothes line. So I do still use the dryer once in a while, for things like that.

I'm also only doing laundry for two people right now. I'm sure a family of more, especially one with kids, could be saving a lot more than I am.

Penny Lane

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Re: Stopped using clothes dryer - $276 annual savings
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2015, 12:16:48 PM »
Good for you, Banjarian!  This will help you advance your $ goals as well as reinforce other frugal habits.  I've been FI for a long time and can well afford to use the dryer, but my wash is either hung outside or on the wood rack.  The only family in the neighborhood, far as I can tell.  But, they all still work...

Jeddy

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Re: Stopped using clothes dryer - $276 annual savings
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2015, 01:14:05 PM »
For the air-dryers out there: if your hung clothes get a little stiff and 'hard'/'scratchy' - use less detergent. If you normally use the 1st/2nd/3rd line on the detergent cap as your measuring stick, try half that when air-drying. I did that and the clothes are still clean, smell fresh/like detergent, but it completely eliminated the hardness/stiffness that came with air-drying. Plus, by using less, your detergent will last longer and cost you less per year.

Kernel Fielding

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Re: Stopped using clothes dryer - $276 annual savings
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2015, 02:35:33 PM »
For the air-dryers out there: if your hung clothes get a little stiff and 'hard'/'scratchy' - use less detergent. If you normally use the 1st/2nd/3rd line on the detergent cap as your measuring stick, try half that when air-drying. I did that and the clothes are still clean, smell fresh/like detergent, but it completely eliminated the hardness/stiffness that came with air-drying.

I had noticed sometimes my clothes were air-drying stiffer than when using the dryer. I'll try backing off on the detergent - thanks for this tip!

Retire-Canada

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Re: Stopped using clothes dryer - $276 annual savings
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2015, 02:55:46 PM »
I've been air-drying my jeans for a long time, based on the recommendation of the store I usually get them from. It does seem to extend their life.

You can stop washing jeans entirely until they are really stained. Just take the off and let them air out. If you are just wearing them for casual use they do not need frequent cleaning.

If you get a small stain they can be spot washed.

http://www.cbc.ca/newsblogs/yourcommunity/2014/05/dont-wash-your-jeans-says-ceo-of-levis.html

Jeddy

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Re: Stopped using clothes dryer - $276 annual savings
« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2015, 05:58:42 AM »
I've been air-drying my jeans for a long time, based on the recommendation of the store I usually get them from. It does seem to extend their life.

You can stop washing jeans entirely until they are really stained. Just take the off and let them air out. If you are just wearing them for casual use they do not need frequent cleaning.

If you get a small stain they can be spot washed.

http://www.cbc.ca/newsblogs/yourcommunity/2014/05/dont-wash-your-jeans-says-ceo-of-levis.html

Or be like this kid and don't wash them for over a year! :)

http://abcnews.go.com/US/canadian-student-josh-le-year-washing-jeans/story?id=12722442&singlePage=true


banjarian

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Re: Stopped using clothes dryer - $276 annual savings
« Reply #9 on: June 09, 2015, 08:52:49 AM »
Not washing jeans makes me cringe. Don't get me wrong, I wear them a number of times before they're washed, but - ew.

I find it pretty telling that the linked article about not washing jeans was very gender-divided on whether or not it's okay not to wash your jeans, haha. Don't they just smell... unladylike? ... after a while? Maybe guys don't have the same problem? Sorry, way TMI maybe, but I can't really wrap my mind around not washing my jeans. And they really lose their shape, too.

Daleth

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Re: Stopped using clothes dryer - $276 annual savings
« Reply #10 on: June 09, 2015, 08:59:46 AM »
As a new (~1 year) homeowner and long-time apartment dweller, I've never really been exposed to the actual energy cost of operating washer/dryer laundry machines. A few months ago, though, I decided to buy a couple of clothes drying racks, for about $20/each, and start hanging up my laundry to dry, rather than running multiple loads through the dryer every weekend.

A few months into this experiment, I've carefully reviewed my electricity bill. With no other major changes (we're not big power users, really) we're now saving about $23/month, just based on that change! So I've already earned back the cost of the racks I bought, and now I'm on track to be saving $276 a year.

Finding $200 here, $300 there is really making it easier to pay off my student loans, mortgage, etc. early. Every time I find a little bit of savings like this, I adjust my monthly debt payments accordingly.

Just to play the devil's advocate here, isn't it faster to just toss the clothes from the washer into the dryer next to it? If you do five loads a week and save 10 minutes each time by using the dryer, that's almost an hour a week, totaling a bit more than 43 hours a year. I would think you could earn a lot more than $276 by working 43 extra hours a year, either at a side gig or at your job if you're paid hourly. Or you could earn it by working, say, 20 hours and then having 23 spare hours to do what you enjoy.

Blonde Lawyer

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Re: Stopped using clothes dryer - $276 annual savings
« Reply #11 on: June 09, 2015, 09:01:16 AM »
Not to rain on your parade but are you sure the difference in your electric bill isn't also due to the change in seasons? I know mine has gone down due to it being lighter out longer and not running our central heat or AC during this mild time.

Jeddy

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Re: Stopped using clothes dryer - $276 annual savings
« Reply #12 on: June 09, 2015, 12:00:11 PM »
Not to rain on your parade but are you sure the difference in your electric bill isn't also due to the change in seasons? I know mine has gone down due to it being lighter out longer and not running our central heat or AC during this mild time.

This was my experience as well - we went from using the dryer to air drying and saved less than $2.00 (which, at that low of a dollar amount, could be related to anything at all, not necessarily the dryer) - with that said, we were also only doing two loads per week so folks doing 5+ loads per week may see additional benefits. I know most dryers are quite efficient and don't use that much energy (I think we had a rough calculation of around $0.50 per hour of use)

For us, the cost savings just wasn't worth not having clothes/pillowcases/sheets available immediately, so now I do a mix of air drying and using the dryer - air drying jeans when washed, dry-fit clothes, most 'nicer' clothes (dresses, polos, button-ups, etc.) and utilizing the clothes dryer for the rest (pillowcases, sheets, socks, tee-shirts, etc.)


banjarian

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Re: Stopped using clothes dryer - $276 annual savings
« Reply #13 on: June 09, 2015, 04:15:27 PM »
Not to rain on your parade but are you sure the difference in your electric bill isn't also due to the change in seasons? I know mine has gone down due to it being lighter out longer and not running our central heat or AC during this mild time.
Nope - comparing fall months with similar amounts of light to spring months in which I stopped using the dryer, I still see the savings. And heat is gas, which I'm not counting - I'm just looking at electric portion of the bill.

banjarian

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Re: Stopped using clothes dryer - $276 annual savings
« Reply #14 on: June 09, 2015, 04:23:10 PM »
As a new (~1 year) homeowner and long-time apartment dweller, I've never really been exposed to the actual energy cost of operating washer/dryer laundry machines. A few months ago, though, I decided to buy a couple of clothes drying racks, for about $20/each, and start hanging up my laundry to dry, rather than running multiple loads through the dryer every weekend.

A few months into this experiment, I've carefully reviewed my electricity bill. With no other major changes (we're not big power users, really) we're now saving about $23/month, just based on that change! So I've already earned back the cost of the racks I bought, and now I'm on track to be saving $276 a year.

Finding $200 here, $300 there is really making it easier to pay off my student loans, mortgage, etc. early. Every time I find a little bit of savings like this, I adjust my monthly debt payments accordingly.

Just to play the devil's advocate here, isn't it faster to just toss the clothes from the washer into the dryer next to it? If you do five loads a week and save 10 minutes each time by using the dryer, that's almost an hour a week, totaling a bit more than 43 hours a year. I would think you could earn a lot more than $276 by working 43 extra hours a year, either at a side gig or at your job if you're paid hourly. Or you could earn it by working, say, 20 hours and then having 23 spare hours to do what you enjoy.

That'd be a great point, if spending time hanging clothes (~5 minutes a load, maybe) was preventing me from putting in more hours at work, but it's not.

dess1313

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Re: Stopped using clothes dryer - $276 annual savings
« Reply #15 on: June 10, 2015, 03:52:12 PM »
i have exposed floor joints in my basements, so i got 2 bike hooks, and hung an old handle from a broom on them and made my own clothes rack downstairs i hang my stuff on.  then it already has the hanger in it and is easy to transfer back up stairs.  It worked so well i made a 2nd one and a 3rd one for my scuba gear over the floor drain.   It also saved me a lot of floor space which is at a premium, and its all above my washer/dryer which is unused vertical space anyways

I had not heard of not drying bluejeans to extend their life, but i know for sure it makes a HUGE difference on my tshirts and other more delicate fabrics.  I only dry towels, heavy clothing, sheets, and jeans.  The house easily accumulates humidity so its hard to air dry the rest without having the place dripping since my dehumidifier died

Bajadoc

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Re: Stopped using clothes dryer - $276 annual savings
« Reply #16 on: June 10, 2015, 05:28:56 PM »
My wife likes to do the laundry. If I was to suggest she stop using the dryer she would kill me. Good idea for others though.