Monday, September 1, 2008
I was very happy that my new apartment came equipped with a washer and dryer. Really, social a person as I am, lugging clothes to a laundromat is not my idea of a fun way to spend a Saturday night.
So far, however, the dryer has only been turned on twice. And the plan is to avoid using it at all. Why? First, because it's unnecessary. A simple drying rack usually will do the trick. Might get a nicer one this winter, or two of them. My bedroom has big, south-facing patio doors, and thus is a perfect place for drying clothes (lots of free solar energy).
But this isn't all about being an environmentalist. I need to save money, too. If my dryer were fairly efficient and could do a load in 30 minutes, and if I did just 10 loads a month (factor in towels, sheets, kid's clothes, etc.), then using an average dryer would cost $30 a year, according to a calculator at this site. Not a huge sum, but every bit counts. Actually, it would cost more because my geriatric dryer takes an hour to do towels, and close to an hour for most clothes.
To be fair, drying racks can add to clutter in an apartment, and in small spaces, this can be a problem. But there are lots of options, from inexpensive floor models (available at most department stores) to fancier models, including some that hoist laundry up to the ceiling. Steve Maxwell pointed to this company in an article he wrote for the Toronto Star a couple years ago. I'll be including them in my research when I go shopping for a new rack this autumn. My existing one is bulky and has an inefficient design. Besides, sometimes a guy just needs a second laundry rack.