Monday, September 1, 2008

Drying off

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.


jennie said...

In the U.K., a few of the places I stayed had clothes-drying racks on pulleys that pulled drying clothes up and out of the way.

The most space-efficient use I saw for one of these was in a stairwell, in the space above where the stairs turned around: you could lower the rack to the level of the landing, load it up, then lift it into the dead ceiling space.

Of course, a lot of apartments don't have the ceiling height to make a ceiling rack any better an option than a floor rack, but in older apartments, or apartments with stairwells (or apartments inhabited by short people), you can get a lot of drying-space without sacrificing floorspace.

Craig Saunders said...

The link in the story is to a company that sells racks that can be hoisted up to the ceiling. Thought you might be interested in that one.