As the weather gets colder and wetter, the age old challenge of how best to dry laundry raises its head again. Tumble dry? In the current financial climate, we are terrified of putting our tumble driers on and seeing the electricity bill leap up. Air indoors? As outside temperatures drop, condensation and damp may already be a problem; adding the moisture from wet washing could make it a serious problem, leading to costly damp prevention measures. We take a look at different ways of drying your washing, their pros and cons, to help you make an informed choice.
Hardcore washing line users can breathe a sigh of relief when the autumn rain arrives as it provides an excuse to throw all of the washing into the dryer, making drying quicker and more convenient.
Tumble drying is by far the quickest method of drying laundry, it also requires the least amount of effort. However, at what price?
Other than the initial outlay for a tumble dryer, there is the additional energy consumption, too. This could add as much as £10 a month to your bills. And the cost implications don’t stop there: not all clothes can be tumble dried, so unless you are careful, you could end up ruining clothes too.
A common theme to all our drying methods is a risk of damp. If you are using a vented dryer, make sure that you have appropriate ventilation; quick fixes can include opening a window, or you can speak to a local handyman and get a vent installed.
TOP TIP: if you are buying a new tumble dryer, don’t buy the cheapest one. Check their energy ratings and the estimated time to dry, and cost per cycle to make sure that you get the best value.
The good old-fashioned clothes airer is a great way of drying clothes if it is too wet to do so outside, and if you want to avoid using (or don’t have) a tumble dryer. It is simple and cheap; for an “upgraded” experience, you can invest in a heated air dryer; there are plenty to choose from for a range of prices, and they are low cost to run (compared to a tumble dryer).
There are, of course, a few downsides to using a traditional airer. Aside from the fact that it will take a lot longer for your clothes to dry, airers don’t look particularly attractive and can take up a fair amount of room. And, of course, you have the potential damp issue: the moisture from your clothes will evaporate and could exacerbate existing damp problems.
Solving the problem
Whether you are tumble drying or air drying, a dehumidifier could help solve the issue of damp. Depending on the size of the space and extent of damp, dehumidifiers can be relatively low cost. If you notice excessive condensation, speak to a damp specialist to make sure there isn’t a more major problem somewhere along the line, and ask them to recommend an effective dehumidifier to meet your needs.