Air-drying your clothes: How much money does it really save?

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If you like to save money, you know your monthly utility bill is a prime target for reducing your budget.

We’ve talked for years here on Clark.com about things like low-flow shower heads and toilets, energy efficient bulbs and many other ways to save a buck on your electric or water bill.

But here’s one idea we haven’t discussed yet…

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Let’s put air drying your laundry to the test

Taken together, your washer and dryer are the third biggest consumers of energy in your home.

They use about 13% of your home’s total energy on average, behind heating and cooling (47%) and your water heater (14%), according to this infographic from VisualCapitalist.com:

infographic

I wanted to see how much I’m spending a year on electricity for my clothes dryer. So I went to EnergyStar.gov and used their appliance energy calculator.

appliance energy calculator

With young children, I tend to use my dryer three times a week on average — once each on Saturday and Sunday and another time during the week.

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I run it for about one hour at a time and pay a utility rate of 11 cents per kWh in my state.

That means my dryer uses 217.62 kWh over the course of a year and cost me $23.94 in electricity over a 12-month period. I don’t use fabric softener dryer sheets so I don’t have added expense there, but that’s something else to factor into the equation if you do.

So $23.94 was the number to beat for me.

Could I find a way to dry my laundry that’s cheaper than $23.94? I’m happy to report the answer is yes!

Last month at Aldi, I found a tripod clothes dryer for $12.99, so I bought one. A few weeks later, I even saw the product on markdown for $9.09!

Here’s what it looks like when it’s in service:

aldi tripod clothes dryer

It can hold up to 36 garment on three arms. Each arm bears 11 pounds of weight — although that’s not much of an issue if you have an HE washer and run it on the high spin cycle to remove most of the water from the clothing.

So far, I’m loving it. This device already will pay for itself in energy savings in about half a year for me. And because I live in a climate where there’s not much cold, I expect to use this at least six months out of the year.

After that, I’ll just be saving money hand over fist each time I use my Aldi tripod clothes dryer!

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