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I’m Sierra. I live in the Boston area with my family.

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My New High Efficiency Clothes Dryer

by Sierra on April 22, 2010 · 7 comments

in green living

We have a fairly new HE washing machine. For values of ‘new’ that are almost 5 years old. It still seems like just yesterday that the 70s vintage washer we inherited choked on a load of diapers and ground to a permanent halt, prompting us to purchase a new one.

I digress. The point is that the dryer that came with this house is getting into its teenage years and not working so well. Lately I’ve had to run a regular load of clothes on the hottest setting for the longest time twice to get ‘em dry. I’ve tried cleaning it out and making sure it’s well vented and all the parts are hooked up properly. Maybe there’s a magic dryer-saving hack you’ll tell me about in the comments.

In the meantime, I’ve been idly toying with the idea of getting a new high-efficiency dryer. Would save on utilities, etc. etc. Last week, I got this super-high-efficiency model. It uses no electricity whatsoever.

I grew up hanging all our laundry on the line. In Tucson. I always figured New England was the Wrong Climate for this activity. But if Katy Wolk-Stanley can do it in Portland, I figure I can take a shot at it here.

So far the system that seems to work is to put everything big – adult shirts and pants, towels, sheets, etc. – on the drying rack and machine dry the ten thousand baby socks that find their way into just about every load I wash. So I’m still using the electric dryer, but so, so much less.

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  • GimliGirl

    Even up here in Canada we can dry clothes out on the line; my entire neighbourhood seems to have a clothes line except for me! I have to make do with a small stand-alone for now, but it's great. :) Gets the job done, as long as the wind doesn't knock it over.

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  • Sarah

    I managed without a dryer for most of a year, starting in December, so it's definitely possible. We dried inside most of the time, and had three large racks that, all together, let us hang two loads of laundry. The biggest hurdle we found was that we had to stay on top of laundry: when you can only do one or two loads a time and you have to wait 24-48 hours for each one dry before you can do the next one, letting laundry pile up is a recipe for, well, drying your underwear with a hairdryer, actually. And I'm told that's not very green!

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  • katywolkstanley

    My electric bill that just came had us using 428 kWh versus 728 for the same period last year. I credit this to having a new (to me) washing machine (not fancy, but still better than what we had) and hanging almost all of our laundry to dry.

    And that's $54.42 versus $83.92. Imagine how low it would be if I didn't pay the premium for “Renewable Power!”

    -Katy Wolk-Stanley
    “Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without”

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  • http://snooter.wordpress.com Asha

    My dryer just pooped out too, so I've been hanging things to dry! I love it!

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  • Nancy from Mass

    My dryer is having the same problem. It doesn't matter much though because as soon as it's warm enough, we hang all loads on the clothesline (and I live in Massachusetts). The only time we use our dryer is during the winter or if it rains for 5 days and we are running out of laundry to wear! Line dried (or rack dried) just smells so much better and even feels better against your skin. :)

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  • Nancy from Mass

    My dryer is having the same problem. It doesn't matter much though because as soon as it's warm enough, we hang all loads on the clothesline (and I live in Massachusetts). The only time we use our dryer is during the winter or if it rains for 5 days and we are running out of laundry to wear! Line dried (or rack dried) just smells so much better and even feels better against your skin. :)

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  • http://rottenfruit.livejournal.com/ Your Name

    I’ve been managing in Canada with no dryer for a few years. We dry things indoors in the winter. Even all those cloth diapers.

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