Don't use your clothes dryer!!! :-)

Discussion in 'DIY / Self Sufficiency' started by Trent Hardy, Jan 19, 2015.

  1. Trent Hardy

    Trent Hardy Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 30, 2014
    Newfoundland, Ca
    Hey all,

    Just thought I'd pass this along for anyone who's interested.

    In the summertime we pretty much only dry clothes on the line outside, but in the winter we've always relied on a clothes dryer.

    So I know this is not a new idea or anything, but this year, since our woodstove is in the basement, and because we're finally getting our basement to the point where we can move around down there, we decided to hang a couple of clothes lines and see if it would be useful to do so.

    At first we figured it would be one of these things where you maybe get a couple loads dry in the space of a week. No major savings, but something to play around with at least. Honestly I didn't think it would have that much of an impact on our electrical bill.

    We've been doing it through the month of November and December so far, and the impact it has had on our electrical usage is pretty nuts. We've been living in this house for 4 years now and haven't changed our habits all that much, so I've got a pretty good handle on our electrical use.

    In November, if we're not burning wood, we typically use around 2500-2600kWh of electricity. Last year we did burn wood for heating and managed to get it down to ~2250kWh. This year in November, we again started burning wood for heat, but also started hanging our clothes in the basement. Electrical usage in November was 1252kWh

    In December - a month where we have in the past used in the range of 3000kWh, our electrical use was ~1600 kWh.

    I'm more than happy to admit that a portion of this may be more related to environmental factors (i.e.: weather) as well as other changes in practice, but that is still a pretty huge decrease in electrical consumption. A rough estimate puts our electrical savings at ~2400kWh, which at our current rate here in Newfoundland is ~ $289.

    As far as turn around on drying clothes, we haven't had a problem. We can pretty much have 2 washer loads hanging at a time and they dry within 24 hours tops.

    Anyways, that's about it. Hope this is useful information to anyone reading.
     
  2. wyoDreamer

    wyoDreamer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I like the way you broke this down and presented your facts. It is interesting to see how much you have saved.

    What kind of wood stove do you have?
     
  3. Trent Hardy

    Trent Hardy Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 30, 2014
    Newfoundland, Ca
    I'm really gad you asked me that question!!! Until now I just kind of figured that a wood stove was a wood stove, was a wood stove, but then in trying to answer your question I googled it and came up with all these different types!! Now I've gotta sit down and do a bit of reading :).

    But to answer your question, guess you'd say it's a box type stove with a glass door, probably suitable to heat a 1000 square foot area. It's relatively new, so has the EPA rating on it etc.

    But yeah, getting back to the original point I was really surprised just how much electricity we have been using to dry our clothes
     
  4. matt44644

    matt44644 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That seems like a lot of electricity for just a clothes dryer.
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. Trent Hardy

    Trent Hardy Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 30, 2014
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    I agree, it does seem like a lot.

    Research I've done on the internet doesn't imply that much of a saving, but it is pretty much the only major change we've made since last winter, and while the weather has been somewhat warmer this year, it's not that much different from previous years (excluding last winter which was REALLY cold).

    I've been on a bit of a kick monitoring our daily electrical use, and within the past week or so, our daily use ranged around 57kWh. However the other day we did a few loads of laundry in the dryer, and for that day use got up to 69kWh

    I guess it's all relative to the amount of laundry that gets done in a given house. For example, we've go these 2 big hairy dogs that sleep in the bed with us, so we end up doing a LOT of laundry :).

    If you're skeptical regarding what I've said, and you've got the space, I'd encourage you to try it out and see what kind of a difference it makes. I'd actually love to have some feed back on this, as there may be something I'm not accounting for...
     
  6. matt44644

    matt44644 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Edited to remove comment.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2015
  7. Trent Hardy

    Trent Hardy Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 30, 2014
    Newfoundland, Ca
    Quote:
    No, I'm sorry, but you're off topic here. The point isn't how much electricity my family is still using - the only thing I can say with regards to it being higher than you would expect is "we're working on it" :).

    The point is that without having made any other significant changes since last winter our electrical use in the past few months has seen a significant reduction. And this is in correlation to a decrease in the number of loads of clothes we dry using the clothes dryer.

    The type of home heating we use is, in this case, irrelevant - for all you know we may be running hot water out of our tap 24/7, but as long as we're doing it consistently who cares, right? :). But just to answer your question, we have electric baseboards as well as a wood stove. I am curious about my 70 year old neighbor having a grow op though - maybe that's why he always has a smile on his face :)

    The reason I posted this in the first place is I am interested in reducing our home electrical costs, and assume that people on this type of a forum are like-minded. Unfortunately, any research I've done on the topic remains somewhat vague. For example, before writing this I googled "How much electricity does a clothes dryer use per load", and the answers I got ranged anywhere from 1.8kWh per load to as much as 5kWh. Back in November, I figured that the best way to find out for sure was to try it out.

    The numbers I've presented in the original post are what we've seen so far, but we're one family with one set of habits. I'm more than happy to admit there are a number of variables which may have accounted for the numbers presented above (for example, weather, other smaller changes we've made to our house, etc), but, my hope is that others will read it and maybe get it into their heads to try, and (hopefully) provide me with some feed back.

    Again, if you don't believe the numbers I originally posted, please feel free to give it a try, I'd love to hear if you notice any significant change.
     
  8. matt44644

    matt44644 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sorry,
     
  9. AnnieE

    AnnieE Out Of The Brooder

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    I accidentally broke my dryer 2 1/2 yrs ago and havent replaced it. I have multiple clotheslines in the basement for drying. My basement is unheated though, so some of the heavier items might take 2 days to dry. I did not see a significant drop in electrical usage, but i only did about two loads a week-week and a half.
     

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