Saving Stuff

How to dry clothes without a dryer

Published: 17 October 2010

As winter approaches and the weather turns colder it can be quite challenging getting your clothes dry outside and most people will begin to make use of a tumble dryer.  As I'm sure you can imagine using a dryer several times a week will begin to have an impact on your monthly energy bills, but there is another way.

Cat sunning himself, dry clothes without a dryer using free energy from the sunEven in the middle of winter, you still get quite a few days where the sun shines.  I'm sure we can all remember those cold frosty mornings bathed in brilliant sunlight where everything seems so fresh and crisp.  Well there's warmth there too believe it or not. Have you ever observed the cat curled up on the windowsill on mornings such as these?  She knows best; you can always trust the cat to seek out all the warm spots in a house.
 
Many people take to shutting the blinds and closing the curtains during the winter because let's face it, there are quite a few dull and miserable days to be had and no one really wants to look at an overcast sky when itís pouring down with rain outside.  However, when those curtains are drawn and the sun does shine you are missing out on some potential free energy.  Yes, that's FREE energy and it can be used to heat your home and dry your clothes.  

Think about how a greenhouse works and how warm they are inside even in the winter when it is really cold.  If you apply the same logic to your home and make sure the maximum amount of sunlight can get in through your windows (which should ideally be double glazed), then the room will soon begin to warm up with the mid-day sun without the need to turn the heating on.  

You can save money on your winter fuel bill and more importantly the amount of energy your home consumes over the winter months is reduced.  Another bonus is that the room is much brighter and inviting too. Try experimenting with the furniture by using dark and light surfaces to absorb and reflect this free energy.

Drying clothes using the sun

Now that your south facing room is lovely and warm get hold of one of those collapsible clothes dryers and position it in front of the window.  You can then hang a few light items of clothing and these will quickly dry in the warm sunlight.  It would probably be a good idea though to open a small gap in the window so that the room doesn't become damp.  After some experimentation you'll find the right balance of allowing in fresh air without loosing valuable heat.