Ever since we moved to this apartment last summer, our electric bill has been much higher than at our old place. At the old apartment, we were on the third floor and had lots of sunshine. We also had no washer/dryer, so we were paying $1.25 per machine to do laundry. We stretched out our laundry-doing as much as we could and hung clothes to dry whenever it was reasonable (and sometimes when it wasn’t, but when I was out of quarters!).
In this terrace-level (ok, so halfway in the ground) apartment, we have minimal daylight. It’s sort of like a cave. We have a lamp on most of the time. The living room used to have CFL bulbs, but I switched them to the bright “daylight” bulbs to help with my sanity.
Our washing machine is a high-efficiency front-loader and I like to think it helps keep costs down, but I’m not sure. Our dryer seems pretty old and I don’t know how efficient it actually is.
I looked at my electric bill to determine the kwh rate, and it looks to be around 12 cents. Using this calculator, it appears that it costs roughly $0.50 per load to dry.
In the fall, our kwh rate will go to a discounted rate (I’m not exactly sure what it will be) because we are all-electric. So at that time, it will also cost less to run the dryer.
For one load, $0.50 doesn’t sound like much but when I think about how many loads I put through the machine in a week I can see how it would add up. It’s usually 8-12 loads per week, depending on what needs washed (and including diapers).
That’s $4-6 per week to use the dryer, or $208-$312 per year at the full rate.
I think that’s enough money that it would be reasonable to start line-drying some of our clothes once again. I have two free-standing drying racks that I can set up in my apartment. No outside locations are suitable for me.
I don’t like the crunchy feel that you can sometimes get when line-drying clothes, so I could put things in the dryer for just a few minutes to take much of the dampness off, and then hang them from there.
Further, I usually add the “extra spin” to my washing machine cycle to hopefully spin out as much moisture as I can.
I hope we can start to enjoy a lower electric bill because really, there are better things we can do with our money.
How much would you have to save to line-dry a load of clothes? Is the inconvenience of it worth it to you?