The cost of living crisis is forcing several UK households to cut back on the use of gas and electricity, meaning drying clothes is becoming harder than ever. With many avoiding using the tumble dryer as well as turning the heating down or off completely, drying laundry can seem like an impossible task. Chris Michael, Managing Director of Meaco, the UK’s leading air purification specialist, has shared advice on preventing damp while switching off the heating and drying washing indoors.
The expert said: “When it comes to drying washing, it’s natural that people will hang wet washing on clothes racks to dry indoors instead of using tumble dryers, which are one of the most energy-intensive devices in the home.
“This will be fine at first, but over the coming weeks the wet washing will take longer and longer to dry as we start to close our windows to keep precious heat in and the moisture content in the air increases from the clothes that we have been drying over time.
“This build-up of moisture will mean that a load of washing that might have taken a few hours to dry in September will take a couple of days in October, and up to four or five days in November and December.
“This is not only frustrating, but it is also introducing a hidden menace to the home: damp. Extra moisture in the air is not visible but it will be there – the damp from the clothes must go somewhere – and in time, problems such as mould growth, condensation and musty smells will become apparent, causing damage to wallpaper, carpets, furniture and windowsills.”
5. Consider investing in an energy efficient dehumidifier
The expert explained: “While all the above can help dry clothes indoors, the only way to fully remove moisture without opening windows and turning the heating right up is to use a dehumidifier, and there are ways to manage this extra cost too.
“Dehumidifiers reduce the level of humidity by sucking in air from the room, removing the moisture, and then blowing the warm, dry air back out into the room again. This can help to remove the ‘damp chill’ factor in the air, so the central heating could run at a lower temperature or even be switched off.
“Dehumidifiers are effective at drying washing indoors and use considerably less electricity than tumble dryers. They can cost as little as 8p per hour to run. Look for dehumidifiers that have a dedicated laundry mode where the machine runs up to six hours before switching itself off to save energy.
“For further energy savings, look for models which use a humidistat, which means the dehumidifier switches itself off when the target humidity is reached, only switching on again if it detects an increase in humidity.”
These nifty devices help to dry your laundry and prevent condensation from forming on the windows and mould from growing on the walls, clothes and furniture.
When purchasing one, Britons can look for one with a HEPA filter, which will help to purify the air too.
Chris noted: “Investing in an energy efficient dehumidifier over other similar products on the market can save homeowners up to nearly £150 cheaper a year to run.
“By taking these tips on board, homeowners can adapt during the cost-of-living crisis to effectively dry washing indoors whilst keeping health and home protected from damp.”