Joanna hates using the clothes dryer

Let’s assume that our electric clothes dryer draws 3,000 watts. Running the dryer for just 2 hours on each of 180 days over the course of a year would require more than 1000 kWh of power. One kWh of electricity costs us just over $0.10;  so, over the course of that year, we would save around $100 by not using the dryer. At this rate of consumption just over one million families making a similar decision could conserve the amount of power (1.21 gigawatts) required to power Emmett Brown’s DeLorean in Back to the Future.

For us, however, it’s not as much about the $100 as it is about conserving, energy and protecting our environment.

Our local Amish community does all its clothes drying out-of-doors, and hardware stores carry a vast array of line pulleys, wire, spacers, tensioners, and turnbuckles. Our clothesline is perhaps 75 feet long and runs from a second floor window to an obliging chestnut tree. Joanna enjoys being able to hang laundry in the dead of winter without having to walk outside into the snow and ice, and without freezing her fingers and hands.

One frustration has been that when the weather is fine for clothes drying (clear skies, light breezes, and dry weather) there is sometimes little water in the spring for the washing of clothes; when there has been plenty of water in the spring for the washing of clothes, it is either raining or has been raining and isn’t fine for the drying of clothes. We try to plan ahead and have plenty of drying racks and places around the house to hang damp laundry.

It’s raining (again) today. This image was taken yesterday when the weather presented an opportunity to dry bed linens and towels.

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