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What's cheaper running a tumble dryer or using radiators to dry clothes?
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# 1
Roger Moore 007
Old 15-11-2011, 7:11 PM
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Default What's cheaper running a tumble dryer or using radiators to dry clothes?

A few months ago our tumble dryer packed up, during the summer it was fine as we could just dry clothes on the washing line, now that it's winter we can't really do that.

At present I'm not sure whether to buy another cheap second-hand tumbled dryer or to continue to use the radiators in the house to dry clothes. Does anyone have a rough idea which is the cheaper option?

Cheers
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# 2
jalexa
Old 15-11-2011, 7:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Moore 007 View Post
Does anyone have a rough idea which is the cheaper option?
I'm not even going to answer your direct question because one method results in water vapour inside the house and one doesn't.

Even in winter, as long as there is a breeze, clothes will get drier on a line.
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# 3
grizzly1911
Old 15-11-2011, 7:29 PM
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I am sure there are many smarter than me that can do the maths bit.

Practically putting wet clothes on the radiator will cost in fuel but will also cause problems from a condensation point of view. this will also add to the feeling of cold/dampness. It can also lead to paint damage & corrosion of the radiator.

Luckily we use a clothes horse in the airing cupboard which holds one load. We also use another one in the spare bedroom if needed. This adds to condensation but nowhere near the same amount per given period and is therefore less noticeable.

We do have a half size TD but it gets used probably 10 times a year for panic items, undies or for towels if the weather is really bad and we are running out of space.
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# 4
Roger Moore 007
Old 15-11-2011, 7:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jalexa View Post
I'm not even going to answer your direct question because one method results in water vapour inside the house and one doesn't.

Even in winter, as long as there is a breeze, clothes will get drier on a line.
The only problem with drying the clothes outside is that I can't always rush to bring them in if it starts to rain.

I'm aware that covering radiators with clothes restricts the efficiency of the radiators, but if it's cheaper than running a tumble dryer I will continue to do it.
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# 5
chris1973
Old 15-11-2011, 8:12 PM
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The previous tenants in my flat used to dry washing on the radiators, it contributed to a massive mould problem which, when they moved out, cost them their deposit, so in their case, it cost them 495 - which will cover quite a bit of electricity.

Mould doesn't make discrimination between rented and owned properties, so even if you dont rent from a LL and own your own home, the remedial work in time will probably end up quite expensive.

If you get a decent rate on your Electricity, a 2.2KW (2000 watt heater + 200W Motor) tumble dryer will cost around 26p per hour to run, probably slightly less as the element will cycle on/off once the air in the drum is at the right temperature.
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Last edited by chris1973; 15-11-2011 at 8:15 PM.
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# 6
candygirl
Old 15-11-2011, 8:15 PM
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My clothes never dry outside in Winter
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# 7
bengasman
Old 15-11-2011, 8:58 PM
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Radiators are to heat the house, not to dry clothes on; sooner or later it will cause mildew on fabric and paper and usually in places that are not quite visible like behind a painting for a sideboard.
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# 8
Roger Moore 007
Old 15-11-2011, 9:16 PM
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The only thing I would say is that we live in a barn conversion and the biggest radiator in the house is next to a bare brick wall so there's no worry about it damaging the paintwork. Clothes seem to dry in around an hour and they are never wringing wet when we put the clothes on the radiator, when the tumble dryer was working we would generally use it every day so it probably cost us quite a lot in electricity.
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# 9
borntorun75
Old 15-11-2011, 9:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grizzly1911 View Post

[snip]
Luckily we use a clothes horse in the airing cupboard which holds one load. We also use another one in the spare bedroom if needed. This adds to condensation but nowhere near the same amount per given period and is therefore less noticeable.
[/snip]
We use a clothes horse exclusively nowadays. I would say it makes a lot more sense than putting wet/moist clothes directly onto the radiator. Using the clothes horse there is nowhere near the condensation problems and of course you're letting the radiators to do the job their supposed to do - warming up the room.

We load up a full clothes horse in the evening and by the following morning things are pretty much completely dried. Items like denim or heavy materials might take a bit longer, but it hardly makes the difference. Certainly if we can time it so that things are on the horse overnight, we never feel as if we are 'waiting' for things to dry.

In terms of positioning, we put the clothes horse a bit of a way in front of one of the lesser used radiators in our kitchen. So, any time the radiator is on, you're getting that warmth all around and through the clothes horse.

(It helps just turning the clothes around on the horse too after a few hours - just so that the downward facing sides of the clothes get flipped over).

We did used to have a tumble dryer in the house, but it got consigned to the garage, making way for a second fridge. We've not used the dryer since and to be honest we've not missed it a moment.

My advice is to get a clothes horse, or a couple if you need to. I think you'd be surprised how little you would miss a dryer if you manage to time things right and get your washing on the horse overnight.
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# 10
lilac_lady
Old 15-11-2011, 9:29 PM
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I use the airers that clip onto the radiators but don't put the clothes directly on to them.

I tumble dry all the smaller, lighter items when there's a backlog of damp washing.
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# 11
Bella56
Old 16-11-2011, 7:16 PM
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I have a tumble drier but now dry laundry on racks in the bathroom overnight, with our new dehumidifier on. It takes a bit over 8 hours and we've used an electricity monitor to see how much it costs (13.4 pence, versus 62p for 2 hours in tumble drier).

But then again I hate mould so am not a fan of drying indoors normally. Our bathroom is small and we keep the door closed so the humid air doesn't escape.
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# 12
Lagopus
Old 16-11-2011, 7:27 PM
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I can vouch for a dehumidifier - they work really well at drying clothes, they never get too dry and difficult to iron like they can in a tumble drier. We used to dry all our clothes on airers and radiators and the house got really damp, with the dehumidifier on its not a problem. We do use the tumble drier occasionally in really wet weather.
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# 13
linnett
Old 07-02-2012, 5:43 PM
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I have always preferred to dry my washing outside. However, this is not always possible and on those occasions happily dried my washing indoors on an airer.

Initially, I had the airer in our newly decorated spare bedroom where we discovered in the corner on the ceiling black mould appearing. I then moved it to the hall which is in the middle of the house and my husband went up to the loft to carry out some wiring and upon lifting up the newly installed boarding found it was saturated. He told me that the water out of the washing has to go somewhere!!!

We believe that this problem has been made worse by the fact that very recently my husband has put top up insulation in the loft which obviously has decreased our fuel bills considerably but will have added to the condensation caused by drying washing indoors.

Having always been against having a tumble dryer I have now ordered one as I have discovered that there is a new type which are very cheap to run. When taking into consideration how much harder the boiler has to work when drying washing indoors to cope with the damp air I am hoping that this new dryer will make little or no difference to our fuel bills.

Furthermore, it will also avoid all the extra time and money involved in redecorating and replacing items damaged by black mould and condensation.

I never knew so much about condensation, particularly in lofts until I recently researched it following the discovery of our wet loft.
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# 14
-VivVoss-
Old 07-02-2012, 5:48 PM
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Get a new tumble dryer, will be better for you in the long run, and will mean your not using so much on the energy front!
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# 15
deshepherd
Old 08-02-2012, 10:53 AM
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Also remember that a tumble dryer (especially a condensing one which isn't pumping hot air out of the window) will also as a side-effect heat up the room its in which may cause a reduction in heating costs (same effect as the way its claimed that energy saving light bulbs don't save as much energy as you might think as we now have to use more heating to compensate for all the "wasted" energy that incandescant bulbs put out as heat instead of light!)
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# 16
undaunted
Old 08-02-2012, 3:03 PM
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Your radiators will presumably be on anyway whilst a tumble drier obviously costs money to run in addition (and they are not that cheap to run). I'd have thought the radiator was therefore obviously the cheaper option if that is your primary concern even if it isn't necessarily the best option in other ways. As already said airers can be purchased fairly cheaply if you're that worried about the enamel or wall paper.

You can use this calculator to estimate a specific tumble driers costs if you know it's consumption etc
http://www.ukpower.co.uk/tools/runni...s_electricity/

Alternatively according to an Npower guide an average tumble drier will typically use about 3-4 kw per hour so if you now multiply that by whatever rate you are billed at you'll get a rough hourly costing for a tumble drier http://www.npower.com/idc/groups/wcm...cms_006124.pdf

Last edited by undaunted; 08-02-2012 at 3:09 PM.
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# 17
grahamc2003
Old 08-02-2012, 5:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by undaunted View Post
Alternatively according to an Npower guide an average tumble drier will typically use about 3-4 kw per hour so if you now multiply that by whatever rate you are billed at you'll get a rough hourly costing for a tumble drier http://www.npower.com/idc/groups/wcm...cms_006124.pdf
Units are kW for power (the rate of use of energy) and kWh for energy - a power of 2kW on for 1hr will use 2kWh of energy (i.e. two 'units').

Having said that, I'm not sure what npower is saying - is the (max)power of a tumble drier 3-4kW, or are they saying they use 3-4kWh per hour? Neither seem right to me.

I've measured the use of my tumble drier (aaa, condensing, inside so I get the heating benefit) and to my surprise, it used 1.1kWh, for a full load, slightly dried on the line. I measured it again (with an accurate plug-in meter, not an inaccurate Owl!) and this time it used 1.2kWh, with washing straight out the machine after a high spin. I expected much more. I'll measure it again since those readings seem extremely low to me.

As to drying on a horse/radiator/airing cupboard - well each one of those puts exactly the same amount of water in the air. If the damp air then finds it's way to something cooler, then there's a likelyhood of condensation, which can cause lots of problems - I certainly wouldn't do it in my house, which already is dampish in the cold weather (from baths/washing up/breathing etc). A damp room (say >70%rh) also costs more to heat, and doesn't feel as pleasant as a drier room (say at 50%rh) - the effect is subtle, but there's a noticable difference, so I run 2 dehumidifiers in the winter.

My advice to the op is to consider buying a decent condensing tumble drier, and put it somewhere where the heat it gives off is useful, if possible.
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