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Home and Garden

Energy Saving, Home and Garden

Why You Shouldn’t Dry Clothes On Your Radiator

Yet another wet day and your laundry pile is growing? Before you pile everything on to your radiators, here’s why you shouldn’t dry your clothes on your radiator.

It’s really important for us to save energy where we can. This is because the energy we use in our homes creates about a quarter of all carbon emissions from our homes. If we can cut our electricity and gas use, we cut our carbon emissions, helping to tackle climate change.

I am all about saving energy. And I want everyone else to be energy conscious too. Whilst big changes, like insulating your home, can make a big difference, I want to focus on the simple changes anyone can do, whether you own your home or not. For this series, I’m therefore focusing on the tips that don’t need any fancy equipment, nor do they require you to spend any money whatsoever. This is especially relevant as energy bills are expected to rise steeply in 2021.

So, my next energy saving tip is about drying clothes on your radiator. Specifically why you shouldn’t/

Why You Shouldn’t Dry Clothes On Your Radiator

Hanging wet clothes on your radiator makes your boiler work harder, to get your room to your desired temperature. This means it takes longer to heat your home. In turn, this uses more energy to heat your home and costs you more money.

Instead:

Why you shouldn't dry clothes on your radiator
Image c/o Visit Scotland

Use a clothes horse! Although perhaps not quite as literally as this photo of Shetland ponies actually wearing cardigans suggests…!

A clothes horse allows warm air to circulate freely around the room.  I know it’s not always easy. We live in a tiny house with barely any room for clothes horses.  Our tiny kitchen is rammed full of them, to the point where we struggle to get past them. Sometimes desperation does call for me to dry clothes on my radiators, but I try to keep it to the odd desperate occasion rather than an everyday thing. 

In our previous flat, we were lucky enough to have quite high ceilings. The flat even came with an original ceiling-mounted pulley for drying clothes.  It was amazing for drying clothes and sheets, and meant we didn’t need to dry our clothes on the radiator. If you’ve got high ceilings I cannot recommend them enough.  You can pick them up easily online from £12 (the cheaper ones come without the wooden slats for easy postage – you can then get wood cut to fit at your local wood merchants).  And they have a nice vintage look to them if you’re into that kind of thing.

Top Tips for Drying Clothes Indoors

If you don’t ventilate your home properly when drying clothes indoors, then you are building yourself up to have a variety of problems.

Not ventilating can cause dampness – where black mould grows on your walls or ceiling. The NHS says that this mould can trigger allergic reactions, such as sneezing, a runny nose, red eyes, and/or a skin rash. It can also exacerbate existing health conditions, such as asthma.

If you can, dry your clothes in a room where you can open a window and close the door on it, to allow the air to circulate freely. If that’s not possible, opening your windows every day for at least fifteen minutes helps fresh air to freely circulate, reducing the chance of dampness occuring.

How Your Washing Machine Can Help

While we’re on the subject of clothes and laundry, your washing machine can help you dry your clothes faster.  

You see, I had a recent revelation. My washing machine’s standard wash cycle spins my clothes at 1200 rpm, but its maximum spin is 1400 rpm.  Upon realising this (just the other week!),  after the cycle finishes, I set it to do a 1400 rpm spin to get the last drops of water out.  I’ve found this significantly reduces the time it takes to either tumble dry my clothes (I know, I know, but I use it sparingly). Or I dry them on my clothes horse. This reduces the chances of that nasty “took too long to dry” smell.  Which makes me very happy indeed, and reduces the likelihood of me opting to dry my clothes on the radiator.  It’s the little things in life!

If you enjoyed this then I also have a load of eco-friendly laundry tips right this way.

Energy Saving, Home and Garden

Why Closing Your Curtains Can Help Keep Your House Warmer

why closing your curtains helps keep your home warmer

Did you know that the simple act of closing your curtains (and opening them again) could keep your home warmer, and therefore save you energy and money? It’s true, read on!

A couple of weeks ago it was announced that some of the energy companies will be increasing energy prices by up to 10%.  I could rant all day about this, but I’ll save my rants. Instead, I will be more constructive and offer up another really easy energy saving tip, that will help save you money too.

Regular readers will know that something I’m really passionate about is saving energy.  It helps keep down your energy bills AND helps the environment at the same time.  

On average, electricity and gas use creates about a quarter of all carbon emissions from our homes. Cut our electricity and gas use, and we cut our carbon emissions, helping to tackle climate change.

Whilst you can save energy by making improvements to your home, I’ve been focusing on the tips anyone can do without spending any money. Whether you own your home or not.

Which brings me on why you should close your curtains to keep your home warm.

Why Should You Close Your Curtains?

why closing your curtains helps to keep your house warm

Closing your curtains (or blinds) at dusk is a really important task in keeping your home warm.

And I bet you’re saying “yup, I already do that anyway. What’s the big deal Wendy?”.  Well, you’d be surprised. It’s dark quite early on here in Edinburgh at this time of year.  On my journey home from work I lose count of the number of houses and flats I pass on the bus where the light is on, the TV is on, and the curtains are wide open, or the blinds up.  And yes, I admit I’m nosey and look inside people’s houses whilst sitting in traffic..!  Not that I’m judging, I’m just thinking about what a waste of energy it is!

The simple fact is closing your curtains at dusk helps stop cold draughts from penetrating. And it helps keep the heat in your home.  Even if you have double or triple glazing in your home and they are draught-proofed you can still lose heat through your windows. Therefore it’s a good habit to fall into doing.

Don’t Forget to Open The Curtains Again!

Obviously, open them again in the morning. Opening your curtains/blinds in the day lets in warming sunlight. This helps to heat your home passively.  Even on dull winter days, it’s still better to keep your curtains open to let in as much light as possible.

Can I Save Even More?

Closing your curtains at dusk is the easiest way to save energy.  If you want to save even more energy and don’t mind a bit of leg work and spending a little bit of money, then there are other options. Lining your curtains with thermal lining material is one of the best ways to keep heat from escaping from your windows.  It’s easy to buy thermal lining material by the metre online. There are also some cheap deals on eBay* with some lining material selling from just £1.50 a metre.

If you’re not handy with a needle or sewing machine and don’t want to pay to have them lined then don’t worry. Here’s a handy guide on how to line your curtains without having to sew.  Lining your curtains could save 10% on your bills, helping to offset that pesky energy price hike.