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Today's report about drying washing indoors - tumble dryer vs dehumidifier??

(19 Posts)
OrangeSunset Fri 02-Nov-12 19:28:55

BBC news reports today have referenced a report that drying washing indoors is can increase the risk of lung problems for asthma and hayfever sufferers..I had a suspicion it might not be great (lots of condensation on our windows in the morning...) but this evidence is making me think I need a new strategy.

So, we have a new-ish condensing tumble dryer - very good on the whole but does tend to shrink things, especially the kids stuff which means they grow out of it even more quickly grin. I'm also not sure how much it costs per load, but have the figure of 34p in my head.

So, would a better option be to hang the washing in the bathroom, open the window and shut the door, and run a dehumidifier in there?! It will be cold, as the heating goes off at 7pm (oil fired, v. expensive!) but the machine should reduce drying time and moisture in the house.

Any ideas of which option would be more economical on electricity? We probably do about 7-8 loads of washing a week, which would equal around £2.80 in dryer costs (if my estimate is correct).

crunchingautumnleaves Fri 02-Nov-12 20:49:34

Depends on wattage of dehumidifier. Divide the wattage by 1000 to get the kWh, then multiply by how long you'd use it for. For example, ours is just under 200 watts. So 0.2kWh x 10 hours (an example, I haven't timed how long it takes to dry the clothes) is 2kWh. You should find on your bill how much the electrucit company charge per kWh. Eg if you're charged say 15p per kWh then it would cost 30p to use dehumidifier for 10hours.

Hopefully others will be able to help more with how long the drying takes.

Leave windows closed though otherwise the dehumidifier is working at dealing with the cold damp night air too. And a warmer room will dry your laundry more quickly.

MajesticWhine Fri 02-Nov-12 20:56:00

I saw that news report too. I do most of my drying by hanging it inside - thought I was doing the right thing by not always using the tumble dryer. Seems a bit counter-productive to use a dehumidifier.

treadonthecracks Fri 02-Nov-12 21:09:23

We have a dehumidifier and it really helps with drying the washing. I have always assumed the tumble dryer would cost a fortune for the amount of washing I do.

CMOTDibbler Fri 02-Nov-12 21:15:47

I use a dehumidifier (windows and doors shut to that room), and you can dry several loads at once, inc delicates/wool, and drying things on hangers means they don't need ironing.
Towels and sheets go in the tumble drier.

steppemum Fri 02-Nov-12 21:58:18

I was having a converstaion about htis with my friend today, as her house is damp.
How much did your dehumidifier cost CMOT? and soes it really work in terms of keeping rest of the house damp free?

Would it work do you think in eg a cold conservatory?

PigletJohn Sat 03-Nov-12 13:31:45

A modern tumble-drier uses about 60p worth of electricity to dry a full load of cotton, and correspondingly less for smaller loads or lighter synthetics. Of course they come out softer and less creased than off radiators, and free of mould and cooking smells.

To me it seems crazy to disfigure your house with heaps of washing that fill it with condensation, damp and mould.

treadonthecracks Sat 03-Nov-12 13:32:54

Our was about £105, I think it works for the room that it's in.

We have an old, damp house and it has certainly helped us.

YoungJoseph Sat 03-Nov-12 13:45:21

We have a dehumidifier and find it much more useful than a tumble drier, sometimes the house is damp in the cold just from bodies, steam from dishwasher, the shower and cooking. We only put it on for short periods of time, max 30 mins and the air feels cleaner somehow afterwards. The amount of water the dehumidifier collects is pretty amazing really esp. as you can't see the water vapour.

It's OK at drying clothes if you put it close but I am sure if you left it on longer it would work pretty well. I dry as much as possible outside,even winter or overnight and if the clothes come in damp they dry quickly in the house.
I also wipe the bedroom windows every morning to clear the condensation. It's a constant battle.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sat 03-Nov-12 13:58:17

I dry all clothes indoors on an airer. Have never had any condensation?

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sat 03-Nov-12 14:00:00

If you believe it will go ahead without your permission you need to write in yourself, with all the details, explicitly stating that you are the parent, and you don't not give permission.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sat 03-Nov-12 14:00:33

Oops wrong thread blush

mamalovesmojitos Sat 03-Nov-12 14:01:05

Interesting thread. I need to get one or the other (tumble/dehumidifier) , whatever is cheapest and will fit in my bedroom (tiny flat).

OrangeSunset Sun 04-Nov-12 19:52:52

Well, thanks for the info. So the dryer is a lot more than I was estimating.

Also, the fact that it limits the life of clothes is another negative.

We've borrowed a Dehumidifier from to test it out - although it hasn't collected as much water as I thought it would from our room where the clothes are drying.

But, given that we can use it generally to keep condensation low, not just dry washing, might help.

One of the reasons the house is cold is due to the rubbish windows (old aluminium). There about to be replaced, but this has started to make me think that they might make the house feel less draughty (excellent) but might we be creating a damp problem if the damp air is trapped?

PigletJohn Sun 04-Nov-12 19:57:56

when you order your new windows make completely, absolutely, 100% sure that they all have trickle vents.

OrangeSunset Sun 04-Nov-12 20:10:15

Aha ok, will do!

So presumably these let out the damp air...would you leave them open year round?!

PigletJohn Sun 04-Nov-12 20:26:12


they also let fresh air in, depending on wind direction.

Fizzylemonade Mon 05-Nov-12 07:18:30

I have an AEG 8kg condenser tumble dryer and it takes 1 hour to dry clothes, or 1hr 20 to do a load with a couple of pairs of jeans in it.

It is in a teeny room jokingly called the utility room which is in the kitchen. Occasionally it will steam up the kitchen window but I just open the window onto vent. That is usually when I am cooking.

I have two children who had reflux as babies and they went through a lot of clothes and bibs so I did a lot of washing.

No matter how cold it gets I wing all the bedroom windows open wide every morning. I let the children get dressed in the warmth but I like to rush getting dressed and the cold air helps.

Plus I have trickle vents open on my windows too.

I don't understand why people would have damp washing all over the house <shudders at crisp jeans as child memory> grin tumble drier all the way!

treadonthecracks Mon 05-Nov-12 08:38:23

Fizzy , the answer is because of the electricity bill. But I do agree clothes are lovely and soft when they come out of a tumble drier.

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