When it comes to drying clothes, there are a number of actions you can take to reduce the costs associated with doing this. Some may only be appropriate during certain time of the year while others you may be to do year-round. By taking steps to dry your clothes as efficiently as possible, you can save quite a bit of money during the year. Below are some of those savings tips that you should consider adopting to keep as much money as possible for yourself.
Clean The Vent Hose
Once you place your new dryer in, many people forget about the dryer vent hose (it's one of those out of sight, out of mind issues). This can be a costly mistake. Lint buildup in the hose can cause the dryer to work hard and less efficiently costing you money. Even worse, it can cause a fire (there are about 17,000 fires a year caused by dryer link build up in the vent hose) which can really cost a lot of money.
If it has been a year since you have check your vent hose, then you should take the time to check and clean it (it should take about 15 minutes). Simply detach the vent from the back of the dryer. If the vent hose is fairly clean, you should be able to clean it with a vacuum cleaner. If it is quite dirty, you might need to buy a dryer vent duct cleaning brush. Once clean, attach the hose back to the dryer and you will be saving money as your dryer runs more efficiently.
Clean The Vent Trap
This seems to be a task that is much more difficult for some than others, but it's important to clean out the lint trap before you dry your clothes. If you do not clean it out each time, airflow will be restricted making the dryer work harder and costing you money in extra energy use.
Extra Spin Cycle
Before placing your clothes into the dryer, do an extra spin cycle in the [washing machine](http://www.savingadvice.com/tips/4/money-saving-tips/92/washing-clothes.html). The extra spin cycle will take out a bit of extra water (sometimes quite a bit if they are heavier clothes) which will mean that they take less time to dry in the dryer. On heavier clothes, an extra spin can cut the drying time by as much as one-third which can save a significant amount over the course of a year.
Make Your Own Dryer Sheets
If you use dryer sheets with each load, you should consider making your own rather than buy them. While it takes a little bit of work, it's vastly cheaper and works just as well.
You will need the following to do this:
1. Flannel cloth cut into pieces approximately 3 x 5 inches. You can use old flannel pajamas or shirts for this.
2. A plastic container large enough to place flat the flannel strips with a top the seals shut.
3. 10 tablespoons of water
4. 4 tablespoons of fabric softener
Place all the flannel strips into the plastic container. Mix the water and the fabric softener together and pour the mixture over the flannel strips. Once all the mixture is in the container, seal it shut and shake it so that all the strips get coated. Then leave them in the sealed container for three days and they will be ready to use.
When doing a load, take out one of the strips. It should be damp. If it's wet, ring out any excess liquid before throwing in the dryer. Reseal the plastic container until the next use. Used flannel strips can be tossed in the wash and cleaned to be used the next time you create another dryer sheet batch.
Shorten The Vent Hose
Another way to save money is to shorten the vent duct hose from your dryer to the wall. Vent hoses usually come in standard lengths and rarely are they shorten to what is actually needed. It's a fairly simple process that will take about 15 minutes [tutorial](https://brightnest.com/todos/shorten-your-dryer-vent-hose). You should have all the equipment you need to do this although you might need to purchase a pair of tin snips.
By shortening the vent hose, you allow the air to vent from the dryer without working as hard saving you money. Without the excess vent tubing, the vent should stay cleaner longer as there won't be loops and bends in the vent where link can more easily get trapped.
Throw In A Towel
When you are drying clothes in the dryer, keep a large, fluffy towel near the dryer that you can throw in the with wet clothes as they come out of the wash. The dry towel will help absorb the moisture in the wet clothes as it tumbles allow them to dry more quickly. Doing this will shave as much as 10% of the time it takes to dry a load of laundry.
Use Dryer Balls
Dryer balls work in much the same way as throwing in a dry towel works. The dryer balls help to soak up excess moisture allowing the clothes to dry as much as 25% more quickly, and have the added benefit that they also act as dyer sheets taking out static cling. When your clothes dry faster, than means less time running the dryer with electricity. Dryer balls will pay for themselves many times over in the electricity cost saved by reducing the drying time of your clothes.
Wash The Vent Trap
While it's important to make sure that the lint in the trap is cleared before each load to be dried, it's also important to actually wash the lint trap each month. Over time, the small holes in the lint trap can get clogged. This is especially true if you use dryer sheets which contain chemicals that can clogged these holes. All you need to do is take out the mesh trap and wash it in warm, soapy water to break down any chemical buildup that's occurred. By doing this once a month, the lint vent should work more efficiently which ultimately will save you money.