Magic Tree Clock

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Clothesline Economy

OK, so if you are looking for a tried and true way of reducing your utility bill, you'll want to consider putting up a clothesline outside. With today's warm and windy weather in southern Ohio, it's a great day to do laundry. In these low 50 degree temps, and a 5-10 mile per hour wind, laundry will dry within 3-4 hours. Yes, it requires a little labor and patience, but this is indeed easy and enjoyable labor. In temperatures above 60, the drying time shortens. In the summer, around 80 degrees, laundry dries in an hour or less. The variations in sun and wind affect drying time more so than humidity levels.

As for clothesline poles, you'll probably find that the big chain home do-it-yourself stores don't carry them. I found mine at the smaller locally-owned hardware stores. There are two kinds of poles: one is thick, strong, and a much longer Made In the USA type, typically made of stainless steel. The other kind is cheap, white, shorter, and thinner, and comes from, you guessed it - China. Try to find the American made type because it simply will be better quality. I have one of each, and the one from China won't go into the ground far enough, so I had to dig a deep whole and fill it in with bricks and cement to kind of extend the length of the pole.

As for the line props, you can find those at a local hardware store too. In the northern areas, stores keep the props in stock when the season is warmer, so if you are in the warmer climates, you may find them throughout the year. If they don't have them, you can ask one of the employees if they can make one. My store did. The guy took a simple metal tube, and cut it to 6 feet (don't do this, make sure it is at least 7 feet long). Then he cut a notch in one end using a rotary sander of some sort, then put a rubber foot on the other end. Voila, a line prop! This of course impressed me on the service and ingenuity you get with local stores versus the chain stores.

You might say you don't have time for putting clothes on the line, but when you get $40-70 electric bills in the summer, even when running the air conditioner, you'll know that your clothesline is worth it. Save your laundry for the weekends too, that way you may have the time to put laundry out.

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