About 3 years ago, I bought a pack of eyelets and a spool of string with the simple goal of hanging a clothesline in my storage room to air dry my clothes. Most days, the room gets direct sun and can dry a load of laundry in an afternoon. Even during the winter a load of laundry dries within a day or so.
My clothes seem to last forever this way (no abrasion or shrinking from high heat) and keeping them hung inside out prevents any fading. However, the main appeal is saving electricity.
- My dryer uses ~2.25 KWh for each load
- PG&E charges me $.21 per KWh, or about $.47 per load
- I typically have 3 loads of laundry every 2 weeks for myself, or 78 loads/year
- My cost savings is $37/year
- My energy savings is 175KWh/year
Surprisingly, my two roommates at the time were onboard with the air drying so multiply the above by 3 for our household.
Now for the conceivably accurate bird's-eye view ... If 71 million US households with an electric dryer setup a clothesline to reduce power consumption by a very achievable 175KWh / year, it would translate into a reduced load of 12.425 TWh / year or nearly the equivalent yearly generation of some of the biggest power plants in the world.