Using a laundry drying rack is an energy-efficient, cost-saving alternative to drying clothes in a electric dryer. When selecting a laundry drying rack, you will need to consider the available space and the amount of laundry being dried. Cost is also likely to be an important consideration.
Whether in the home or at the laundromat, drying clothes in a machine is expensive. For people who are concerned about energy conservation, even efficient clothes dryers create a large carbon footprint. Dryers also are harder on your clothes, and the heat can damage the fabric and cause shrinkage.
Clothes lines are one alternative, but they have limitations as well. Lines require outdoor space, which might not be available for apartment residents. Drying clothes outside requires cooperative weather. A stretch of gray, rainy weather can leave you short of dry clothes to wear. Even when the sun comes out, ultraviolet rays will cause your clothes to fade quicker.
For all-weather, low-cost drying, a laundry drying rack just might be your best bet. Like clothes lines, racks allow you to dry your clothes without the expense and energy required by machines, but they avoid the limitations of clothes lines as well. Indoor laundry racks can be used day or night in any weather, taking advantage of the available space in your home.
You should have a location in mind for your laundry drying rack before you go shopping. Choose a rack that will fit into the intended space, preferably with plenty of room to let air at the clothes. Space near a heater is ideal and will help your clothes dry faster, but open flame or another powerful heat source might damage or burn your clothes and should be avoided. Decide whether the rack will remain in place or whether you will need to fold it between loads, allowing the space to be used for other purposes as well.
Consider the volume of laundry you intend to dry on your new rack. A small, portable rack will be sufficient for drying out delicates or very small loads. On the other hand, drying laundry for the whole family will require a much larger unit such as an umbrella rack. You might also have trouble fitting items on an especially narrow rack and should make sure that you can drape items such as shirts and towels without folding, which would slow drying.
Many people decide to use a laundry drying rack as a cost-cutting measure, leading them to choose cheaper models. Money spent on a rack should be considered an investment, with savings realized in fewer dryer loads. Spending a little extra on a larger, sturdier rack means that you will be able to dry more clothes without using electricity.