Five ‘low cost and efficient’ methods to dry washing inside

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Many are choosing to put the heating on a lower setting or keeping it switched off entirely this winter due to the soaring energy prices. However, that can come with its own health and damp implications. Chris Michael, managing director of Meat, the UK’s leading air purification specialist, explained how hanging wet washing on drying racks can take extremely long during the height of winter, and if the moisture has nowhere to go, it could cause damp.

The pro said: “The build-up of moisture will mean that a load of washing that might have taken a few hours to dry in September will take a couple of days in October, and up to four of five days in November and December.

“That is not only frustrating, but it is also introducing a hidden menace to the home, damp. Extra moisture in the air is not visible but it will be there – the damp from the clothes must go somewhere, and in time, problems such as mould growth, condensation and musty smells will become apparent, causing damage to wallpaper, carpets, furniture and windowsills.”

If there is damp in the home, it is likely to contribute to respiratory problems, infections, allergies or even asthma. Damp and mould can also affect the immune system, especially for the young and old.

Luckily, there are a lot of “low cost ways to efficiently dry wet washing indoors and prevent damp and condensation” from occurring inside the home. The expert has shared five top tips to consider when drying laundry.

1. Reduce moisture vapour

The expert explained: “Many everyday tasks create moisture, often without us noticing. By putting lids on saucepans when boiling or steaming vegetables and using an extractor fan briefly or opening a window when using the bath or shower, homeowners can reduce moisture vapour in the air.”

2. Make air drying indoors efficient

Drying clothes inside is gentler on fabrics than tossing and tumbling in a dryer and prevents static cling. Before taking them out of the washing machine, the expert recommended using an extra rinse cycle to keep the amount of water left in the clothes to a minimum.

Place a drying rack away from walls can prevent the moisture from being trapped. It was also advised to hang items individually with as much space in-between them as possible to help the drying process.

Placing a drying rack close to a window can also help to enable airflow, although this can be trickier during the winter months.

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3. Warm up the house without central heating

Chris continued: “Making the most of any natural sunlight can help to warm houses and dry out any damp air. 

“Opening curtains and blinds in the day prevents moisture from being trapped around the windows and using rugs and mats on wooden and stone floors can make rooms feel warmer too.”

4. Simple changes inside and outside the home

Encouraging the airflow and removing opportunities for damp to spread reduces damage or removes opportunities for mould to form.

The expert noted: “Opening doors of built-in wardrobes that sit on outside walls and trying to keep furniture, clothes and shoes from touching outside walls can stop damp developing. 

“Keeping gutters clear also decreases the amount of water that may spill down external walls, which could contribute to moisture in the home.”

5. Consider investing in a dehumidifier

The only way to remove moisture without opening windows and turning the heating right up is to use a dehumidifier, which reduces the level of humidity by sucking in air from the room.

They then blow the warm, dry air back out into the room again. This can also help to make a room feel a little warmer, so the heating could run at a lower temperature to keep costs down.

The expert said: “Dehumidifiers are effective at drying washing indoors and use considerably less electricity than tumble dryers. 

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“They can cost as little as 8p per hour to run. Look for dehumidifiers that have a dedicated laundry mode where the machine runs up to six hours before switching itself off to save energy.

“For further energy savings, look for models which use a humidistat, which means the dehumidifier switches itself off when the target humidity is reached, only switching on again if it detects an increase in humidity.

“A dehumidifier will help you dry your laundry and prevent condensation from forming on the windows and mould from growing on the walls, your clothes and furniture.

“Using a dehumidifier with a HEPA filter will mean that it will be doubling up as an air purifier, making the air healthier as well as dry.”

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