Name: margalit
Location: Massachusetts, United States Professional writer, educational advocate, opinionated ultra liberal mother of 18 year old twins, living life in the slow lane due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, and diabetes.

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Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Works for Me Wednesday: Saving Energy

We heat our house with natural gas, and we use the gas for heating hot water and the clothes dryer. You can imagine what my gas bill is, now that the price of gas has exceeded that of precious diamonds. So I had to decide how to save my pennies in the best way possible, by not using the dryer and washing our cloths in cold water. The cold water wash isn't much of an effort, we just had to flip the dial and voila! But the dryer, now that's a commitment.

What we're doing is to hang our clothing on wooden drying racks that we place in front of our radiators at night. By the next morning the clothes aren't just dry, they're warm and cozy from being right in front of the heat all night long. We have a drying rack in the upstairs bathroom and a second one in the downstairs hall. With those two dryers, we can do two loads of laundry a day, which enables up to keep up with the dirty clothes piles.

Sheets have proven a bit of an issue, since they're so huge and all, and those we hang outside on our screened in front porch on clothes lines I put up just for this reason. They are NOT warm and comfy when they come off the line, but if you want to make up the beds with brand new clean sheets, you can fold them and place them atop a radiator for an hour, and they're dry and warm and welcoming.

This works for me, and has markedly cut my gas bill!

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Blogger Fairly Odd Mother said...

We have natural gas too (although an electric stove). I'm impressed about your drying idea! I think I'll do that with pants (already do it with sweaters) but think I'll shoot myself trying to do it with underwear, sox and toddler clothes! And, I can't tell the difference with my washer on cold; it's been that way for years and my clothes get clean just fine. Also, we never use the 'dry cycle' in the dishwasher and have our thermostats on timer so the upstairs isn't super hot during the day, and the downstairs isn't heated at night.

2/1/08 7:24 AM  
Blogger Phyllis Sommer said...

very ambitious!!!!!

2/1/08 7:53 AM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

Very good idea!

2/1/08 8:13 AM  
Blogger Fratzels said...

We heat our house with propane, which is more efficient that oil. When we lived in Mass, we did natural gas, but it's not available where we are in NH now.

We wash in cold water, which I find really great b/c you can wash everything together without running the risk of colors bleeding - this usually cuts my loads to one per day.

Unfortunately, we have radiant floor heating, so we can't hang clothes our clothes in front of radiators.

All of this, and I still find my propane bill to be really, really high! If we could afford the start-up fees for solar panels, I think we would do that. Maybe in the future!

2/1/08 12:55 PM  
Blogger Major Bedhead said...

I need to get some drying racks and then find a place to put them where they won't be scaled by The Shriek Sisters. Our gas bill was pretty high last month.

3/1/08 11:13 AM  

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