While most of us are lamenting the loss of our lawns and shrubs because of this unrelenting heat, at least take advantage of it to dry your clothes. Did you know that the clothes dryer is the second most energy hog in your home, next to the refrigerator? It uses 4.2 % of the American home’s energy diet: in 2010 dryers used about as much energy as 13.4 million cars! 


If you do use a clothesline outside, your clothes smell good but can be a bit crunchy.  It is better if you hang them up as soon as they come out of the washer for the weight of the water will help pull out the wrinkles.  Smooth them out as much as possible with your hand.  A compromise is to air dry outside until almost dry, then pop them into the dryer to complete the process.  I don't have a clothesline, but I do have a deck railing and patio furniture, so I drape my clothes and towels over them to dry whenever possible.  These days, they are dry sooner than they would be if I had used my dryer.


But I assume most of you have tumble dryers (since I don’t see many clotheslines) and there are some ways to make the process more efficient.  Don’t pack the dryer too tight and keep clothes separated by type and weight. Don’t forget to clean out the lint filter and if you have a moisture sensor, use it, because the machine will turn off as soon as the clothes are dry.  Take the clothing out immediately to avoid wrinkling and keep hangers handy, but if you aren’t Johnny-on-the-spot, tumble the clothing a few more minutes with a damp towel.