Ask Umbra: Can I line-dry my clothes in the winter, too?

I line dry my clothes when weather permits. There is nothing quite like the aroma of clothes so dried. But New England winters are problematic. I was glad to see this intelligent discussion of practical ways to extend the clothes drying season. Think of it as a cold frame for your clothing.


Send your question to Umbra!

Q.I saved a noticeable amount of energy this summer by hanging out my clothes to dry. Can I continue to do this over the colder months?

Colleen H.
Chicago, Ill.

A. Dearest Colleen,

Does anything have a higher reward-to-effort ratio than a clothesline? For the cost of a simple rope and a handful of clothespins, plus a few minutes per laundry load, you get a discount on your electric bill (up to $25 per month, according to advocacy group Project Laundry List), a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions (residential dryers are responsible for 32 million metric tons of CO2 per year), and that delightful, fresh-air scent of line-dried skivvies. I don’t blame you for wanting to keep that going as the mercury dips.

Unfortunately, many people equate clotheslines with their white shoes – a summer-only item to be retired after Labor Day. But…

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About Richard Hudak

I am Senior Adjunct Faculty in Sociology at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, and I have been a practitioner of Anusara™ yoga. I have completed 200 hours of teacher training within its diaspora community, consistent with its philosophy and alignment principles.
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