Thought I’d post a quick update on how we’re going without a tumble dryer – following all our posts on the Rotaire Dryline we’re using. It’s been cold, wet and windy this week, and we seem to be drowning in washing, but even with bursts of rain every hour the clothes are still getting dry (eventually)! Incredible. Here it is again in case you haven’t seen it before:


You can get them online from Rotaire from £30 – and you’ll be saving hundreds of pounds a year on using a tumble dryer

During our discussions with The Breakfast Show on BBC Radio Manchester the cost of using tumble dryers came up. We’ve avoided getting one, so I wasn’t sure of the exact cost of using them, so I did a bit of research:

  • There is a significant variation in energy efficiency between diffrent models.
  • An A-rated tumble dryer uses about a third of the energy of the typical C-Rated dryer.
  • A C-Rated tumble dryer uses about 4kWh for a load.
  • A C-Rated dryer will cost you around £113 a year to run

So there it is: 4kWh and £113 a year to run. What better reason do you need to buy a Rotaire Dryline for only £30? That’s why we fitted ours – read about it here.

For more info

Last year I heard about a great British invention – the Rotaire Dryline – and wrote a post about how it can help you get rid of your tumble dryer. Now we’re in the eco-house we’ve finally got the opportunity to put one in and see if it works as well as they say.

Well here’s our current dryer, a classic 4-arm model that came with the house. It’s nothing to look at, but does have a huge amount of drying space:


Now here’s what it looks like after I’ve spent 10 minutes fitting the Dryline. (It took me a little longer than the 5 minutes in their Demo Video, but most of that was spent trying to find a screwdriver)


Of course, once I fitted it the weather cleared up 🙂 . But a week later it got its first real test – just in time for today’s visit by the Radio Manchester Breakfast show team. Here is what it looks like in use:


The photo is deceptively light – it’s just finished raining, and the clothes under the cover are dry. They’ve dried overnight inspite of the rain. The only ones that are damp are the couple of items that were too close to the net.

So that looks like success to me. We’ve yet to go through a winter with it, but at the moment we’ll be using our Rotaire rather than buying a tumble dryer! You can get them online from Rotaire from £30.

Rotaire Dryline

Rotaire Dryline

Tumble Driers are a contentious item in the UK green movement – just look at all the debate raging over at Bean Sprouts. And the fact is, that if you don’t have one, but dry inside on radiators, then you’re still going to be using a lot of extra energy to dry your clothes – have a look at the figures here. Now most of the time drying outside in the UK is an impossibility – it’s rainy or even just generally damp. So a bright spark has come up with the wonderful device in the picture – it’s a waterproof cover for a rotary airer. It means that your clothes will dry even on a damp Manchester day – the nets down the side allow the wind through, but prevent the rain being blown onto the clothes.  I’ll certainly try one of these rather than buying a tumble dryer (how the hell would I power a tumble dryer with my Post-Peak-Oil Solar PV 🙂  anyway).

You can get them online from Rotaire from £30.

Ok, so this is a little bit frivolous, but an electric iron will be too powerful for our PV batteries to handle, so how will we iron Post-Peak-Oil? The answer is probably that we won’t (we barely do as it is) but for the occasional wedding or funeral it’d be useful to have something. So how about one of these: a classic Victorian Cast-Iron Flat Iron – ready to be heated on our wood-fired stove 🙂 You can even buy them online at “The Collecting House”.