Your Right To Dry

Is Your HOA standing in the way of solar savings?

Saving energy is good for the pocketbook and the planet. Yet a simple energy-saving device that costs only a few dollars is banned in many parts of California. If you happen to live in one of them, you may know which energy saving device I mean. Over 30,000 homeowner’s associations in our state currently deny residents the right to use clotheslines.

This stops countless consumers from enjoying the many benefits of line drying. According to the California Energy Commission, a dryer is typically the second-biggest electricity-using appliance in your home, after the refrigerator, and costs about $85 a year to operate. Hanging clothes out to dry can not only save you money but also significantly reduce carbon emissions and other pollution. There are other benefits to line drying: physical exercise, better-smelling clothes and less wear and tear on clothes.

Even apartment dwellers can get it on the act! Line drying is more common in Europe and Asia than in the US. For example, in the United Kingdom only 45% of households own a tumble dryer, as compared with 79% in the US. Check online for racks that will fit over your bathtub or hang from the ceiling.

California’s commitment to solar energy should extend to one of the simplest and most accessible solar devices around, the clothesline.

If you HOA’s rules are preventing you from asserting your right to dry, please let us know. TURN is seeking input from consumers who want to use clotheslines but have been prevented from doing so by their HOAs- email us at turn@turn.org or call at 415-929-8876 ext 306.

Tips for making your clothes dryer more efficient:

  • Dry only full loads, but be careful not to overload the machine.
  • Clean your lint filter after each load.
  • Make sure your dryer is properly vented.
  • Dry multiple loads one after the other to take advantage of the retained heat from the previous load.
  • Remove clothes and hang them up when still a little damp. This will help reduce wrinkles and requires less drying time.