Is drying clothes on a radiator bad?

Not everyone has space for a tumble dryer and, with the recent news of tumble dryer fires, a lot of people have been put off of them.

But if it's raining outside or you live in an apartment without outdoor space, then sticking things on a radiator can be an easy solution.

However, while it might be a quick fix, there is more an more evidence to suggest that hanging clothes to dry on your radiators can have more harmful consequences than you might think.

Your bills might go up

Similarly to putting a sofa directly in front of a radiator, hanging clothes on a rad acts as a blocker (or absorbent) to heat getting into your room.

As a consequence, your boiler has to work harder to heat your room up to the desired temperature.

Many people who have wet clothes on their radiators may notice that their room is not heating up as quickly as they like. They then may turn up their thermostats in the mistaken belief this will heat their room up more quickly, thus using even more energy.

If your boiler is having to work harder, then it's using more gas, which will result in your gas bills being higher at the end of the month.

Condensation and mould formation

Drying your clothes on your radiators is going to create more moisture in the air inside your home.

This condensation can settle on walls, furniture and other surfaces and turn into mould.

Black mould is very unsightly, messing up your carefully designed interior and giving the impression of being dirty.

More importantly, mould releases spores into the surrounding air and can exacerbate symptoms in those who suffer from respiratory problems.

As well as mould, hanging clothes on a radiator can cause staining on the wall behind the rad, making your room even more visually unappealing.

Alternatives to radiator drying

Obviously, the best thing is to have an outdoor clothes line, but this is not helpful if you don't have a garden or it's raining outside.

A clothes horse is a useful investment and can be used outside on balconies if you live in an apartment. If using one inside, do make sure there's enough ventilation to allow the extra moisture in the air to escape.

Despite their recent negative press, tumble dryers are a useful appliance to dry clothes with a minimum of fuss. They can be expensive if run frequently and have a tendency to shrink clothes, so perhaps limit use of a tumble dryer to awkward items like large towels and bedding.


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