<a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/jaworskihouse/3740678438/” title=”Line Drying”><img src=”http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3431/3740678438_50871a3aa6_m.jpg” width=”240″ height=”160″ alt=”Line Drying” /></a><br />n<br />nWe were visiting family up in the Pacific Northwest a few years ago, and I was getting a tour of a house when we came upon the electric meter. My cousin mentioned that as a kid, he and his siblings would try to get the meter spinning as fast as possible by turning on as many appliances, lights, radios, TVs, and any other device as they could. For some reason, that stuck in my head, at first thinking that is a cool stunt to do as a kid, but nowadays trying to keep that spinning disk as slow as possible. Faster it spins, the more it’s costing me.<br />n<br />nOur meter is on the side of the garage, near to where I park, so I pass it often, regularly taking a look to see how fast it’s spinning. If it’s going pretty fast, I know that an electric heater or the clothes dryer is in operation. So I go turn them off. <img src=”https://www.jaworskihouse.com/blog/templates/default/img/emoticons/smile.png” alt=”:-)” style=”display: inline; vertical-align: bottom;” class=”emoticon” /><br />n<br />nSpeaking of the dryer, over the past year or two, I’ve been getting more and more into line drying my clothes. Since I do my own laundry (Mama has enough on her hands with hers and the kids’), it’s easy for me to manage the processes by which I get my clothes clean.<br />n<br />nA few years ago, I installed a retractable clothes line <a href=”http://www.amazon.com/Lehigh-RC20-20-Foot-Retractable-Clothesline/dp/B000WQ19I4/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1259726840&sr=1-5″ title=”clothes line”>like this one</a>, mounting it on a fence post and using whatever is downstream of it to tie off the other end. The line is long enough to reach our play structure in the backyard, making for a very stable base. You can see it in the picture above. I get about 25 feet (7.6 meters) of line with which to hang my clothes. It’s on the leeward side of the house, but in full sun, so it’s mostly the sun’s heat that does the drying, though I need to be careful not to leave them too long or else they may fade a bit over time. A breezy site would be preferable, but I’m using what I was dealt.<br />n<br />nSome times when I’m out there hanging my laundry, it seems like it takes a while, and I may ask myself if it’s worth it. When I think of the energy (and money) I’m saving, when I think about the opportunity I have to do this in the first place (ie, I don’t live in a condo, for example), and that built into this routine is the folding/hanging of the clothes (which needs to be done anyway), I realize that the additional cost of my time is not that great.<br />n<br />nAnd, a side benefit is the clean smell of the clothes once they come in. People tend to mention this side effect, and I must agree. There is something about not only the subtle clean, fresh smell, but also the crispiness of the material, which I personally prefer. There have been instances at work when I am wearing a shirt that had hung out to dry and I catch a whiff of the clean smell. Nice!<br />n<br />nThough it’s three weeks before the winter solstice, the sun is low in the southern sky and the days are already very short, I still try to use the line when I can. What I found is that with the sun shining, providing the energy, the clothes dry reasonably quickly. It’s in the shade when they don’t do as well. So forget cloudy days!<br />n<br />nHave you given it a try? If not, I recommend it, for lots of good reasons.<br />