Martin Lewis has shared a handy cost-cutting tip for drying clothes in the winter that doesn’t require running the heating.
The MoneySavingExpert founder recommends that households use a humidifier instead of central heating - meaning you could dry clothes at home for as little as 7p per hour.
Mr Lewis shared the advice on an episode of The Martin Lewis podcast after being asked by a listener how to save money on drying clothes. He said: “Many dehumidifiers have different wattages, the one I checked out was 200 Watts.
“Once we know it’s 200 watts and we know a Kilowatt is 1,000 watts, which is how electricity tends to be priced, we know this is a fifth of a kilowatt. And you pay roughly 34p per kw per hour.
“A fifth is 7p so you’re going to pay roughly 7p per hour to run a dehumidifier at 200 watts assuming it uses full power the whole time. Which is generally far far cheaper than putting the heating on.
“If a dehumidifier does work for you, it will definitely have lower electricity bills, but, of course, you do have the initial capital outlay of buying a dehumidifier and see how that works for you.”
Meanwhile, fans of cleaning guru Sophie Hinchliffe, best known as Mrs Hinch, recommend spreading out clothes on airers so they have enough room to dry. If an airer is too overloaded this makes it harder for the air to circulate and dry clothes properly, which can leave them smelling damp and musty.
Other simple tips include opening windows and giving laundry an extra spin in the washing machine to help remove any excess moisture from clothes. While this option does use energy, it is less than a tumble dryer would use and should help clothes to dry more quickly.
Only use washing machines during certain hours
The advice comes after Mr Lewis recently urged people to stop using their washing machines during a three-hour window in the day, as running high-energy appliances during peak times could result in a bigger energy bill.
He discussed the threat of blackouts this winter during an appearance on ITV’s This Morning last month, alongside hosts Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield, after the National Grid warned there could be power outages on “really, really cold” winter days.
Blackouts could be imposed in the “deepest darkest evenings” in January and February if electricity generators do not have enough gas to meet demand, according to the National Grid.
In response, Mr Lewis issued what he called a “general energy security message” and explained that the peak time for energy usage was between 4pm and 7pm, which is the time of day the Grid warned blackouts could occur.
As such, he advised people to stop using their washing machines and dryers during these hours so that demand for electricity is reduced, thereby minimising the risk of blackouts.
He said: “Let’s all try not to put stuff we don’t need to put on between 4pm and 7pm. If we can avoid using lots of energy between 4pm and 7pm and it makes no difference to our lives, then we should all be somewhat conscious of that, whether or not it’s cheaper, because it will collectively help us all.”