Energy Efficient Clothes Drying: Use a Ceiling Airer!

By Gary Nickless

While many people in Canada and the United States have no idea what a ceiling airer even is, people in the United Kingdom and Europe are very familiar with this energy saving device-and they've been using it for over a hundred years. This age-old device is simple to use and the ideal way to dry clothes and maximize energy efficiency at the same time. It costs nothing to use and utilizes the warm air that rises up near the ceiling in your home to dry laundry on the wooden rails of the device which is raised up and out of the way.

To use a clothes airer, lower the device to hang clothing on the wooden rails, and then raise it back up toward the ceiling where it is out of the way while clothes dry. It is a great way to save energy by drying clothing by taking advantage of rising warm air within your house.

The horizontal wooden bars or laths of this device fit into a cast iron structure or ends. This keeps the bars spaced apart, and it hooks to the cords that are used to bring the device up and down. The cords extend to metal pulleys located on the ceiling itself. There is a cleat affixed to the wall to keep the cords tucked away.

An electric or gas dryer often called a spin dryer is utilized by many households. However, these devices use a lot of electricity or gas energy. High energy bills during the winter combined with bills for drying clothes just keep climbing. But with a ceiling airer, you can take advantage of warm air that is otherwise just being wasted in your home. And it's completely natural. It is the perfect way to dry shirts and pants, and some models have hangers mounted right on them to dry shirts in a way that minimizes any ironing required.

There are many different styles of ceiling clothes airers available to suit every type of domicile. Models range from having three to six drying laths, so that they'll fit even into small spaces. The "Sheila Maid" is one of the most common ceiling airers. It is a style that has been around for 100 years. The cast iron rack ends are curved, and it has four wooden laths. Kits come with a single pulley, double pulley, a cleat hook for the wall, and a 10-meter long jute rope. Installation instructions are included too.

The Kitchen Maid is another of the "original" style airer. The end pieces are made to resemble an original Victorian design that was common during that era. The end pieces of this ceiling airer are solid cast iron, and the laths are typically made from pine. A Kitchen Maid clothes airer is one of the most earth friendly ways to dry your laundry. It can dry up to 30 kg of washing overnight. The wooden laths are finished and smoothed so as not to snag washing.

If you have a large family with lots of children, "stacker" ceiling airers are also available to double the quantity of laundry you can dry in the space. They can be hung from hard surfaced ceilings and the quantity of laths can even be customized. On models where the laths are flat, they can also be used as storage. It's like having hanging shelves.

For people with small living spaces, there are small ceiling airers available. They are shorter, with fewer laths, but even in small sizes, they are an ecologically responsible alternative to a tumble dryer.

You may want to install your first ceiling clothes airer in the fall, right before the heating season begins. This is the ideal time since you will soon have warm air rising toward the ceiling from your heating system. Why let it go to waste when you can use it to dry your laundry for free? You can install these systems on any hard ceiling surface just about anywhere in your home-even over a staircase or on a slanted ceiling! And they're great to use all year long if you don't have outdoor clotheslines or are having rainy weather, too. They can save you money on your energy bills year round! - 29857

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