CLOTHES airers are an essential for getting clothes dry, especially during the winter months.
An electric one can speed things up and shoppers have scrambled to buy bargain ones from Aldi, B&M and Home Bargains.
But how much does it cost to run one, and how does it compare to a tumble dryer?
We've worked out the costs so you can decide if it's the best option for you and how much to budget for with energy bills.
How much does it cost to run a clothes airer?
Heated clothes airers are similar to a traditional clothes horse, but they can be plugged into the mains electricity.
The bars of the dryer heat up, speeding up the time it takes to dry the clothes hanging on it.
Some models also come with a cover that keeps the heat in for even quicker drying times.
The cost of running a drier depends on the wattage.
Popular models currently on sale at Aldi and Lakeland are 300 watts.
But there are some that are more powerful, such as this drying pod from Lakeland which is 1,000 watts.
We asked energyhelpline.com to calculate the cost of running the 300w models, but you can use the same method to work it out for higher wattage ones.
Generally speaking the higher the wattage, the more it will cost to run.
A 300w dryer uses 0.3 kWh – a kilowatt hour is the unit of energy used for billing you electricity.
Currently, the average cost of electricity on a standard variable tariff is £0.21 kWh.
That means it's 6p per hour to run a 300w clothes airer (0.3kWh x £0.21).
If you have it on for eight hours, it would cost 48p, and over a year based on daily use, would add up to an estimated cost of just under £25.
Of course the exact cost can depend on a number of other things as well as the wattage.
The annual cost will change if you use it more or less – for example you might dry your clothes outside instead on dry sunny days.
The price will also depend on how much you pay for your electricity.
You can check with your energy supplier what your electricity unit rate is and it may be on your energy bill too.
You can use the following calculation to work out the cost of running a heated airer if you have the cost of your energy in kWh and the wattage of your dryer.
- Uses 300w = 0.3 kWh
- Cost per hour = £0.06 (0.3kWh x £0.21)
- Cost per use = £0.48 (£0.06 cost per hour x 8 hours)
- Cost per year = £24.96 (£0.48 cost per use x 52 days per year)
How much does it cost to a tumble dryer?
Using a tumble dryer can speed things up when it comes to getting clothes dry.
But they can cost more to run than a heated air dryer.
A tumble dryer is a much higher wattage – around 2,500w – so it uses more elctricity.
If we use the same calculation, with the same average energy costs, then it costs 52p per hour to run a tumble dryer.
That's a difference of 46p compared to the heated clothes airer.
Based on a running time of two hours that's £1.04 to run a tumble dryer, and over a year (if you use everyday), then it works out as £54 a year.
That's almost twice the cost of an electric clothes horse.
But don't forget, this is just an estimate and it depends on the machine you have, how much (or little) you use it and how much you pay for energy.
When exactly should you put your heating on? We take a look.
And before you do, here's four things you MUST do that can help you save money.
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