[picture_frame source_type=”attachment_id” source_value=”3782″ align=”left”] A new study claims that drying your clothes in your home, rather than outside on a clothes line could increase the moisture in your home, and poses a health risk to those prone to asthma, hay fever and other allergies.
The bottom line: if you are likely to lay some shirts over your table, or towels on a towel rack in the bathroom, you may want to reconsider your drying methods.
The study claims that up to a third of moisture in the home was attributed to drying laundry indoors.
The researchers have called on housebuilders to build dedicated drying areas into new housing to address the health concerns.
A study of 100 homes by the Mackintosh Environmental Architecture Research Unit in Glasgow found 87% dried their washing indoors in colder weather.
Researcher Rosalie Menon said people were not aware how much moisture this added to the air.
She said: “Going into people’s homes, we found they were drying washing in their living rooms, in their bedrooms.
“Some were literally decorating the house with it, but from just one load of washing two litres of water will be emitted.”
75% of households in the study had moisture levels which could lead to dust mite growth.
There was also a strong association between drying laundry indoors and mold spores.
A particular mold spore known to cause lung infections in people with weakened immune systems was found in 25% of the homes sampled.
Read more: Toxic Mold
The research, funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, was the first to track the implications of drying laundry passively inside the home.
All of the types of housing surveyed had a lack of suitable spaces for drying clothes.
Ms Menon said: “These spaces should be independently heated and ventilated. It’s very much going back to the airing cupboards we saw in more historical types of housing.”
Professor Colin Porteous, of MEARU, said: “Because of increased awareness of the energy consumption of tumble dryers many people are choosing to dry clothes passively within their home.
“This results not only in a severe energy penalty, because of increased heating demand, but also a potential health risk due to higher moisture levels.
“Minor changes to the wording of the regulations would have multiple beneficial consequences. Our research gives strong justification for the changes both in terms of health and wellbeing, and associated economic impacts.
“It is our hope that current statutory and advisory standards will be modified to take them on board ensuring a healthy and economically sustainable living environment.”
The study also showed that indoor drying also causes environmental and economic problems which house builders should take into account.
The current UK trend for airtight construction and smaller homes contributes towards moisture build-up, it said.
The researchers want to see dedicated drying areas incorporated into new housing. Either by including separate drying space in the design whether they be communal or as part of individual properties while a short-term solution would be to improve ventilation.