If you’ve got a busy schedule, it can be difficult to find a good chunk of time to squeeze in a laundry. The last thing you want to do after a long day of work is housework.
To save time, it can be really tempting to do a washing before bed and put it in the dryer before going to bed to leave running while you sleep.
Is this a good idea though?
Using the tumble dryer at night while you sleep can be good for saving time. There are some safety risks that come with using a tumble dryer unattended that can make this not ideal. There are, however, other factors that can make running your tumble dryer at night beneficial.
We’ll look at several reasons why you might want to run your dryer at night while you sleep, reasons you might NOT want to do this, the safety risks involved with leaving a dryer unattended and how to reduce these safety risks.
Reasons Using Your Dryer at Night is Useful
The main reason you might want to run your tumble dryer while you sleep is time.
After a hard day at work (even if you work from home), housework will be the last thing you feel like doing.
Getting laundry done can then mean eating into your relaxation time or even spending part of your weekend getting it done as part of your housework routine.
Even worse, if you are unable to find the time to do it, laundry is one of those things that just literally piles up.
You might, then, be tempted to get a quick washing done before bed, so that you can transfer the wet clothes into the tumble dryer and set it running before getting into bed.
This means that the drying is not actually eating into any of your day time, be it relaxation or work time.
Then when you wake up in the morning you’ll be faced with clean, dry clothes, which you can fold and put away relatively quickly.
Saving time in this way, if you’re like me, can feel immensely satisfying, as though you’re reclaiming some of your day.
But it may not necessarily be worth it. Let’s look at some reasons not to leave your dryer running while you sleep.
Why You Might Not Want to Use Your Dryer at Night
There are a couple of reasons not to leave your dryer running at night (apart from safety reasons, which we’ll come onto next).
The first main one is noise!
Some people, like me, need almost complete silence to be able to go to sleep properly and not wake up through the night.
Tumble dryers can often be quite loud during their cycles, especially if you happen to use a high spin speed to get your clothes dry.
This may not be such an issue if you’re fortunate enough to live in a larger place with a dedicated utility room which you can close off, as the sound may not travel to your bedroom.
If you live in a single level space, though, where the tumble dryer is in the kitchen not far from your bedroom, the noise can be quite off putting.
Some people may like the gentle white noise effect that can be produced and if you’re in that category, then great!
The other big factor is wasted energy and cost.
If you’re able to do your tumble drying at a time when you’re around, then you can turn the dryer off pretty much as soon as it’s done, saving you money and energy.
If you leave the dryer on overnight, the cycle will take maybe 1 to 2 hours at most, then the rest of the night it will just be sitting idly wasting energy.
While the amount of energy wasted is not massive, it’s not insignificant, especially if you’re doing this regularly.
Tumble dryers are already a large contributor to carbon footprints and this only adds to that.
These factors are more of an inconvenience from leaving your dryer on at night.
The next section shows some more serious reasons why this is a bad idea.
Potential Safety Risks When Using Your Dryer Unattended
You’ve probably read or heard elsewhere that there is really one big problem with leaving your tumble dryer unattended.
Technically speaking, every appliance is a fire hazard to some degree, but tumble dryers have the track record for causing the most.
This is a lot more prominent when the dryers aren’t appropriately cared for during use, especially if they are used regularly.
If a fire breaks out and you aren’t there to do anything about it (either attempting to fight it yourself or phoning the fire brigade), it can spread pretty quickly.
The main cause of fires in tumble dryers is from a clogged vent line.
This line is designed to siphon the hot air from the drum of the dryer out the back through a vent, but if this line is clogged somehow, it becomes much less effective at this job.
There a many things that can cause this kind of blockage, the main culprit being lint.
If the lint filter is not cleaned regularly, then this can build up and get trapped in the vent line during spin cycles.
The heat can then build up, which can lead to a fire starting.
There are a few things you can do to reduce this risk significantly.
How to Reduce the Safety Risks of Using Your Dryer Unattended
Cleaning the lint filter regularly is a basic bit of maintenance to keep your dryer running safely.
More than that, it will actually keep it running more efficiently, saving you money in energy bills, as it will not have to work so hard to remove the heat from the drum.
If you clean the lint filter either before or after each cycle, the risk of clogging the vent line decreases significantly, meaning a much lower risk of fire.
A much larger piece of maintenance that you can do to alleviate this problem is having your vent line cleaned about once a year.
This is best done by a trained professional and can be scheduled yearly, though if you use your dryer really heavily it may need to be done more often.
So overall, there is a risk associated with leaving your tumble dryer running overnight (or unattended at all), but this can be mitigated by regularly cleaning and maintaining your dryer.
If possible, it’s best to use it during the day when you’re around though.
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