The problem of clothes drying in new homes in the UK

Della Madgwick, Hannah Wood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The current focus on air tight construction to minimise energy use in homes in the UK requires analysis of the behaviour of the occupants. The aim of this paper is to review current literature and explore the methods used to dry clothes, to assess current standards and reccomendation for the drying of laundry in new homes and the issues arising with increased moisture within the building envelope where there may be inadequate ventilation caused by impermeable design Design/methodology/approach: Literature is reviewed on new housing in the UK and as part of a wider study of behaviour questionnairres were delivered to occupants of a recently completed housing estate in the uk to ask the questions with regard to their laundry practice. Findings: There are inherent problems in drying laundry in new air tight homes. This case study identifies 95% of residents on a new estate own a tumble dryer and use either this high energy method for clothes drying or hang clothes internally within the property leading to higher energy use or potential mould growth. Research limitations/implications: Further research is required into how drying laundry impacts on internal air qaulity in new homes designed to be energy efficient Practical implications: The design of new houses needs to be considered to provide a shift in people's behaviour with regard to low energy clothes drying Social implications: Originality/value: Other research has focussed on tenants in social housing in properties of mixed ages. This is the first study which focusses specifically on new energy efficient housing for owner occupiers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)320-330
Number of pages11
JournalStructural Survey
Issue number4-5
Publication statusPublished - 26 Oct 2016


  • Humidity
  • Air tightness
  • Drying
  • Dwellings
  • Laundry
  • Mould


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