Nice Idea From The Past: The Airing Cupboard

Lil Shepherd/CC BY 2.0

In Britain, many people do not have clothes dryers and when winter comes, they hang their clothes inside on drying racks. Lots of racks, in 87% of the houses. This can cause problems in modern, insulated and sealed houses, as one researcher tells the BBC.

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."

This much moisture in a sealed space can lead to mould and dust mites, causing lung infections, and is a " health risk to those prone to asthma, hay fever and other allergies." The answer appears to be a return to a traditional design idea, the airing cupboard.

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.

Apparently the modern airing cupboard is made by installing slatted shelves on top of the water heater; the normally wasted heat rises and keeps the stuff on the shelves warm and dry. More on the BBC

Tags: Laundry | United Kingdom