Who wants to reduce your energy usage and your utility bills? You can do so by air-drying your clothes as often as possible.

In Western households, the clothes dryer is the third-most energy-hungry appliance, right after the refrigerator and clothes washer. The US EPA Energy Star program does even not rate dryers, because they all use a similar amount of energy. 75 percent of US households own a clothes dryer, but only half the households in Europe own one.

Here are a few good reasons to reduce dryer usage:

Air-drying your clothes (indoors or outdoors) can reduce the average household’s carbon footprint by a whopping 2,400 pounds a year.

The lint you scoop out of a dryer’s lint trap is evidence of your wardrobe literally wearing away. A dryer shortens the life of your clothing by over-drying items and thinning them out.

Need more tips? Sure, here you go:

* Add a little vinegar to your washing machine’s rinse cycle to soften clothes
* When you do use a dryer, use the moisture sensor, if it has one, so that the dryer will shut off after clothes are dry, rather than continuing for longer than necessary
* Drying clothing indoors can help keep indoor air moist, a kind of low-tech humidifier.

And finally, in case you were wondering, we do try and practice what we preach - we use an indoor drying rack and a backyard clothes line MOST of the time.

Sound good to you? Wait until you read the full article with lots more great energy and time-saving ideas over at Green America: