6 February 2022 | by Gemma McFarlane
In a Facebook conversation somebody recommended a ceiling clothes airer, saying they have never needed a tumble dryer. I liked this idea so my first port of call was Ebay and Facebook Marketplace for a used one. After months of searching for the right thing, we made one and it works really well!
Our bedroom is south facing and gets really hot on a sunny day. The washing wasn’t drying properly outside on a sunny winters day and it seemed a shame to waste this resource so we decided to make another airer for the bedroom. People may think this is strange but I’m forever practical!
6 x 2.4 metres thick wooden dowel
2 x 1.8 metre lengths of wood – 2cm x 4cm
1 x metal single washing line screw in pulley cord wheel – 45mm
1 x metal double washing line screw in pulley cord wheel – 45mm
10 metres 7mm cotton rope
1 large cleat
20 x 20mm screws
You will need an electric drill with a flat drill bit the same diameter as your dowel. Ours was 20mm.
a stud detector ( ask friends and neighbours if they have one to borrow).
- Measure the space available on your ceiling ensuring a safe distance from light fittings and furniture.
- Use a stud detector to find the beams in your ceiling. Your pulleys will be screwed into this so the beam will need to sit half way along your airer. Mark where your pulleys need to go on the ceiling.
- Once you’ve worked out the space available, calculate how much wood you will need. We allowed 15cm between dowels, (remember to allow space for the dowels when calculating the length).
- Order wood and other materials.
- Cut wood to size if necessary and sand with fine sand paper.
- Mark along the two lengths of wood at 17cm equal distances.
- Use the drill fitted with a 20mm diameter flat drill bit to drill circular holes through the pieces of wood. Sand to make smooth.
- Push the dowels through the holes in the wood, leaving a tip through the other side. Secure in place with a screw through the wood into the dowel. Copy for each dowel.
- Repeat on the other end of the dowels to create a ladder.
- Paint if required and leave to dry.
- The pulleys are attached to a screw. Screw the pulleys into the ceiling.
- The cord will hang down from the pulleys so work out the safest place for this so they’re not in the way.
- Screw the cleat to the wall. Place this as high as you can so keep the cord out of the way.
- Drill a hole at the end of each ladder end for the cord.
- Push the cord through one of the hole and tie using a strong knot. Thread through the opposite hole. Cut the cord leaving enough to tie another strong knot.
- Repeat at the other end of the ladder.
- Thread the cord through the single pulley as in the middle photo. Tie to the centre of the cord tied to the ladder with a strong knot.
- Thread through one side of the double pulley as in the first photo.
- Using the other end of the long cord, thread through the other side of the double pulley facing towards the single pulley as shown in the first photo. Tie to the cord attached to this end of the ladder using a strong knot.
- Pull the two long cords together to ensure the airer rises properly. You may need to move the knots along the shorter cords to centralise the cord.
- Secure the long cords to the cleat.
A few more energy saving tips:
As well as saving energy to help our environment, we are faced with our energy bills rising sharply over the last few months and they’re set to continue after the price cap has been increased by 54%. This article from the Money Saving Expert explains why this is happening.
We can’t do much about the price increase but we can cut our energy usage in the home.
- Wear more layers – this may seem obvious. Thick socks or slippers keeping your feet warm helps your whole body to feel warmer. Wearing a hat is even better!
- Close your curtains! We can lose up to 40% heat through our doors and windows. Closing curtains as the light fades will help keep the heat in the room. Remember to tuck curtains behind any radiators. Curtains over external doorways help too and dare I say – net curtains create an air space which keeps the heat in the room!
Secondhand curtains can always be found in charity shops, Freegle or websites such as Ebay. Remember to open curtains when it’s sunny to help heat up the room.Closing curtains on a hot day also keeps the room cooler, saving on the need for electric fans or air conditioning units.
- Turn off lights when not in use including external lights. Light pollution can disturb night time wildlife too so turning off lights and closing curtains benefits more than just our pocket. Natural History Museum article about light pollution and wildlife.
- Put thermostats on radiators and turn off radiators to unused rooms.
- Consider investing in insulation. Check for grants available to help. Insulation also cuts down on draughts making the house feel cosier.
- Turn off appliances at the plug. This really does save money!
- Plan meals so you can cook things together if using an oven.
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