While it makes sense to hang them up inside, one expert is warning against the practice, claiming it contributes to the growth of mould and dust mites.
Dr Nick Osbourne, Senior Lecturer in Environmental Health at the University of NSW told Kidspot: "As far as wintertime goes, we’re all coming inside with wet coats and hanging them up and people are inside a lot more."
"Especially if there are a lot of people in a small dwelling. And add to that showers and cooking steam. If a house isn’t correctly ventilated moisture builds up inside and will condensate on windows and in walls."
A study by the Mackintosh School of Architecture in Glasgow found one typical load of washing adds another 2.5 litres of moisture to the air.
An awareness of how much energy a tumble dryer uses has caused many people to dry their clothes "passively". However, as the researchers point out, this practice can have a negative effect on our health.
"High moisture is associated with dust mites and increased mould spore concentrations as well as generally poor indoor air quality," they wrote.
The study mentions three main health risks associated with indoor drying:
- Moisture and excess dust mites were an asthma risk
- A high mould spore count was bad for asthma and eczema
- Indoor drying combined with fabric softener could deliver a potentially hazardous and carcinogenic chemical cocktail.
So what should be doing instead?
If you have space, the experts recommend using an indoor drying cupboard.
A dedicated drying space isn't an option for some people. Alternatively, Dr Osbourne says there are other ways to reduce the moisture in your home.
“If you’re cooking remember to turn the extractor fan on. There could potentially be more hot meals served in winter.
Dry the dog off before you come inside and think about where you store your wet coats - put them on the veranda ’til they dry off. If it’s sunny get your washing out and make sure if you use a dryer that it’s vented to the outside. It all adds up."