Are airing cupboards/hot presses non-existent in US homes?

And how come?

No idea what an airing cupboard is. Is a hot press one of those things you find in hotels for pressing your pants?

An airing cupboard is a cupboard/closet that contains a water heater (usually an immersion heater) and has slatted shelves that allow air to circulate. The idea is that you keep linen in there and it doesn’t get musty, or you can put it away slightly damp and it will dry without going stale.

I just looked up “hot press” and it seems that that’s the Irish name for the same thing.

Picture - almost identical to the one in my house. And here, showing the tank.

No, they aren’t common in America. Mostly we just have linen closets, which are just closets with regular shelves. Dampness can be a problem in older homes in wet climates, but many modern American homes have central heating and air conditioning and so are warmer and/or drier under most weather conditions

Never heard of them. In Minnesota, damp just isn’t that big of a problem. I’ve never worried about linens becoming damp while sitting in a closet.

On top of that, I would never store clothing or linens near a water heater. All the water heaters I’ve ever had have been gas burning. I know some folks who, because of a water heater that shot flames out the bottom, had a house burn down.

So no “flammables near heat source” (the official reason for the fire) in my house.

Thanks Colophon, I should have clarified what it was. Hot press is indeed the Irish term for the same thing. We also have central heating etc. I’m wondering perhaps they predate standard central heating in this part of the world or are they just a handy combination of water heater and clothes dryer/warmer?

The boiler usually heats the water and it’s not in the airing cupboard. The hot water tank has no source of ignition. We have a boiler downstairs and it pumps heated water into the hot water tank upstairs in the airing cupboard. The hot water tank also has an electric immersion heater element inside it for when the hot water runs out and someone needs some right then.

So, there’s no fire risk from storing linens in the airing cupboard.

We also store clean towels in there too.

Just another data point: I’ve never heard of such a thing!

An Gadai: Are they common in Europe/Ireland?

In Irish rural homes and suburban homes they’re near universal. I’m not too sure how common they are in more modern apartment dwellings. “Leaving the immersion on” (ie leaving the boiler switched on) is/was a common enough concern that at least one stand-up comedian has lampooned it.

Here where there are no basements the water heater is outside or sometimes stuck in a closet somewhere (in our old house it seemed like the house must have been built around it - it was in the closet under the stairs and when it died we had to take the wall down to get it out.) If you do have a basement the water heater’s in there. I just can’t really imagine a need to put your sheets in there to keep it company. I guess we don’t have any dampness problems, although it’s quite humid here (of course everybody has air conditioning.)

That would be part of the difference for a lot of houses here. Most house that I know of have forced air heating, not a boiler. Even the houses I know with hot water heat (boilers) have a seperate hot water heater (which provides hot water to all the faucets in the house). So we have hot water HEATERS, not hot water tanks.
Hotstuffworks has a diagram of what my hot water heater looks like.

That’s the kind of water heater I think pretty much everybody (who doesn’t have the newfangled circulating kind) has in the US. Boilers are very rare these days, AFAIK.

Also a leading concern of Jim’s in The Royle Family

As for how prevalent airing cupboards are, pretty much universal in suburban British homes in my experience, at least in places I’ve lived. My house was built in the 1960s, without central heating and the water is heated by an electric immersion heater, which is housed in the airing cupboard in my bedroom.

Never heard of such a thing until today.

The only time I’ve heard of them was looking at tankless water heaters. They were on the sites in England with the tankless hot water devices. Until then I had never seen or heard of them. They are definitely a European house item, not American.

The only time I’ve ever heard of them is in the Monty Python “Bells” sketch.

So yes, non-existant, at least out here in the west. We didn’t have one even in damp Oregon.

Fixed that for you.

Actually, when our old oil heater died, we replaced it with a system that has a both a hot water heater (still oil powered) and a seperate holding tank. We never run out of hot water, and it lowered our energy costs because the heater isn’t running all of the time.

It looks sort of like this, only without the solar panel part.

Oh, but yes, I’ve never heard of an airing cupboard before either. The tank just sits in the basement next to the heater.

You have a tank AND a heater? Mine’s the same thing. (Or, by “heater”, you mean furnace, to heat the whole house, not to heat water?)