Melony, My hair dryer is about as old as yours (If it ain't broke, don't try to fix it, eh? lol) I do my drying the same way you are describing with the setting on Cool on my dryer. I just feel like there has to be an alternative to it. Not to mention I'm sick right now, so I'm being a definite baby about the whole thing HAHA!
SE, that's not really an option for me as it does take my locs a long time to dry and they are still really short and not really very thick (my hair is thick, but my locs are not too big). I posted this yesterday around this time after washing my hair and today they are just finally dry at this point. I don't want to have to point a high heat dryer at my head at all, that's why I'm looking for an alternative for something with low heat and airflow that will work.
Marcellus, I'm really not sure if a dehumidifier would work either. If you have one on hand, try it and let us know how it works, if you need to buy one, I wouldn't bother. I would think since it's a dry heat coming from the furnace (if you're using a furnace) in winter that our dreads would dry faster. I live right next to Lake Superior in Michigan so in summer it is high humidity here and they dry pretty fast at that time. I guess best case scenario for that would be a wood stove. When I lived using one of those, it was hot dry heat all winter. My locs aren't even shoulder lengths at this point, I can't imagine how hard they will be to dry at your length lol