All About Washer-Dryer Combos [Pros & Cons]
No matter how you slice it, laundry can be a tedious and daunting task. It involves a lot of guesswork and skillful timing – separating your dark and light; assessment of the water level and the correct amount of detergents; Loading your dryer with wet clothes. But what if we told you that you could skip this last step?
A washer-dryer can reinvent your laundry routine by being able to wash and dry your clothes, towels and home furnishings in one load. So whether you're looking to innovate to fit your busy lifestyle, or you're trying to maximize space in a compact room, these two-in-one appliances can improve your laundry.
Are you interested? Your friends in the business at Spencer's TV&Appliance have the lowdown on this double duty laundry appliance. Check out the pros and cons of our washer dryer combos!
What is a washer dryer?
To get a little more granular with our definition of a washer-dryer combo, this product combines a front-loading washer and condenser clothes dryer into a single unit. It's also about the same size as a standalone washer.
In terms of price and brand affiliation, washer-dryer combos typically offer many of the features that come standard with other mid- to high-end washers and dryers, including smart sensors, cleaning cycles, steam settings, and WiFi connectivity.
In short, washer-dryer combos promise to do everything a washer and dryer set can do, but with half the footprint, making this laundry appliance especially handy for smaller living spaces.
Now, let's discuss the pros and cons of a washer-dryer combo.
Advantages of washer-dryer ✓
They are more economical than a standard laundry pair
As mentioned earlier, the main added value of washer-dryer combos is that they take up half the space of a washer and dryer set. For any family living in a small house or apartment, this combined device significantly reduces the space required for household chores.
But even if your home isn't short on square footage, it's always a good idea to optimize your space by thoughtfully downsizing and streamlining your laundry.
Their washing quality is equal to that of a standard washing machine
Product testers noted that most washer-dryers operate the same way during a wash cycle to achieve comparable results; Once the water, clothes, and detergent are added, the washer-dryer spins, rinses, and spins again. All detergents dissolve normally in these devices as well, regardless of whether you prefer to use barrels, liquid or powder.
For the most part, the energy consumed when using one or the other is similar. Additionally, the purchase and operating costs of a washer-dryer are about the same as a separate front-load washer and condenser dryer.
Their drum designs are gentler on clothes
Combined washer-dryers are designed with a horizontal axis drum similar to most front-loading washing machines. Most notably, this design allows the combo unit to be gentler on the clothes inside it, preventing dirt. And because washer-dryer combinations remove the clothes from the water and then plunge them back into the dryer, they make for a more gentle cleaning method.
They are easy to use
Best of all, with a washer-dryer combo, you can wash and dry your clothes hands-free! Because you're using one machine instead of two separate machines, the laundry process is as simple as selecting the settings you want for your load and then pressing "Start."
Plus, with this combo, you have the option to wash or dry independently, so you can choose to run a wash cycle only for items you want to air dry, or simply choose a wrinkle release cycle when you're short on time. Iron your business clothes.
Combined disadvantages of washer-dryer ☒
It's only fair to consider the disadvantages associated with washer-dryer combinations as well. Here are the most commonly reported problems with this device:
They can only dry half the power of a standard dryer
As mentioned earlier, a washer-dryer combo uses the same washing actions as an equivalent front-loading washer, so their cleaning abilities are comparable; However, their drying results may not be as successful as a stand-alone dryer.
The main reason for this inferiority is that drying requires more cubic feet than a washing machine to load and dispose of clothes. In contrast, washing operations rely on friction, and since a washer-dryer combination occupies the footprint of a typical washing machine, the washing results for both are largely comparable.
As such, the same cannot be said for the performance of washer-dryer combos and stand-alone dryers.
They may take longer to wash and dry than standard laundry pairs
While washer-dryer combos clean about as well as a stand-alone washer, the drying aspect is where things get a little tricky. Unlike stand-alone dryers, washer-dryer dryer combinations contain multiple plumbing fixtures and water inlets in the drum that support the washing side of the items, but are also used for the drying component.
As a reminder, washer-dryer combinations are, in part, condenser dryers. Unlike vented dryers, which pump hot, humid air directly into your laundry, a condenser dryer captures moisture from the clothes, forcing warm, dry air to capture the moisture and cooling the moist air in a heat exchanger to condense the moisture. The extracted moisture is either collected in a tank or pumped down the drain. Now the dry air is reheated and the cycle repeats.
All of this means that condenser dryers take longer to dry your clothes than vented dryers. For reference, a vented dryer can finish a normal load in about 45 to 50 minutes, while a condenser dryer can run for about an hour and a half.
With that in mind, the total run time for a combined wash and dry cycle can be anywhere from three to six and a half hours, depending on the size of the load.
They can use a staggering amount of water to dry your laundry
Washer-dryer combinations can use up to 55-½ gallons on some machines because the dryer's condenser mechanism uses tap water for the cooling phase.
This staggering amount is added to the water required for washing (in some cases, the drying component may require more water than the washing part), so it's safe to say that washer-dryer combinations are more expensive to maintain as far as your water bill is concerned.
That said, if you're looking for a more efficient alternative, heat pump washer-dryer combos are available. Although these models do not rely on water to dry your clothes, it should be noted that their initial cost is higher.
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