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Washer dryers combine the features of washing machines and tumble dryers in one machine, but are the same size as a conventional washer, so are ideal if space is an important consideration.
All washer dryers feature a condenser type dryer so there's no need for venting or emptying water bottles.
Because washer dryers use less water than regular washing machines, they require less detergent and detergent that has less suds than regular detergent
The main benefit of washer dryer combination units is their compactness. The small size of these machines compared to the total space required for a separate washer and dryer suits them to small homes, apartments, and any place where space is an issue. Aside from having a small footprint, washer dryers also have a small height, allowing them to fit into confined places, like under a kitchen worktop or in a cupboard.
Washer dryer combination units have most of the features found in modern washing and drying machines. Combination machines, despite being half the size of a separate washer and dryer setup, may have a similar price because they still contain all the component parts of both.
Washer dryers generally have lower capacity than separate machines. Whereas some of the larger stand-alone washing machines can handle over 20 pounds in capacity, large combo units can only take around 15 pounds. Furthermore, the dryer cycle of these machines can only handle around one-half to three-quarters of the capacity that the washer cycle can handle. This means that users will not be able to wash and dry a full-capacity load in one go, instead, they will have to remove some of the clothes in the washer before going into the dryer cycle.
Another relative drawback of washer dryer combos when compared with separate dryers is that they take significantly longer to dry a batch of clothes in comparison to stand-alone dryers. Stand-alone dryers make use of hot air or other heating elements to dry the clothes in a fraction of the time that it takes the condensation-based drying system in combination units. This is innate to the washer dryer design, since the dryer has to work longer to dry the drum as well as the clothes inside the drum. Typically, a drying cycle in a good washer dryer combo unit can take between 45 minutes and three hours. Washer dryers offer significant advantages of convenience over separate washing machines and dryers, and enable a dryer to be used in a kitchen where there is room for only one appliance, and this may offset the fact that in performance terms, they are not as efficient as some of the stand-alone machines in the market today. Because of the larger size and build of stand-alone machines, manufacturers are able to put more energy-saving features into the machine. Furthermore, since washer dryers must perform both washing and drying functions, it is harder to design an efficient and effective machine. The longer drying times of washer dryers also make it difficult to increase efficiency, because the machine has to stay in operation for much longer than a stand-alone dryer does. Another contributing factor to the poor efficiency of some washer dryers is that they can only handle small loads, so users will have to run multiple small loads rather than fewer but larger loads, which a stand-alone machine can easily handle.
Should I buy a washer dryer?
If you have enough space for a separate washing machine and a separate tumble dryer, then buy both instead of getting a washer dryer. Good washer dryers are more expensive to buy and can cost more than buying a good washing machine and a good tumble dryer. In a washer dryer you can’t get a whole wash load into the dryer, so you have to take half of it out and do two separate dry loads. Due to the constraints of using the same machine for two such disparate functions, separate washing machines and dryers are more reliable than the combined washer dryer option.
However, if you don’t have enough space for both machines, a washer dryer is a great space saving product, and has the additional convenience of having all your laundry products in one place, and may be your only option. If so, spend as much as you can afford on one – ideally go for a really good make like a Miele.