A washer-dryer sounds like the ultimate in laundry convenience – you put dirty clothes in, and take clean and dry clothes out! All in one compact unit. It sounds too good to be true but is it really?
The Consumer Organisation in New Zealand ran some tests on washer-dryers. Here is a summary of some of their results.
“Our tests have found these machines often can’t match the performance of their separate counterparts. While the washing performance can be comparable to front-loading washing machines, a washer-dryer’s drying function is, more often than not, very disappointing.”
This shouldn’t be a surprise since one machine is trying to be two. A specialist washing machine and a dedicated dryer are almost always going to be better than a combined single unit.
How they work
“The dryer component is a condenser dryer, which uses a heat exchanger to remove heat and water from air that has passed through your clothes. The water is collected in a reservoir or funnelled down a drain. The heat exchanger uses water as its coolant, which means water is used for both washing and drying.”
A washer-dryer takes up less space than a separate washing machine and dryer.
No need for external venting of the dryer.
Washing time is similar to stand-alone washing machines.
The drying time is far longer than a separate dryer.
Uses more electricity because of the longer drying cycle.
The capacity of the dryer is often less than their washing capacity.
Why Have Washer-Dryer?
A washer-dryer can be useful for these circumstances:
- Apartments or small homes where there is no space for a washer and a dryer.
- A holiday home but you need to have time to run two drying cycles.
- If you rarely use the dryer function.
- People with mobility issues when moving clothes from one machine to another is difficult.
Consider buying a separate washing machine and clothes dryer first. However, if free space in your home is a problem, or you only rarely use a clothes dryer, then a washer-dryer may work for you.
Another issue to consider is that if one part of the machine stops working, then the whole machine is likely to be inoperative. But if you have separate machines and one stops, you can still use the other.
If your washer-dryer needs a service or repair, go to NZAppliance Repairs, and search for your local appliance repair company.
Material for this post came from https://www.consumer.org.nz/products/washer-dryers/guide.