One of the most frequently asked questions we get here at LivingDirect.Com is just what is a combination washer dryer? We have tried to incorporate as much detail in this section as possible to help you make the most informed decision; however, if you have more questions, our research associates are readily available. Please feel free to give us a call at 1.888.645.3402. or email us at customerservice@LivingDirect.com
What is a combination washer dryer unit?
A combination washer dryer is one appliance that both washes and dries clothes. These units have only one chamber for clothes; they are not unitized or stackable washer/dryers. Washer dryer combinations have been popular in Europe and the Far East for many years- due to the small apartments and living spaces common in these areas, compact appliances were developed to fit the smaller spaces. Many combination washer dryers are also designed to be portable, offering even more options for storage and use of the unit.
How does non-vented drying work?
Non vented combination washer dryers have a two-drum system. The hot air is forced into the outer drum where a condensation process is used to cool the air and condense the water vapor out of it. The water is then flushed out the drain hose to sink or plumbing lines. Because no venting is required of the non-vented washer/dryer, this unit may be easily installed under a cabinet, in a closet, or anywhere water and electricity are available.
How much laundry can I do in one load?
The amount varies depending upon which unit you decide to purchase. Most washer dryers offer somewhat less capacity than full size top load washer and dryer pairs. The LG WM3431HW washer dryer has a maximum capacity of 2.11 cubic feet (greater than 15 pounds), which is about half the size of a "normal" top-loading washer. LG also makes the only full size washer dryer combos available in the US, such as the WM3677HW.
However, the maximum capacities listed above are only maximum washing capacities. Airflow through the drum is a necessary part of clothes drying, so these units can generally dry 1/2 to 3/4 of their maximum wash capacity.
Can the combination washer/dryer units be connected to my kitchen faucet?
Yes. Depending upon the model, you may need a special adaptor or kit, but almost any washer dryer combo can be connected to a kitchen faucet. There is a faucet connector available so the units can be connected to a standard kitchen sink faucet. When connected to a faucet, the outlet hose on these units can be run to the sink drain. So even if you live in an older building that does not have separate hot water connections, the combination washer/dryer is built to fit your needs.
What type of electricity do combination washer/dryers use?
Almost all combination washer/dryers use standard 110 Volt/ 60 Hz electricity. This means they plug into a standard grounded electrical plug, just like many smaller appliances. They do not require any special wiring or plugs.
Does being connected to a single water connection/faucet require any extra work on my part?
The machine uses cold water during the dry cycle to condense and dispose of moisture in the load. When the machine is hooked up to regular hot and cold water hookups, cold water is automatically drawn into the machine during the dry cycle. However, when the machine is connected to a single faucet, the temperature of water entering the machine is determined by the water mix at the faucet.
If cold water is selected to wash and rinse the clothes, cold water will also come in during the dry cycle. However, if hot or warm water is used for washing, it is important to turn the faucet to COLD after the wash cycle, so only cold water is drawn during the dry cycle. Colder water ensures more efficient drying.
How long do the cycles on washer/dryer combos take?
The length of the cycles varies based on the unit, the cycles selected, and the size of the load. Generally, these units take from 30 minutes to an hour and a half to run the wash cycle- the length of time in the wash cycle primarily varies based on the cycle selected. Drying time is generally more variable. Non-vented units generally take 45 minutes to 180 minutes to dry a load. Drying times vary based on the size of the load in the dryer and the type of laundry being dried. For example, heavy fabrics such as denims or towels take longer to dry than lighter fabrics like t-shirts.
What are the major benefits of combination washer dryers?
The number one benefit is the compact size. Washer/Dryer combos are smaller than most washers or dryers, and they do the work of both. In fact, many people install these units under their counter- often in the kitchen. Many washer dryer combos only take up about as much space as normal size dishwasher!
In addition to the compact size, the caster wheels that mostwasher/dryer combos offer make moving these units around far easier than moving a standard washer and dryer. Washer dryer combos can be stored in a storage area or closet and rolled out only when they are needed. The option to connect these units to a standard kitchen sink both adds to their easy portability and makes them very versatile- even apartments and homes without washer connections can use these units.
The washer dryer combos also offer water and energy savings. Many washer dryers are Energy Star rated. This means that these units have been independently tested and are extremely energy efficient, using far less energy than standard washers and dryers.
The energy efficiency of combination washer/dryer units not only saves you money by using much less energy to operate than standard washers and dryers, but many utility companies offer rebates for purchases of energy efficient appliances. Check with your local utility companies (power and water providers) for eligibility.
Not only are these units extremely energy efficient, but they wash much better (and gentler) than standard washers. Combination washer/dryers use a front load washing design that utilizes a horizontal axis drum. This horizontal axis drum eliminates the agitator common to top load washers. In top load washers, the agitator is both very inefficient at cleaning and very rough on clothes. The horizontal axis drum on combination washer dryers mimics washboard clothes washing, raising the clothes out of the water and soap and plunging them back in. Finally, the high rpm's of the spin cycle of these units gets water and soap residue out of your clothes much better than normal washers do. In fact, many people find that they don't have to use any soap at all for their first two loads in a combination washer/dryer because their old top load washer left so much soap residue in their clothes. This efficient and thorough cleaning process is especially helpful for people with sensitive skin or allergies to laundry soap.
Do washer/dryer combos use the same type of detergent as normal washers?
Combination washer/dryers generally use 1/3 to 2/3 less water than traditional washers. Using less water means regular laundry detergents do not dissolve as easily and can leave soap residue on your clothes. Also, combination washer/dryers add more air to the water as your clothes are being cleaned, thus creating more suds than a conventional top loading washer. Excess sudsing can be prevented by using less detergent - However, this may lead to poor cleaning. For this reason, low sudsing detergent was created. Low sudsing detergent is a concentrated detergent that creates less suds and dissolves easily in the low water temperatures of combination washer/dryers. One of the most popular brands of laundry detergent, Tide, makes a low sudsing detergent called Tide HE. However, normal liquid detergent can be used in these machines to no ill effect, as long as the quantity used is limited.
Why should I buy a combination washer/dryer?
Combination washer/dryers have become increasingly popular in the United States. Individuals with space constraints find these units ideal to allow them to continue to do laundry in the privacy of their own home. If you live in an apartment, town home, mobile home, or any other small household, these units may be perfect for you. Also, these units will help to save you money on electricity and water costs. The front loading entry and easy-to-reach controls make the combination washer/dryers ideal for individuals with limited mobility as well. To see our full selection of washer/dryer combos, click here