Different types of washer-dryers
With a washer-dryer you can do both washing and drying, but there are models that come with extra options. Would you like to buy a washer-dryer combi? If so, you might want to consider whether some of these types are a good fit for you.
Wash and dry with low energy consumption
Wash and dry combos are known for not always being very energy efficient. The appliance can use more energy than a washing machine and dryer together. Some models do have an energy class a, which is often caused by a built-in system that calculates exactly how much water and energy you need to get your laundry clean and dry.
It is also an option to choose a washer-dryer combination with a heat pump. This is a heating element that makes the drying process much more energy efficient, saving you up to 40% more energy and giving the unit an energy class a. However, you have to take into account that this technique is also much more expensive, so a combined washer and dryer with a heat pump can be a few hundred euros more expensive than a normal model. In some cases, it is even cheaper to buy an energy-efficient washer and dryer.
Smart washer and dryer
Smart washer-dryers know what you and your laundry needs. Newer models of washer-dryers can be linked to your smartphone or tablet, allowing you to pre-set, for example, when the appliance should start. This way you can make sure your laundry is clean and dry when you wake up in the morning. There are also washer-dryers that can recognise what programme your laundry needs. The water level can be measured according to weight, and some can even select the best temperature for the fabric. This way you can be sure that you will never wash a sweater that has shrunk two sizes.
And finally, there are washer-dryers that, for example, will not start washing if you have added too much detergent. This prevents the colour of your clothes from fading quickly and also reduces the need to buy new detergent.
Drying and drying programmes that take extra care of your clothes
You obviously invest in a washing machine and dryer because you value your clothes. For example, there are wash-dryer models that are built to take extra care of your clothes during the spin cycle. There are also models that can get your clothes out of the dryer virtually wrinkle-free. No need to iron after washing, which is better for your clothes. Even at the high speed of 1400 rpm or 1600 rpm, your clothes will be dry and wrinkle-free.
Drying your clothes can also be done in a variety of ways. Most models will have three options: closet dry, iron dry and extra dry. If that’s not enough for you, there are also wash-dry combinations that have the ability to set their own temperature. If you have a small home it may be a good idea to get a washer and dryer in one, but it is no use if the noise level during the spin cycle is so high that you cannot escape the noise.
For a noisy washer-dryer, you need the space, otherwise it’s better to look for a quiet model. When is a washer-dryer quiet? Generally when the indicated noise level is below 73 db. Between 74 and 77 db is normal, and above 78 db is high.
Please note that the noise level indicates how much noise the unit makes during spinning, and during washing and drying it is often lower.
Most people will choose a washer/dryer because it is easier to do everything in one machine. If your washer-dryer also has a non stop program, you can just leave your laundry in there and get it out washed and dried. With a non stop function you don’t have to intervene and set a new drying programme, everything goes through in one go.
You can switch on your washer-dryer before you go out and it will be ready for you when you get home. You can also choose to have the option of having your washing machine run on a continuous cycle for up to two weeks. For example, if you have more than 8 kg of laundry, the machine can wash, but it can’t go on to the drying function. You will need to remove a few kilos of laundry first in order not to exceed the dryer’s maximum fill weight.
Wash-dry combinations for specific situations
As with regular washing machines, a washer-dryer can also have special features. For example, a wash program specifically for allergies or one designed for washing and drying baby clothes.
Not everyone washes the same and it depends on each person what kind of programs you need. Of course, one of the biggest advantages of having a washer and dryer in one is that it takes up less space than buying two separate appliances. For small households, there are also small models available that you can easily fit in the bathroom or hallway.
Always keep in mind that the maximum fill weight will be a lot lower. For washing, you can store between 6 kg and 7 kg of laundry, and for drying it is even less, often only 4 kg or 5 kg. So you can’t wash and dry too much laundry at once, which means you’ll have to wash it more often than if you had a large 8kg, 9kg or 10kg capacity washer-dryer.
Built in washer-dryers
Like a standalone washer and dryer, a washer-dryer can also be specially designed to be built-in. The main benefit of a built-in washer and dryer is that it can be customised to fit your kitchen or bathroom, making it blend in with the rest of your home.
The downside is that not all models are suitable for built-in, so you have less choice. Also, the maximum fill weight is often a lot lower because the washer-dryer is not as large. Most built-in models have a fill weight of 8kg for washing and 6kg for drying.
Additionally, washer-dryers are also not made with a flap at the top, which can be the case with a stand-alone washer and dryer. The advantage of a top-hinged door is that the appliance can be hidden away even more easily.
And finally, built-in models are often a bit more expensive and it’s hard to find an energy class A model.
A combination of different types of washer-dryers
Of course, one washer-dryer doesn’t have to preclude another. You may well find a compact, smart and energy efficient model. If you are looking for a washer/dryer that holds 10kg of laundry, is energy efficient and has a special drying program for allergies, there are several brands that will offer such a model. You just have to look hard. The AEG L7WB86GW, for example, is available in different versions, with a washing capacity of 8 kg, as well as 10 kg.
Is a washer-dryer combo something for me?
A washer and dryer in one is convenient if you want to wash and dry when you have limited space. Most models come with features that you could find on a standalone washer or dryer.
You just have to be aware of some drawbacks, such as a lower capacity for drying than for washing and higher energy consumption.
On the other hand, with a washer and dryer combo, you only have to buy one machine, which takes up a lot less space.