An all-in-one washer/dryer combo not only washes and dries your clothes but also aids in a few home-related dilemmas. Whether you’re renting a home, living in tight quarters or needing a less-involved appliance, this handy system may be the answer thanks to its nontraditional installation, among other attributes. But as with any relatively large purchase, it comes with a few pros and cons that you should consider before buying.
How It Works
The washer/dryer combo doesn’t require venting. Instead, a condenser system sends the moisture from the drying process out through the plumbing system. Other than that, the machine operates in the same way as traditional washers and dryers. Combination appliances come in portable, compact and full sizes, from about 1.5 to 4.2 cubic feet. Although many 2-in-1 machines have a much-reduced wash capacity compared to regular washers, the largest combo units will launder up to 22 pounds of dry clothing, which means that you won't have to sacrifice capacity. They have a variety of wash features, such as a high-heat, allergen and sanitary cycle, and sprinkler-style, forced-water circulation such as you'd find in some front-loader washing machines.
Pros and Cons
The space-saving benefit to a washer/dryer combo is obvious, but when you're comparison shopping, stacking washers and dryers -- which take up more cubic feet -- only require about as many feet widthwise as their combo counterparts. Likely, the biggest downfall of an all-in-one unit is the extended drying time; from start to finish, a load of laundry may take 2 1/2 hours or longer. But with a delayed-start function, you could set a load before heading out for the day and have it ready to fold when you arrive back home.
The combined-laundry appliance can be ideal for the recreational vehicle, boat, cabin or rental home where venting isn’t in place, isn’t an option or isn’t appropriate. Consider the machine for a college student’s residence. In a home with a rental suite, it could be the answer to a second laundry area. When the garage is going to double as a laundry room, this handy unit will make the addition a bit less involved.
As of April 2013, you could buy an all-in-one washer/dryer combo for as little as around $1,000, up to about $2,000. When purchasing a separate washer and dryer as a set, you might expect to pay about the same. Look for energy-efficient models that also use less water to both reduce the dent in your bank account and reduce your impact on the environment.
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