Combination Washer Dryers

A combination washer and dryer is exactly what it sounds like--a washer and dryer combined into a single unit--a veritable all-in-one appliance and perfect space saver. The combination was introduced to the public in the 1950s but has quietly remained behind the scenes for a number of years. Recently however, it has experienced a rebirth and an increase in popularity. While Whirlpool and other manufacturers have been selling combination washer and dryer units in Europe, homeowners in the United States are just now starting to jump on the bandwagon, replacing their side-by-side washers and dryers with combinations.

What Is a Combination Washer and Dryer Unit?

A combination differs from stackable washer and dryer in that it is actually a washing machine with a drying function added on as opposed to two separate units stacked on top of each other. The combination, which is a front-loading model, works using a ductless technology with a condensation mechanism to remove moisture from the washed clothes. This condensation mechanism functions similar to a dehumidifier. Hot air is blown into the washing machine's tub and the condensation unit, which is essentially a blast of cold air, removes the moisture from the now moist hot air via a drainage hose or pipes that connect to the home's wastewater system-the same pipes that would be used to drain water from a conventional washing machine.

The Pros and Cons of Using a Washer and Dryer Unit

The primary advantage of a combination washer and dryer unit is that it is a space saver. In addition, the size and weight of a combination unit are about the same as a conventional washing machine by itself. People living in apartments, condominiums, and other places where space is at a premium benefit the most from combination units. Most models have wheels under the unit and are easily transported from one location to another. They also use a standard 110volt electrical current, which means they can be plugged into any outlet in the United States. It is also a well-known fact that front loading washing machines clean clothes better than top loading models and use less soap, less water, and therefore less energy. The cons of combination units are that they are significantly more expensive than conventional washers and dryers and that the length of time required to dry clothes can be much longer; sometimes double the amount of time.