Washer/Dryer Combo

buildinnjMarch 7, 2011

Dryer/Washer Combo

In a new house that we are building we would like to put an ancillary washer/dryer on the main floor (the main laundry room will be on the second floor). In researching options I came across a ventless dryer/washer combo one unit that does both. From a space and venting standpoint this would be an ideal option but I�m not sure how these work and if they are worthwhile. Anyone have experience with these? Should we just stick to the standing Washer Dryer combos?

we are looking at this model in perticular: WM3987HW

Thanks in advance for your help.

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Take a look at the new FAGOR 220 volt washer dryer combo, it drys the lg is 115 volt dryer it takes forever to dry

    Bookmark   March 7, 2011 at 1:06PM
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True washer/dryer combos (washing and drying in the same drum of a single machine) typically can effectively dry only a half-size load. Either the load is run smaller-than-full-capacity so it can be dried without intervention .... or if a full-capacity washload is run, then half of it should be taken out while the remainder dries, then the rest dried in a separate cycle.

Drying requires more drum space for the clothes to billow/expand. Stand-alone dryers are approximately double the size of washers ... washers 2.5 to 4+ cu. ft., dryers are 5+ to 7+ cu. ft.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2011 at 1:56PM
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do you guys have any experience with 'Heat Pump' based washer/dryer combos? was reading about them online and seem an interesting option. Then I found out that they aren't available in the US�but most of this was from 2 years ago I hope that has changed. Anyone know where you can pick one of these up in the US?
This is for a secondary laundry room, mostly for towels from the kitchen and any items from the guest bedroom etc.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2011 at 12:26PM
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Your consideration to build an "ancillary" laundry area would say that it is more of an option than a complete necessity. Since you are going to go through the expense of creating the additional laundry area, I would strongly discourage you to buy an all in one unit.

There are a few reasons I can give from personal experience.

One is long cycle times to both wash and dry a load. While wash times can run from 30 to 50 minutes for regular cycles, you will need to add at least another hour or two to dry the load. 3 hour + cycles are not uncommon and you really don't get much laundry done either.

Another is relatively small capacity. Although you can wash using the entire wash tub, you would have to remove 1/2 or more of the load so that it dries evenly and without wrinkling. This user intervention in between the wash and dry phases can be rather inconvenient.

The results of dried laundry is also something to get used to as well. Since these machines rely on condenser drying technology, a dried load is still slightly damp. This is even more apparent on thick cotton items such as towels.

The only reason to purchase an all in one unit is if there is absolutely no other alternative.

If it is possible in your design plans for additional vertical space (I assume that you were planning to place the washer/dryer combo under a counter) , I would strongly recommend a compact stacked set that you get put in a closet.

There are several brands out there that would give satisfactory results for kitchen and bathroom towels provided there is venting available for the dryer.

Otherwise, I would recommend a set with condenser dryer if venting isn't possible. Some considerations here are energy efficiency, speed, and external moisture output. Bosch makes such a set but has a higher moisture output. In that case you need adequate room ventilation. (I've heard of mold problems due to inadequate ventilation in closets with the Bosch condenser). Another option is Miele. They make a condenser dryer which is excellent and can be stacked over their washer and has very low external moisture. I have used this set extensively and it gave superb results, but of course Miele ain't cheap. Either way, condenser dryers are typically 220V machines and work better than 110V dryers. You have to work the electrical requirements in your plans.

In short, washer/dryer combos are really sub par if you are used to a separate washer and dryer. If you can avoid them, opt for a washer with separate dryer. I travel frequently and have to use a washer/dryer combo in two hotel apartments I stay at so I know from experience. One brand I use, the LG is also rather noisy during drying as the pump continuously goes on and off so that is something else to consider.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2011 at 4:09AM
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@buildinnj: That's the combo unit that we wanted to get. We had to go one size lower, the 24" LG, due to space constraints. I don't know if I agree with all the comments above. Sure, combos have their trade-offs. We only got one because we wanted to open up the kitchen by moving a stacked washer/dryer unit to another part of the house. However, where we wanted it also housed the HVAC & hot water heater, so we had to go the combo route.

I have to say, as this is our first condensing dryer, ever, we are pretty surprised overall. It does take 3.5 hours from start to finish, but I also put a healthy amount of clothes in the thing. I'm folding laundry now and just counted:

7 t-shirts
3 long-sleeve shirts
1 dress shirt
1 pair of Dockers
14 underwear
15 pairs of dress socks

Granted, I took out the dress shirt & Dockers prior to the drying cycle as I didn't want them to shrink. But the machine was probably at 80% full for the drying cycle, and everything still came out hot & dry. You'd think you need to wring out the clothes after they are dried from some reviews, but that really isn't the case at all. They might feel a bit humid at first, but you'll notice 20 seconds later they are perfectly dry.

It has served well as our only laundry option since we got it last September. I don't miss the old stacked unit at all. This one actually holds more clothing as there is no agitator. However, if your upstairs unit needs to serve as a "quick de-wrinkling" machine for clothes you want to throw on, I'm not sure this unit would be good for you, or maybe any condensing dryer for that matter. Clothes come out fine if you take them out as soon as the cycle is finished, but if you leave them in there, they do wrinkle.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2011 at 9:40AM
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