When you only have enough room for one washing appliance in your home, it often makes sense to go for a combined washer-dryer.
But while they’re very useful for some people, they won’t suit everyone so if you’re considering buying a washer-dryer, then there’s a few crucial questions to consider. We’ve set out the most useful information below.
Surely a washer-dryer saves me space, money and time?
For some people this is definitely true. If you want both functions and only have room for one machine, then it’s an obvious option but there are compromises to make.
What will I lose out on then?
For a start you obviously can’t wash and dry your clothes at the same time, which may make these machines unsuitable for large families.
If you fill the machine to full capacity, you’ll need to remove some garments before the drying program can be started.
But if you fill it up to the specified drying limit at the beginning, some machines will allow you to run an uninterrupted cycle – going straight from washing to drying. This will be shown in your instruction manual.
Washer-dryers do tend to be less energy efficient than separates. This is because the technology involved has to be compromised to put both features within the machine, so it can’t be optimised to use less electric. Most are B-rated at best although Miele do have a very costly top-of-the-range A+ model.
It will also take you longer to dry in a washer-dryer than on a standalone dryer as the heating element is smaller. Clothes may also feel slightly damper when it’s finished than when using a separate.
What else should I be considering?
As with a washing machine and tumble dryer, there are a few main features to think of.
The capacity will determine how much you can fit in the drum, most will be between 5kg and 9kg, with a general rule of thumb being 1kg is the same as five men’s shirts. The spin speed impacts how dry your clothes emerge after a wash and you’ll find washer-dryers with many of the same time-saving and specialist programs as washing machines and tumble dryers.
Top-end models have features such as sensor drying to stop when the clothes are dry, not when the program ends, and the likes of easy iron to reduce creases, or a reverse tumble action.
As with all washing machines and dryers, also check the noise level, displayed in decibels on the energy label.
Are washer-dryers cheaper?
Despite doing two things in one, these appliances often work out less money than buying separates.
But the cheaper models may not be as good as having a basic one of each in your home.
Prices can start at around £300 and go all the way up to nearly £1300 for the top-of-the-range fully-functioned Miele.
Find out more information about washer-dryers by reading our other buying guides for washing and drying appliances. You will see many of the programs, features and jargon are common between all three.
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