Kara Zorn on May 13, 2014 9 Comments Appliances, Home Appliances, Laundry, Laundry: FAQs, Laundry: Guides, Laundry: Tips, Lifestyle, RV Living, Small Living, Tips, Tricks & Life Hacks Is a combo unit the right choice for me? How long do the cycles on washer dryer combos take? Is it true that a combo washer dryer unit does not require an air vent? How exactly does condensation drying work? How much laundry can I do in one load? Is it possible to connect a combo unit to a kitchen sink? Where are washer dryer combos most commonly installed? Is it possible for me to only wash or only dry a load? Is a combo unit the right choice for me? The three main aspects to focus on when considering the purchase of a washer dryer combo are load capacity, drying time and application. By design, combo units are smaller than traditional laundry units. If you have a large family or many occupants in the same living area generating daily laundry, you may wish to consider a larger traditional laundry unit. Also, condensation drying is not as robust or fast as traditional 220V vented drying. On average, it will take longer to dry clothing with a combo unit and the capacity of what you can dry at one time is less than a traditional unit. Combo units are a great choice for those that have limited space, an inability to vent a dryer, or provide it with 220V power. They are ideal for use where you may not have space for a traditional laundry unit, such as closets, kitchens, bathrooms and more. How long do the cycles on washer dryer combos take? The length of the cycles varies based on the unit, the cycles selected, and the size of the load. For example, heavy fabrics such as denims or towels take longer to dry than lighter fabrics like t-shirts. Average wash times vary from 1 hour and 10 minutes up to 1 hour and 30 minutes per wash. All units have some level of cycle customization to accommodate different load types that require different settings, though, some machines are more customizable than others. Combo units use condensation drying which gives them the huge benefit of not requiring a vent to expel warm, wet air. Instead, these units expel the moisture through the drain hose similar to the release of water during the spin cycle. This key feature allows for unmatched versatility, but it does lengthen the dry time which average from about one-and-a-half to three hours. Dry times do vary by load and model functionality and are typically shortened in some middle to higher end models that have increased functionality. For example, the EdgeStar and LG units both have an internal sensor that measures the level of moisture in the load and actively adjusts the dry time throughout the dry cycle. Is it true that a combo washer dryer unit does not require an air vent? Yes, almost every combo washer dryer unit on the market today is designed to function without the need of an air vent. This is made possible by the fact that a ventless combo unit employs a condensation drying process instead of the traditional flow through method found in a standard dryer. Not only does condensation drying provide the convenience of non-vented operation, but it is also a gentler way to dry your clothing which will in turn maximize the lifespan of your wardrobe. How exactly does condensation drying work? Non-vented combos employ a two-compartment system. Hot air is forced into the outer chamber where a condensation process is utilized to cool the air and condense the water vapor out of the clothing. The unit uses cold water during the drying cycle to properly facilitate the condensation process within the condensing chamber. The water is then flushed out the drain hose to the sink or plumbing lines. On average, condensation drying will take a bit longer than a vented flow through dryer. Because no venting is required, this unit may be easily installed under a cabinet, in a closet, or anywhere cold water and electricity are available. How much laundry can I do in one load? The average washer dryer combo can wash 13 to 15 lbs. of laundry but can dry around 7 to 9 lbs. Because of this, it is important to pay attention to the contents of each load as well as intended task(s) – wash and dry, wash only or dry only. If the load is only to be washed it is safe to load to the maximum 13 to 15 lbs. capacity but if we try to dry a load that large we’re going to be left with some wet laundry. Washer dryer combos have the ability to program wash and dry cycles at the same time without having to manually start the dry cycle later. The benefit here is being able to simply start the wash cycle and return to a completely finished load of laundry without ever having to transfer the load or program additional settings. Keep in mind that if you are using both cycles, only load the unit to the maximum dry load capacity. If the dry cycle is going to be started manually after completion of the wash it’s safe to wash at the full load amount. Simply remove clothing that can be air-dried to meet the recommended dry load capacity, and then begin the dry cycle. With this method you capitalize on efficiency by running a single wash cycle with a larger load and then separating items that can be air-dried from those that can be dried in the unit. While item weight is going to vary depending on material here are some general weight guidelines to help estimate load contents and size: Twin Sized Quilt – 3 to 5 lbs. Complete Child Outfit – 1 to 3 lbs. Complete Adult Outfit – 3 to 5 lbs. Because of washer dryer combos’ efficient front load configuration, it is important to not only pay attention to the load size, but the contents of the load, as well. For the best results, similar fabrics at reasonable quantities should be washed together. This will allow contents to better distribute within the drum through both cycles, ultimately improving performance – particularly during the dry cycle. Is it possible to connect a combo unit to a kitchen sink? Since most combo units do not require venting and operate on regular 110V electrical current, you may operate them anywhere you are able to supply the unit with cold water and allow the water to drain. Combo units employ the same hoses as a regular stand-alone washer. That is to say they require both a hot and cold water line connection as well as the ability to drain the water from the unit once the wash cycles are completed. Many customers utilize an optional faucet adapter to connect the hot and cold water hoses onto a standard diameter kitchen sink faucet. You will also need to drape the unit’s water drain hose into the sink to allow proper drainage. It is important to note that this is only possible if you purchase the optional accessory items required for faucet connection. You may also need to purchase the optional caster wheels if you are not planning on permanently installing the unit next to your kitchen sink. Please contact your sales agent and they will advise you of all accessory pieces required. Where are washer dryer combos most commonly installed? We have found over the years that most people locate the unit in or near their kitchen. Many purchase an optional accessory kit which includes the water hoses to sink adapter and caster wheels so they may move the unit over to the sink on laundry day and then roll it back to storage. Owners also locate these units in their bathroom and even their master bedroom closet if they are able to run the hoses through the wall into an adjoining bathroom. Since a combo unit does not require venting, or emit any significant humidity, enclosed installation is a viable option. Combo units have been purchased by boat owners, customers with vacation cabins and older customers who do not wish to make a trip down to the basement every time they wish to do laundry. Combo units are also extremely popular with RV owners. They can be installed almost anywhere that you can supply electricity and cold water. Is it possible for me to only wash or only dry a load? Yes. If you only want to wash the load, ensure the “dry” timer is in the “off” position. The door will unlock approximately 90 seconds after wash cycle completion. Do not force the door open. To only dry a load without washing it first, set the dry timer to the desired time and turn the unit on. Instructions for completing the cycles individually vary by manufacturer, but the option is available on most current models.