Do you live in an apartment or house that does not come equipped with washer/dryer hookups? Do you find yourself piling up your dirty clothes until you finally don’t have anything to wear but some old holey t-shirt from junior high and your swim suit bottoms? This outfit predicament is usually the last straw that forces you to take your now Mount Kilimanjaro sized pile of dirty clothes to the laundromat.
Once you procure your roll of quarters and get to the laundromat, you feel trapped there like a caged animal while you wait for your clothes to wash AND dry. You wouldn’t dare venture out to grab a bite to eat or run an errand because last time you tried to be efficient with your time and left your clothing unattended, someone took your wet clothes out of the dryer and stole your machine because you weren’t there to protect your territory.
If this sounds like you, or you would just like a way to wash and dry your clothes in the comfort of your own home when you don’t necessarily have the space or connections for a traditional washer and dryer, there may still be a solution for you: A washer dryer combo.
What is a Washer Dryer Combo?
A washer dryer combo is an all-in-one laundry machine that both washes and dries your clothes. The majority of them are ventless units that only have two basic requirements to wash and dry your clothes. Those requirements are typically only a 120V plug and a cold water connection. They do not use the same type of drying method as traditional dryers and instead use a method called condensation drying to dry the clothes that does not need the power of a 220V plug.
Using the condensation drying method allows combos to be ventless and means that they do not require the dryer vent that a traditional dryer requires. They do, however, still need to be hooked up to a cold water source, but if you do not have traditional water connections in your home, never fear, you can hook these units up to your sink with the help of the optional Y connector and Quick Connect Faucet Adaptor.
Benefits of a Washer Dryer Combo
People often ask me, “Do Combo Washer Dryers actually work?” My answer is always, “Yes, but you need to understand the unit and know what to expect to really know if it is the right choice for you.” The below benefits and drawbacks should help you figure out if a washer dryer combo will fit your needs.
- Can Wash & Dry Clothing All In One Unit:
With these units you can say goodbye to the days of forgetting you have clothes in the washer and neglecting to move them to the dryer.
- No Need to Vent Out Hot Air From the Dryer:
These units use condensation drying instead of forced air drying and therefore do not require a vent.
- No Need to Have Separate Hot & Cold Water Connections:
With the use of some optional accessories (y connector and faucet adaptor) these units can be easily connected to your kitchen, bathroom or other sink.
- Low Water Consumption:
Consumes less water than a traditional top load washer.
- Space Efficient:
Because these are two machines in one unit they obviously take up less space than a traditional separate washer and dryer. On top of that, most of them are made to fit underneath a standard height countertop so they can conveniently fit in smaller living environments without being intrusive.
- Extends Life of Clothing:
Traditional heat forced drying methods are tough on clothing as indicated from all the lent in the lent trap. That lent is pieces of your clothing and over time drying your clothes using a traditional dryer will wear out your clothing faster than drying in a combo washer dryer that uses the condensation drying method.
Many of the combo washer dryers have optional portability kits that you can purchase. These kits include castors that you can attach to the bottom of your unit, a y connector and a quick connect faucet adaptor. This gives you the ability to quickly roll this unit out and attach it to your sink and then roll it back out of the way when your wash is complete.
Drawbacks of a Washer Dryer Combo
- Must Have Access to Cold Water:
Due to the condensation drying method used in these machines you must have cold, not warm, water running into the machine (yes, even while it is drying) to allow the clothes to dry.
- Small Capacity:
These units are good to use for 1-2 people and possibly 3 if you have a full size capacity combo washer dryer. Because the condensation drying method needs to allow enough air space for moisture to dissipate from the clothing, the drum can only be ½ to 2/3 full during the dry cycle.
- Longer Cycle Time:
The condensation drying method takes longer than the traditional forced air drying method and therefore the combined wash and dry times of a load will be longer than that of a traditional washer and dryer.
If you do not take your laundry out upon completion of the dry cycle you may get excessive wrinkles due to the moisture build up in the air inside the drum left from the condensation drying method.
- Clothes Not Fully Dry After Dry Cycle:
The air inside the combo washer dryer will still be very humid even after the dry cycle is over. This does cause the clothing to feel moist to the touch as you are taking your clothes out but normally this is resolved with a quick shake out of the clothing item.
Common Uses of a Washer Dryer Combo
There are many different scenarios where a Washer Dryer Combo would be a benefit and I have listed quite a few different uses below. The common theme of these different scenarios is the need to do laundry in a place that is not equipped with traditional laundry hookups or there is not enough space for a separate washer and dryer.
In these scenarios a combination Washer Dryer makes laundry more convenient. If you do, however, have the room and the hook-ups for a separate washer and dryer, I would recommend going with that, because of the drawbacks that were listed above.
- Apartments & Condos Without Washer/Dryer Connections:
This is the most common use of a washer dryer combo.
Bring the comfort of washing your clothes on the road with you without compromising your space.
Bring the comfort of washing your clothes to the sea without compromising your space.
- Nursing Homes:
Allows the resident to wash their clothes when they want to and not get lost or mixed up with the another residents clothes.
- Extra Washer & Dryer:
If you have an overabundance of laundry or you have some light loads that you do not want to travel all the way down to the basement to handle, combo washer dryers often can lend the extra hand needed.
- Mother-in-Law/Guest House:
Helps offer the amenities of the main house without having to transport laundry back and forth.
- Extended Stay Hotels or Temporary Housing:
Some hotels or temporary housing offer these to their guests if they have to stay for long periods of times.
- Hair Salons:
Eliminate the need to take home the hair salon towels again if your shop space doesn’t offer laundry hook-ups.
Laundry tends to be one of the least liked chores of many people and that dislike for laundry only multiplies if you are forced to make a trip just to do your laundry. Washer Dryer Combos can make laundry more convenient in places that you wouldn’t typically be able to do laundry.