FAQ’s: Washers & Dryers

Choosing a washer and dryer can be overwhelming due to the many types, options, and features, but we have the information you need to help you make the right purchase. Below we answer some of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to washers and dryers.

Have a question we didn’t answer? Let us know in the comments below or give us a call at 1.800.297.6076.

What are the different types of washing machines?

There are many options when it comes to picking the right washing machine. Fortunately, we offer several different choices to ensure you will find the right one.

Combo Washer Dryers
Combo Washer Dryers

Combo washer dryers are popular for people who do not have space for a full size unit, lack laundry connections or those who don’t want to make a trip down to the basement for a load of laundry. This all-in-one solution allows you to wash and dry clothes right in the same unit.

There are two types of combo washer dryers: vented and non-vented. A combo washer with a vent requires you to set up a place for the unit to vent out the hot air, such as through a wall or window. These units tend to dry clothes faster, however, doesn’t have the added benefit of being portable. As the name suggests, a non-vented combo unit does not require you to use a vent, but allows you to move it wherever you need it.

Read More: 3 Common Misconceptions About Washer Dryer Combos

Portable Washers
Portable Washing Machines

Portable washers allow for the ease of washing your laundry in the comfort of your own home while taking up less space and usually consuming less water and electricity than a standard size washer. Some units require a water hook up and electricity, while others are hand crank machines and don’t require anything but a little elbow grease.

For those units that do require a water hookup and electricity and you don’t have a standard laundry hook up, you can also hook them up to your sink with the purchase of the following optional accessories: Quick Connect Faucet Adapter that fits most sinks and a Y Connector.

Portable washers generally have a smaller loading capacity than that of a full size washer but typically can accommodate the laundry of 1-2 people.  Many of the units have casters for easy mobility so you can push it out of the way when not in use. These portable washers are perfect for people where space is at a premium like those who live in small apartments, condos and efficiencies or those that are on the go in small spaces like campers, boats, RV’s, and mobile homes.

Stackable Machines
Stackable & Full-Size Washing Machines

Stackable machines also offer a space saving solution by allowing the dryer to be placed on top of the washer. Some stacked models are not attached when purchased, but if purchased as a pair they should come with hardware and instructions for proper stacking. This gives you the option of placing them side by side or stacking.

Other units are manufactured together and are often referred to as laundry centers. The biggest benefit of stacked washers and dryers are the space saving abilities because you get both a washer and a dryer in the footprint of one unit. They can fit into a closet or can be tucked away in the corner of a room without taking up valuable space.

Full-Size Washers & Dryers

Full size washer and dryers are 2.1 cubic feet or larger, anything measuring below would be considered a compact size. Compact sizes take up less room and tend to be enough for 1-2 people.  They often come with or have optional portability kits making them easier to move and store away after use.

Full size units are more stationary because of their larger size.  They typically can accommodate laundry of 2 or more people. Full size washer and dryers can come in many of the variations mentioned above including combination washer dryers and stackable washer and dryers.

Washing Machines

What are different types of dryers?

Dryers can be gas, electric, or ventless. The basic difference between gas and electric is the energy source they use to heat the air. Gas dryers use gas to create heat and electric dryers use electricity to create heat.

Gas powered units are slightly more energy efficient and dry clothes quicker. They tend to be more expensive than electric dryers, but you will save more money in the long run. For these, a vent is required to quickly remove the hot steam outside. Electric dryers are less expensive but cost more each time you run the unit. Most electric dryers require 220/240 volt outlet however some specialty compact units are offered in a standard 110/120V. Most dryers require venting outside to expel moisture and hot air. Be sure to find out what type of dryer hook up you have before purchasing a machine.

If you don’t have a vent, a ventless dryer is best for you. Ventless drying can be done through condensation or heat pump and is most commonly found in washer dryer combos.  Condensation draws in cool dry air, it is heated and passed through the clothes. Instead of being vented out like a gas or electric dryer, it is passed through a heat exchanger. The heat exchanger is a cooling device which cools the air and causes the water in it to condense and flow through the drain hose to the sink or plumbing line.

A heat pump dryer pulls air from the room and makes it hot. The pump pushes the hot air throughout the clothes. There is a cold side to the pump which takes the water vapor and condenses it through a drain hose to the sink or bucket.   Condensation drying can leave the clothes feeling damp but once they are removed and hung, they will quickly air dry.

Which is the most energy efficient type of washer/dryer?

Front load washer/dryers are more energy efficient than top load. Front load machines don’t use as much water because it rotates horizontally, letting gravity help circulate the water as the washer spins. Front loaders use between 18-25 gallons of water compared with around 40 gallons for top loaders. Since they use less water they help you save money on your water bill and since there is less water to heat they also help you save money on your electric bill.

How to make your washer more efficient:
  1. Wash full loads:
    Washers operate optimally with full loads, but be sure not to overload. Clothes should be distributed loosely inside, not filling the drum more than three quarters full.
  2. Lower the water temperature:
    Lowering your water heater thermostat can cut the cost of a hot water cycle by 10%.
  3. Pick the right wash cycle:
    Chose an appropriate wash cycle for the clothes, making sure not to waste unnecessary water or energy.
  4. Soak:
    Presoak heavily soiled clothes before washing to avoid having to wash it a second time.
  5. Use less detergent:
    Using too much detergent means your washer will have to work harder to rinse it out. You’ll probably find you can get your clothes just as clean with less.
How to make your dryer more efficient:
  1. Choose the Proper Setting:
    Reserve high heat settings for heavier fabrics like towels and bedding and use a lower heat setting or delicate cycle for lightweight items.
  2. Clean the Lint Filter:
    Cleaning the lint filter after each use will reduce drying time by allowing proper airflow and increasing the efficiency of the unit.
  3. Run Consecutive Loads:
    Try drying loads back to back and the machine will require less power to stay warm.
  4. Don’t Overload:
    If a dryer does not have proper room inside for the clothes to tumble and air to flow, it will take longer to dry. You will be using excess electricity and risk damaging the drum inside.
  5. Don’t Underload:
    Not putting enough clothes into the dryer is also a waste of electricity. Load the dryer three quarters full and be sure to choose similar weight fabrics so they will have similar drying times.

What if I don’t have a washer or dryer connection?

Even without a washer or dryer connection, it’s possible to have laundry in your home! Washer dryer combos and portable units are ideal for this situation. Neither type of unit requires venting, the only requirement is electricity and a water source which can be as simple as a faucet or hose and can be connected easily to your machine with the help of these two accessories: Quick Connect Faucet Adapter and Y Connector.

It’s also important to have a place to allow the water to drain like a sink or bathtub.  Keep in mind, wash and dry cycles take longer than traditional machines. The condensation drying may leave clothes feeling damp, but will feel dry shortly after they are hung up. Combo and portable laundry provides the convenience of being used anywhere with a water and electricity source.

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Lyndsy Adams

About Author

Lyndsy is a new mom who recently moved from New York City to Austin, TX with her husband and dog. She loves to watch The Food Network, discover new restaurants around town, and can’t pass up the opportunity to pet a cute puppy.

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