What To Consider Before Buying An All-In-One Washer Dryer

Taking a single appliance and turning it into a multi-functional machine is how we make our homes more efficient, at least at first glance. There are vacuums that can mop, shovels that can pick, air fryers that can grill, roast, toast, broil, dehydrate, and probably about a half dozen other things. So why can't that efficiency extend to the laundry room?

An all-in-one washer and dryer sounds like a dream solution to a monotonous household chore. Load the unit once and you'll come back to a set of clean and dry laundry just waiting to be folded. That dream scenario, however, comes with a few caveats.

Washer-dryer combos are great for small spaces or individuals with mobility issues who need to do less bending and moving between machines. Just be prepared to pour in some patience along with your detergent. Because an all-in-one is doing the work of two machines, it takes longer to complete a full cycle. Households with a lot of laundry or those with little time to waste may find this extra time too much to justify the single appliance. If you're looking to still save on space, perhaps a stackable washer and dryer is a better fit.

Pros of all-in-one washer dryers

An all-in-one unit does have plenty of points in its favor, the size of it being number one. A combo machine is equivalent in size to a standalone washing machine. Instead of two bulky appliances, you now have one that's compact enough to slip into a kitchen nook, corner, or closet. Apartment and small home dwellers who weren't able to fit a standard washer and dryer set can now keep the laundry process inside their own homes. Most combo units don't require vent access either, unlike a standalone dryer. This cuts down on the number of external connections needed.

Washer-dryer combos are also incredibly easy to use. Load in your dirty laundry, add the detergent, push a couple of buttons, and you're done until the final buzzer goes off indicating your clothes are clean. And they will be clean. All-in-one units have been shown to wash just as well as a standard washer. If you only need to wash or dry something, combo machines can perform just a single task. These could be considered pro or neutral points, but a combo washer-dryer will cost about the same as a set or possibly cheaper, depending on brand and model.

Cons of washer-dryer combos

All that praise said, all-in-one washer dryers do have several drawbacks due to the machine's design. As mentioned above, this appliance is about the size of a standard washer, including the interior drum. A standard dryer, however, usually has a larger drum than its washing machine counterpart. Since you're working with the same size drum to wash and dry, the time it takes to turn your clothes from wet to not is going to take much longer. The lack of a vent also contributes to this longer dry time. Simply put, it takes more time to dry with recirculated air than it does vented air.

Another con to consider is the fact you're out two machines if the unit breaks down. Fixing it can be a pain, too. The design of a combo appliance means there are components that contribute to both washing and drying. If this component breaks down after the double wear and tear, it could be a more extensive fix.