Washing machine and dryer in one: what washer-dryers can do
Washing machine + dryer = washer-dryer: combined appliances that wash and dry at the same time are practical and space-saving. However, there are also some pitfalls lurking in practice.
Washing and drying in one machine – sounds good to me. No more loading wet laundry into the dryer or onto the line. Just put the dirty clothes in a washer-dryer, set the program and take out the clean clothes at the end, ready to be put in the cupboard. But unfortunately this doesn’t always work: if there is too much wet laundry in the machine, it has to be dried in several stages.
Since the volume of laundry is smaller when washing than when drying, more of it fits into the drum than during the drying process, explains werner scholz, managing director of the home appliance trade associations in the central association of the electrical engineering and electronics industry. "The drums have a capacity of seven to eight kilograms." but most dryers can only handle loads up to about five kilograms. "If you have washed more laundry, you have to remove some of the wet laundry and dry it in a second cycle."
However, this rarely happens in everyday life – because you can wash in smaller quantities. Statistics show that washing machines and washer-dryers are loaded with an average of 3.5 kilograms, knows scholz.
Washer-dryers performed quite well in the test
stiftung warentest tested washer-dryers some time ago and can definitely recommend them. "I was surprised how well some models wash and dry", says project manager jorg siebolds. individual washing machines and dryers are usually even better because their technology has been optimized and perfected. "But washer-dryers bring the advantages of the two systems together well." he therefore says: "they are a sensible compromise for people who have little space but still can’t or don’t want to do without a dryer"."
However, if you have to wash and dry a lot of laundry at once, you’re better off with individual appliances, because they allow you to wash and dry at the same time. And: washer-dryers, like all combination appliances, have the decisive disadvantage that both functions are no longer available if one module fails.
How to save energy when washing and drying laundry
washer-dryers look like a washing machine and do not take up more space. This means they often fit in small bathrooms or kitchens as well. "that’s one of the main reasons why customers choose them.", says claudia oberascher, project manager of the hausgerate+ initiative in berlin. washer-dryers are particularly suitable for households in which something has to be dried from time to time, but the amount of laundry is limited. The appliances are easy to install and generally do not require ventilation to the outside. This also makes them suitable for small bathrooms without windows.
washer-dryers are easy to clean, with no condensation to dispose of and no filter to clean. The appliances rinse out lint automatically. "However, a washer-dryer is not for the "quick wash", oberascher also emphasizes. "It takes a long time to complete the entire washing and drying program. Only after several hours can the laundry be put in the cupboard ready washed and dried."
Washer-dryers: what buyers should look out for
Buyers should pay attention to the energy efficiency of the appliances. "However, the efficiency classes for washer-dryers don’t offer much help here, because they are relatively old and undifferentiated", finds appliance expert scholz. "They only distinguish between classes A and B. That’s why it’s important to go in depth and study the detailed information on the energy label."
This information contains absolute values for energy and water consumption, fill quantities, washing efficiency and noise level. "There are definitely differences between the appliance types that have an impact," emphasizes oberascher, emphasizes scholz. because manufacturers use different technologies for drying – air-cooled and water-cooled condenser dryers. "Customers should seek good advice on which variant is right for them."
Also the spin speed plays a role. "The higher it is, the drier the clothes are after washing", explains oberascher. And that saves money. "the dryer then doesn’t have to extract as much moisture from it and finishes faster." modern washer-dryers also have a moisture-controlled program. This means that they do not dry in a given time, as was the case in the past. Today, sensors measure the humidity level and automatically turn off the appliance when the laundry is dry.
A big influence on the energy consumption is the location of the washer-dryer. It should be as cool and dry as possible. "In warm tropical air, especially an air-cooled washer-dryer cannot work reasonably and would also consume more energy", explains claudia oberascher from initiative hausgerate+. Dpa