If you live in a modern apartment or house, the chances are, space is at a premium. There are advantages to smaller rooms of course, they encourage you to keep things tidy, take less energy to heat, and when it comes to kitchens, it’s great not to have to walk any distance from the fridge to the cooker…
Making the Most of Every Inch of Space
The downside of course, especially in kitchens is finding space to fit in everything you need. It’s unthinkable these days to live without a washing machine and the British climate predisposes us to think favourably of tumble dryers. Most busy people don’t want to live without a dishwasher. And it’s round about this point that your kitchen sudden goes from being ‘ergonomically efficient’ to ‘too small’. One obvious answer is to buy appliances that do more than one job. If you live in a small flat, your answer to the question ‘what is a washer dryer’ is likely to be ‘it’s a life saver’!
Don’t confuse washer dryers with the stackable combinations of washing machine and tumble dryer which are also available. The stackable appliances have their place, but it’s not generally under a worktop. The crucial difference with a washer-dryer is that you use the same drum for both processes and you save far more space.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Washer Dryers
The downsides of washer dryers
- When you consult a washer dryer buying guide you’ll discover that the wash capacity always outweighs the drying capacity. So if you wash a full load, you’ll need to remove some of your laundry before you can dry it.
- The tumble drying function is less efficient than with a one function appliance – The cycle is likely to take longer and ultimately this adds to wear and tear on the machine.
- You won’t get the sophisticated functions of separate appliances – Washer dryers…wash and dry! But in combining the two functions you’ll loose some of the programming possibilities that top range single purpose machines offer as standard.
- You have to fully deal with one load of laundry before you can start on the next
- Washer dryers may be less energy efficient that separate appliances
The advantages of washer dryers
- You’ll save space – For many people this is the over-riding reason to choose the combined appliance. You have to have both, but there’s only one slot available.
- You’ll save money at the outset – The cost of the combined machine is less than the cost of buying the two separately.
- Many washer dryers don’t require an external air vent – This is important if you can’t site the machine on a wall that allows you to fit one. It’s also true of condenser tumble dryers however.
If availability of space and the extra initial outlay aren’t problematic, then the extra functions offered by dedicated washing machines and tumble dryers is likely to win out.
When space and your short term budget are the defining factors, the compactness and affordability of washer-dryers makes them invaluable in creating a comfortable and convenient home that’s not overcrowded with appliances.