Washer Dryer or Separate Washing Machine and Tumble Dryer?
If you have enough space in your house, then I would always advise to buy a separate washing machine and tumble dryer. I would advise this because the drying performance and energy/water savings are better with a separate tumble dryer. A typical washer dryer will use a lot of water as it needs to continually cool down the condenser unit, a tumble dryer would do this using air. There are some air cooled washer dryers available in the market but they do cost a lot more.
Washing dryers have a smaller drum capacity than a tumble dryer meaning you cannot dry as much (as the bigger tumble dryers) and the smaller drum will mean the clothes do not have as much room to move around and will take longer to dry.
However, if you are limited on space and you are fed up with hanging your clothes around the house, then please read on for some handy tips and advice in choosing the best washer dryer for your needs.
Remember that not all clothes can be dried in a dryer, make sure you read the clothes labels carefully.
Drum capacity is measured in kilograms, and there are a lot of options to choose from, starting at 5kg, all the way up to 13kg. Obviously the bigger the capacity the more you are able to wash. 1kg of washing is roughly equivalent to 5 t-shirts/shirts, so a 13kg machine could handle 65 shirts, which is great if you have a large family, but do you then have space to dry all of this, especially in the Winter?
I would say 8kg and above would constitute the beginning of large capacity, although you should still be able to fit a double duvet into a 7kg washing machine.
Large drum benefits:
- Extra space to wash more clothes.
- Gives your clothes more freedom to move around which should result in a better wash and your clothes will come out less creased.
- Possibly wash less often if you have a bigger drum capacity.
Smaller drum benefits:
- Uses less energy and water compared to a big drum.
Most washer dryers have a maximum spin speed between 1000rpm – 1600rpm. A higher speed will get your clothes dryer, which is also good if you use the dryer part regularly, as clothes will dry quicker and you will save some money on your electricity bills, but a higher spin speed will leave them more creased and they can wear more quickly. I would also say that if you continually use your machine at 1600rpm, it is more likely to deteriorate faster than if you were using it on lower spin speed, just think about driving a car, the harder you accelerate the faster you go, but you are wearing the engine more.
A lot of people like to wash as quick as possible. Unfortunately, to adhere to today’s energy regulations, washing times on the standard wash programmes have increased.
Although washing times have increased on the standard programmes, there are still many quick washes around, as low as 12 minutes, but be aware that most quick washes are for smaller loads and for lightly soiled items, so be sure to read the instruction book before filling up the drum and then wondering why your clothes are not cleaned properly.
The best rating is A+++, so if you are interested in saving some money and the planet, then look for a product with a good energy rating.
Always check the annual energy consumption figures for water and electricity to compare models and get a better understanding of how much per annum your new machine is likely to cost.
There are many types of displays available from LED to LCD to touchscreen, where you can set your desired temperature and spin speed. The most useful thing these provide is that they let you know exactly how much time it will take until your washing is ready.
You will need to take the time remaining as a bit of an estimate, because as machines have become more advanced they have more sensors which can detect such things as an unbalanced load, or if too much detergent is still left in the water and this can add time to the wash programme.
No longer is the decision to choose whether you want to wash on the Cottons or Synthetics programme, there are now a plethora or programmes you can choose from. You should think of your current lifestyle and decide if any of these special programmes will be useful for you.
Some of the special programmes that you can look for:
- Baby & toddler (you cannot wash your children in the machine, just their clothes), which is also good for people with allergies.
- Hand wash