A washer-dryer does the job of a washing machine and clothes dryer in a single appliance. Is one right for you?
Snapshot: The Electrolux EWW12753 washer-dryer has a 7.5kg washing capacity and 4.5kg drying capacity. How well does it clean and dry your clothes?
Snapshot: The LG TWIN171216T washer-dryer has a 16kg washing capacity and 9kg drying capacity. How well does it clean and dry your clothes?
Snapshot: The LG WDC1409HCW washer-dryer has a 9kg washing capacity and 5kg drying capacity. How well does it clean and dry your clothes?
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All up, they sound too good to be true – and in many cases they are.
Our tests have found these machines often can’t match the performance of their separate counterparts. While the washing performance can be comparable to front-loading washing machines, a washer-dryer’s drying function is, more often than not, very disappointing.
The dryer component is a condenser dryer, which uses a heat exchanger to remove heat and water from air that has passed through your clothes. The water is collected in a reservoir or funnelled down a drain. The heat exchanger uses water as its coolant, which means water is used for both washing and drying.
If space is an issue or you only use a clothes dryer as a last resort, a small washer-dryer may be the right solution for you. But consider buying a separate washing machine and clothes dryer first. Not only will you be able to wash and dry more quickly, the washing and drying cycles are likely to be more efficient.
Washer-dryers often state two capacities: one for washing and one for drying. However, the dryer capacity is usually half that for washing. If you wash a full load, you’ll have to split it before drying it in batches. This is because tumble drying requires air to circulate between the clothes, whereas washing doesn’t.