Types of Washer Dryer
There are several types of washer dryer available – from integrated and freestanding models, to different colours and styles. If you’re not sure which sort to choose, this section of our buyers guide is for you.
HOW DO THEY WORK?
Washer dryers generally work like condenser tumble dryers rather than the vented versions.
Instead of venting moist air produced during the drying process through a pipe, the machine condenses it back into water. As there’s no hose like with a vented tumble dryer, you don’t need to put your washer dryer next to an external wall.
And, in a standard freestanding condenser dryer, you have to empty the water manually. But in a washer dryer, it’s drained away automatically.
In a washer dryer, water is drained away automatically.
Freestanding washer dryers are very popular, as they can be slotted into any suitable space in your kitchen or utility room. This makes them practical and flexible to your home design.
They stand free of kitchen units as a visible, integral feature of your room. They also come with a wide variety of drum sizes and colour options – see below.
Freestanding models are easy to install, and take with you if you move.
Freestanding models are very popular, as they can be slotted into any suitable space in your kitchen or utility.
Built-in or integrated washer dryers are great if you have a fitted kitchen and don’t want to ruin its streamlined look.
They have a flat front so a kitchen cupboard door can attach to it, blending in with your other units. If you’ve previously had an integrated model, it’s best to replace it with another integrated appliance.
As they’re secured into kitchen units snugly and have a door to muffle noises, built-in washer dryers tend to be quieter than freestanding ones. However, they can be tricky to install, so you might want to have someone do it for you. This usually means you’ll need to pay a small installation fee.
COLD FILL ONLY
As with washing machines, the vast majority of washer dryers are now cold fill only.
This means that they take in cold water and heat it themselves, rather than using hot water from your boiler.
These machines are cheaper to manufacture and tend to be more efficient than hot fill models. Plus, if you use biological detergent, the wash starting with cold water will give you a better result; enzymes work best at lower temperatures.
Cold fill only tend to be more efficient than hot fill models.
White goods nowadays don’t have to be white, although it’s still the most popular colour for a washer dryer.
Although they’re hard to come by, it’s also possible to find silver, grey and black models.
COMBINATION WASHER DRYER VS. STACKED SEPARATES
Washer dryers are a great option if you’re low on floor space – after all, you’ll only have to find room for one machine. They can also cost a lot less than buying two separate appliances.
However, another option is to buy a stacking kit for your washing machine and tumble dryer – so you can place one on top of the other. If you have the height available, they won’t take up any more floor space than a washer dryer.
Buying two separate appliances also means that you’re likely to have a higher drying capacity, although you won’t be able to wash and dry in one go – you’ll need to transfer the wash between the two machines.
If you’re interested in purchasing your appliances separately, take a look at our Washing Machines and Tumble Dryers guides.
Washer dryers are a great option if you’re low on floor space.