Author Topic: Should I get a washer and dryer or combo unit  (Read 788 times)

dragonwalker

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 146
Should I get a washer and dryer or combo unit
« on: April 18, 2021, 01:12:21 AM »
I'm moving into my new 2B2B condo soon and I'm looking for a new washer/dryer since the seller's will be taking their unit. At first I was thinking of a separate washer and dryer. I was looking at cutting overhead cost mainly electric usage so my research led me to a side door washing unit. Then I did some more browsing and discovered gas dryers but my unit doesn't have a gas line to the laundry area, then I heard of dryers using a heat pump system that doesn't require venting and power usage is about 1/4 of a traditional dryer. Finally, I stumbled upon a washer/dryer combination unit that is ventless and operates with a heat pump for the drying cycle.

The particular model I'm looking at is the LG WM3998HBA 4.5 cu ft combination unit for about $1600. The separate washer and dryer unit with similar features would be about $1800 for both. For a few reasons I'm thinking a combination unit might be best for me but wanted to see what people thought. Most important thing for me is to cut recurring expenses so this combo unit in theory should cut the electric usage because it uses less power about half as much or more (water is covered for my unit). As far as usage it would just be me probably doing 2-3 loads a month and 1 room mate who will probably do as much so monthly 4-6 loads. The power I'm calculating I'm saving is really just on the electricity during the dry cycle because of it's use of a heat pump. I calculated the savings in power would really be only about $30 per year so pretty trivial.

I was thinking the combo unit would be pretty cool being able to do everything in 1 go. However the drying time is much longer so a total wash and dry would be around 3 hours. The reviews of the combo unit have been mostly positive with complaints mostly centered around the drying time. This is a bit of a newer technology and usually I'm not on the cutting edge of things but I'm thinking I could save on upfront and monthly which is appealing and I would have a bit more storage space. Anyone have any experience with these combo units?     

Cranky

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3051
Re: Should I get a washer and dryer or combo unit
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2021, 05:53:05 AM »
It's my understanding that each load takes... forever. And it doesn't sound like you'll save very much $, honestly.

How about hanging most of your clothes to dry, and only putting your sheets and towels in the dryer?

middo

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1437
  • Location: Stuck in Melbourne still. Dreaming of WA
  • Learning.
Re: Should I get a washer and dryer or combo unit
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2021, 06:13:55 AM »
What is a clothes dryer?  We don't have one.  We have a line and a couple of airers and have never needed a dryer.

RetiredAt63

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 15806
  • Location: Eastern Ontario, Canada
Re: Should I get a washer and dryer or combo unit
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2021, 06:21:44 AM »
It's my understanding that each load takes... forever. And it doesn't sound like you'll save very much $, honestly.

How about hanging most of your clothes to dry, and only putting your sheets and towels in the dryer?

I have a stacked washer/dryer in my apartment and do this.  Works fine.

former player

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6910
  • Location: Avalon
Re: Should I get a washer and dryer or combo unit
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2021, 06:26:47 AM »
Middo lives in a hot desert area.  He could probably put his clothes on straight from the washer and have them dry around him in minutes.  Others of us understand the experience "rain" and "damp".

I've got a front-loading ventless combination washer/dryer: they are very common in Europe where space is at a premium.  The size of the drum is not an issue if you are only doing laundry for one or two persons.  As to time, it's probably slower for drying (although I use that feature as little as possible for environmental reasons) but it doesn't take much to plan ahead for the limited extra time taken.

Cadman

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 481
  • Location: Midwest
Re: Should I get a washer and dryer or combo unit
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2021, 08:12:07 AM »
I'd honestly look at a stacked washer/dryer, or even a used (with warranty) w/d pair first. Combos make sense when you're working around the constraints of no venting, high utility cost and limited space, in which the trade offs of additional complexity, smaller size and longer run time are acceptable, but it sounds like those aren't issues for your setup.

$1800 for a conventional pair sounds quite spendy to me. Have you checked Cragslist or estate sales? People move all the time (especially those downsizing) and there's an abundance of late model washers and dryers out there for a song.

TheFrenchCat

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 315
Re: Should I get a washer and dryer or combo unit
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2021, 08:20:58 AM »
I read reviews for a living and I keep seeing complaints about these combo washer/dryers.  Mostly that they take forever and even then they tend to not get the clothes completely dry.  I wouldn't buy one myself if I had another option.  If you're going to take that long for stuff to dry, you might as well hang the clothes to dry if you really want to save on electricity.

neophyte

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 594
  • Location: A wretched hive of scum and villainy
Re: Should I get a washer and dryer or combo unit
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2021, 08:36:36 AM »
I've only ever used one combo unit but my experience was that it didn't dry. 

FINate

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2194
Re: Should I get a washer and dryer or combo unit
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2021, 09:11:07 AM »
As far as usage it would just be me probably doing 2-3 loads a month and 1 room mate who will probably do as much so monthly 4-6 loads.   

At that level of usage the energy efficiency of the washer/dryer is essentially immaterial. It's like buying a Tesla that's driven 10 miles a month. The carbon footprint to manufacture the device(s) far exceeds emissions from usage. The biggest money saver, and maybe even best for the environment, would be the dumb cheap old school top loader and electric dryer. Few (if any) integrated circuits, no fancypants displays or network connections... something like this stacked laundry center.

That said, based on your usage I would consider the all-in-one simply because it can do everything in one go. If you aren't doing multiple loads per day (as we are, family of 4 w/ kids) then who cares how long it takes? Throw in a load at night and it's ready to go in the morning. Or before work, or whatever. Not having to wait for the washer to finish to transfer to the dryer is pretty nice.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2021, 09:32:23 AM by FINate »

Kris

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6149
Re: Should I get a washer and dryer or combo unit
« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2021, 09:35:19 AM »
I've only ever used one combo unit but my experience was that it didn't dry.

This. We had an LG combo for a few years. The entire cycle took many hours, which in itself wasnít that big a deal. But the dry cycle never actually managed to get the clothes all the way dry. We alwasy had to pull damp stuff out of it and hang it all up on dryer racks. And at that point, what is the point of having a dryer?

dragonwalker

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 146
Re: Should I get a washer and dryer or combo unit
« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2021, 10:12:04 AM »
This unit is in a condo and the rules and space prevent me from hanging clothes to dry. There are a few issues with a traditional setup. I actually do have the space for a side by side unit nothing exceptionally large but a 4.5 cu ft. washer and equivalent 7.4 cu ft. dryer would work (I would go smaller but there are fewer selections for smaller models). The $1800 LG unit I liked had a steam feature which sounds good on paper but not entirely sure if it's not just a gimic. If not for that a lower end model would be $1600 for both. If I went for a Samsung brand $1400 for both could be had but I've had some unfortunate experiences with Samsung computer screen and TV not sure about their appliances. Any thoughts on Samsung?

I hesitate to get used because it's not like I will really know why people are selling and not practical to test for functionality. In this regard I am leaning very heavily to purchase new. Another concern which I'm not sure is really a big deal is I was thinking a ventless, heat pump drying combo unit uses less power (in fact it only needs a 110V plug) so I was thinking there would be less of a chance of it tripping a circuit breaker if both units were used at once and the circuit breaker box would be in my renter's room.

btw, I keep seeing many appliances needing a 220 V power source but from what I recall seeing in the pictures in the laundry area there looked like there were just regular wall outlets with the third grounding plug prong. For some of the newer traditional units is there a special type of outlet I need and do I need to ensure a specific amount of power on the circuit breaker? I hope I'm not overthinking this.   

travel2020

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 85
  • Location: PNW
Re: Should I get a washer and dryer or combo unit
« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2021, 10:19:14 AM »
My only experience with a combo unit is from an apartment we rented while traveling a couple of years ago. We are used to a separate washer/dryer at home and compared to that,, the combo unit dryer just didnít seem to do the job. The clothes would just come out damp no matter how long we left them in there. We ended up spreading them all around the par tent to get them to dry after the dryer cycle completed.

Iíd also be wary of a combo unit from a repair standpoint. Itís a more complex machine thatís cramped into a small package so repairs are likely to be more expensive. And eventually, if anything major goes wrong and you need a replacement,  you will have to replace both the washer and dryer at once vs just one of them.

travel2020

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 85
  • Location: PNW
Re: Should I get a washer and dryer or combo unit
« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2021, 10:35:06 AM »
If I went for a Samsung brand $1400 for both could be had but I've had some unfortunate experiences with Samsung computer screen and TV not sure about their appliances. Any thoughts on Samsung?

When we replaced ours ~3 years ago, we looked at LG, Samsung, GE etc. I donít have the source anymore but remember reading that Samsung (at the time) didnít have a good support network in place and people having issues if anything went wrong (waiting a long time to get repairs done under warranty, etc.). We ended up going with LG and have been happy with the decision.

RetiredAt63

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 15806
  • Location: Eastern Ontario, Canada
Re: Should I get a washer and dryer or combo unit
« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2021, 10:47:33 AM »
This unit is in a condo and the rules and space prevent me from hanging clothes to dry. 

I am in an apartment and can't hang laundry on the balcony.  I use a clothes-drying rack for drying.  Re space, there are drying racks sized for tubs - tubs are unused floor space.  Easy enough to time laundry so it is hung last thing in the evening, in the tub or in the living room once no one is using it.  And of course that doesn't work for sheets.  But even when I had a house and clothes line I used the dryer for sheets all winter.  Cold damp, say at -5C, meant sheets just froze instead of drying.

deborah

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 12319
  • Location: Australia or another awesome area
Re: Should I get a washer and dryer or combo unit
« Reply #14 on: April 18, 2021, 01:17:31 PM »
Middo lives in a hot desert area.  He could probably put his clothes on straight from the washer and have them dry around him in minutes.  Others of us understand the experience "rain" and "damp".

I've got a front-loading ventless combination washer/dryer: they are very common in Europe where space is at a premium.  The size of the drum is not an issue if you are only doing laundry for one or two persons.  As to time, it's probably slower for drying (although I use that feature as little as possible for environmental reasons) but it doesn't take much to plan ahead for the limited extra time taken.
Middo currently lives in a cold and damp area that is known for 4seasons in one day and even occasionally gets snow, and he has been trying to move back to the hot desert area you describe for several years. We live in a similar climate and donít have a dryer either.

As retiredat63 says, there are ways to do it inside. There are also hangers that fold away that you can have in the laundry - over the door, or folding out over the tub, or elsewhere.

Most people around here who actually have a dryer, have a front loading washing machine with a dryer stacked on top of it. You can get a spacer that ensures the dryer doesnít vibrate off.

GoCubsGo

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 385
Re: Should I get a washer and dryer or combo unit
« Reply #15 on: April 18, 2021, 02:12:02 PM »
I definitely wouldn't get the combo unit at that price and that long of a wash/dry cycle.  If you can fit two side by side, I'd just get a cheap version of each.  I just bought a cheap new Samsung - 7.2 Cu. Ft. Electric Dryer with Sensor Dry and 8 Drying Cycles - White
Model:DVE41A3000W/A3SKU:6447516 from Best Buy.  $539

It's 27" wide and the corresponding washer is also 27" wide and also $539.  If you have 54" your set and you have tried and true technology for $1,078.  That's a nice savings and way more useable. 

All regular electric dryers are 240V from what I understand.  Look at your breaker box.  You should have a 30amp breaker for the dryer alone.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2021, 02:18:05 PM by GoCubsGo »

iluvzbeach

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 585
Re: Should I get a washer and dryer or combo unit
« Reply #16 on: April 18, 2021, 03:28:20 PM »
We bought a Maytag set at Loweís for $1400 two months ago. Costco had the same set, but were out of stock when we were ready to order. The Maytag set is nice and weíre happy with it. I would not buy a Samsung. Iíve never had a Samsung appliance or TV that I was happy with long term.

CrabbitDutchie

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 196
Re: Should I get a washer and dryer or combo unit
« Reply #17 on: April 18, 2021, 03:42:10 PM »
We had a combo washer/drier in a flat I lived in for 4 years in my student days. We had nowhere to line dry outside. Even if we had, the climate and area would not have been ideal for frequent outside drying.

I wish I could tell you that ours dried clothes really well. Unfortunately, I didn't realise it was a combo machine until my last month in the place. We just use drying racks inside. Can take 4 days in winter, but when you're used to it (and only do a maximum of 2 loads a month each) it's no big hardship.

middo

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1437
  • Location: Stuck in Melbourne still. Dreaming of WA
  • Learning.
Re: Should I get a washer and dryer or combo unit
« Reply #18 on: April 18, 2021, 04:58:14 PM »
Middo lives in a hot desert area.  He could probably put his clothes on straight from the washer and have them dry around him in minutes.  Others of us understand the experience "rain" and "damp".

I've got a front-loading ventless combination washer/dryer: they are very common in Europe where space is at a premium.  The size of the drum is not an issue if you are only doing laundry for one or two persons.  As to time, it's probably slower for drying (although I use that feature as little as possible for environmental reasons) but it doesn't take much to plan ahead for the limited extra time taken.
Middo currently lives in a cold and damp area that is known for 4seasons in one day and even occasionally gets snow, and he has been trying to move back to the hot desert area you describe for several years. We live in a similar climate and donít have a dryer either.

As retiredat63 says, there are ways to do it inside. There are also hangers that fold away that you can have in the laundry - over the door, or folding out over the tub, or elsewhere.

Most people around here who actually have a dryer, have a front loading washing machine with a dryer stacked on top of it. You can get a spacer that ensures the dryer doesnít vibrate off.

I probably should update my location, but as Deborah said, I am hoping to get back soonish.  We live in the outer hills of Melbourne.  Damp and wet most of the year, with 1500 mm rainfall spread over most months of the year.  If you want, you can live without a drier.  They are not necessary, just a luxury.

Cadman

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 481
  • Location: Midwest
Re: Should I get a washer and dryer or combo unit
« Reply #19 on: April 18, 2021, 05:09:45 PM »
The biggest issue with a combo tends to be throughput. Even if you can live with the long cycle time, you lose the advantage of being able to dry a load while simultaneously washing something else, and even with one or two people, it's still nice to keep bedding or towels separate from denim or especially dirty clothes.

When I suggested used, I meant drop in at a local appliance store and check their offerings (often fully warranted). A belt-drive Kenmore or x06 series Maytag will run circles around modern equipment and cost <$200. Or do you homework on upcoming sales where the machines are clearly hooked up and used . This is the MMM board after all, so buying brand new when there's a glut of equally capable machines for a magnitude of order less than new is really just throwing money away.