Compact washer and dryer combo units are becoming more and more popular, and they aren’t just for people living in condos and apartments.
You may have a full-size house with room for a regular washer and dryer unit. But, perhaps you just want the convenience of a washer and dryer upstairs, instead of all the way down in the far corner of a gloomy, murky basement.
Of course, city dwellers and people downsizing from large homes to condos or smaller homes can benefit from a more space-effective washer and dryer set.
Most of these smaller laundry sets can sit on top of one another. With a stackable washer and dryer, you can do your laundry from home while saving space.
No more trips to the dreaded laundromat!
The main downside of a small washer and dryer is that you may not be able to wash large items like comforters or heavy blankets. But it is still better than nothing!
What to Look for When Choosing a Stackable Washer and Dryer
If you have never bought a washer and dryer before, or even if you have, navigating today’s laundry options can be a bit daunting.
Laundry technology has changed, and more appliances are being designed to save water and energy. You need to review your home’s capabilities first to see what sort of hook-ups you have available (or need to install) and then choose the right dryer and washer to fit those hook-ups.
1. Gas or Electric Dryer?
Your washing machine will run on electricity. Your dryer may run on gas or electric, depending on what is set up in your laundry area. Many apartment buildings do have areas for full-sized dryers that run on gas power. You will need to check with your landlord to be sure.
2. Traditional or High-Efficiency (HE) Washing Machine?
These days, you may not have as much of a choice on this as in the past, and more and more manufacturers are favoring HE or High-Efficiency washing machines versus the traditional ones. HE washers are designed to use far less water and energy to do the washing.
On the positive, they don’t have that central “agitator” in the middle of the wash area that takes up space and tangles your clothes. On the negative, they don’t use as much water, and many people feel they simply don’t clean as well as the traditional washing machines do.
You also have to buy special HE laundry soap to use with your High-Efficiency machine. While this laundry soap used to be significantly more expensive, you do use less of it, and nowadays, many laundry soaps work with both types of washers.
3. Vented or Ventless Dryer?
You may have no other option but to use a ventless dryer depending on your home, but what exactly is it? Most Americans do not even know that a ventless dryer is an option.
Ventless dryers have been the standard type of clothes dryer in Europe for many decades. This is because homes in Europe are generally much smaller and ventless dryers can take up a lot less room. They are also more environmentally friendly and less prone to catching on fire (seriously!).
On the downside, they don’t heat up your clothes as much, which can be a good thing in that it saves wear on your clothes, but may not kill as much bacteria or remove wrinkles as well.
Americans, contrary to Europeans, prefer large, spacious dryers that really heat the clothes up to hot temperatures. Traditional vented dryers are therefore the standard in the states, and ventless dryers take up only 2% of the total American clothes dryer market.
So why would you get a ventless dryer? Well, for the simple reason that a vented dryer requires a vent! And the vent must be to the outside of the building, meaning you are limited as to where you put your clothes dryer.
The big positive of a ventless dryer is that you can stick it anywhere there is an electrical outlet. (Note: This also solves your question of gas vs. electric, as all ventless dryers are electric.) This means you can put your dryer in a cabinet or anywhere that is convenient, instead of only in the place you happen to have a dryer vent handy.
Most ventless dryers sold in the United States work via condensation, meaning that water will either collect in a bin that needs to be emptied, or you can run a hose to a bucket or sink.
A Stackable Washer and Dryer May Be the Way to Go
Now that you understand some of the considerations about purchasing a washer and dryer, you can find the perfect compact unit for your home.
Feature image via Remodelista