How Does an All-in-One Washer-Dryer Work? What You Need to Know

Choosing between a standalone washer dryer and a combination unit can be tricky, especially if you frequently do large loads of laundry or have space constraints. An all-in-one washer-dryer might seem a practical option for people living in small homes or apartments, but people with heavy laundry requirements might be skeptical. If you have the same dilemma or want to know more about an all-in-one washer dryer before purchasing, this article is for you. Continue reading to learn everything you need to know about all-in-one washer-dryers to ensure you get the best value for money.  

In this article, we will cover:  

  • What is an All-in-One Washer-Dryer? 
  • How Do All-in-One Washer-Dryers Work? 
  • Pros of All-in-One Washer-Dryers 
  • Cons of All-in-One Washer-Dryers 
  • Reviews on All-in-One Washer-Dryers - Should You Get One? 
  • FAQs About How All-in-One Washer-Dryers Work 

What Is an All-in-One Washer-Dryer? 

All-in-one washer-dryers have existed for decades. With advancements in technology, these machines evolved in design and features to make laundry at home effortless. An all-in-one washer-dryer is nothing but a combination unit of a standalone washer and dryer. Instead of buying a separate washer and dryer, this combination offers a smart laundry experience.  

These units are designed with a single drum that washes and dries clothes. All-in-one washer-dryers come in different models and capacities but are often front-loading types. As they are compact, the popularity of all-in-one washer-dryers has grown significantly in modern homes where space is a concern. 

How Do All-in-One Washer-Dryers Work? 

Advanced washer-dryer combination units include a host of features. These machines are available in either ventless or vented models. Each model operates differently to make laundry easier. You can wash and dry the load in one go or choose to only wash or only dry clothes. These are feature-loaded units that allow steam cleaning on various spin cycles, hot water setting for sanitizing, and also wifi-integration that provides real-time updates on your smartphone through an app.  

The vented washer-dryer combo works similarly to a front-loading standalone washer and regular dryer. When water, detergent, and clothes are added, it tumbles and cleans. The wash cycle is followed by a spin cycle that dries the clothes by extracting excess water from them. The machine sucks in fresh air from the room through the vent and heats it to dry the clothes. Just like standalone vented dryers, steam inside the machine escapes through the vent to keep it dry.  

As the name suggests, ventless washer-dryer combos operate without an exhaust. The washing cycle is the same as the vented model, but drying clothes is done in a condensation process. The metal or plastic drum that washes the clothes transforms into a condensing chamber that starts heating as the drum spins. The steam created during the process then circulates back through the condensing chamber and is eventually drained out. The hot air re-circulates inside the chamber to continue the drying process. 

Pros of All-in-One Washer-Dryers 

Considering that an all-in-one washer-dryer is a smart homecare appliance, the unit provides numerous advantages. From being compact enough to fit in a closet or a kitchen nook to its incredible energy efficiency, this is a perfect solution to make home laundry a breeze for an individual or a small family. It is extremely to install and operate as it doesn’t require a vent (only ventless models). We will delve deeper into other advantages of an all-in-one washer-dryer unit to clarify your doubts about whether or not to invest in it.  

As we mentioned above, this is a space-saving unit combining two standalone machines (washer and dryer) into one. It is perfect for small spaces like apartments, recreational vehicles, mobile homes, and condos. For people who don't have space concerns, it is always good to have more living space. Also, ventless systems make these units easy to install anywhere.  

Despite being a combination unit, the washing performance is similar to a dedicated standalone washer. The machine spins, rinses, and again spins to ensure clothes are properly cleaned. All-in-one washer-dryer combos have a horizontal axis drum that ensures gentle washing while clothes are tumbled. As the combo units lift the load out of the water to plunge them back inside for the drying process, there is less chance of damage to the clothes. The whole process prevents snags and also increases the life of clothes. 

These all-in-one washer-dryers combine two machines into one, significantly reducing power consumption. Ventless models don't require exhaust for ventilation so you can save on the additional cost of installing a ventilation system. These machines are user-friendly and super convenient. You don't have to shift the load between two units for washing and drying. They are also feature-loaded so all you have to do is select the wash cycle and press "start”. You can throw your dirty laundry inside the machine, go to work, and come back to find clean clothes ready to wear. 

Cons of All-in-One Washer-Dryers 

To offer a fair comparison of all-in-one washer-dryers, we will also discuss the disadvantages. You might wonder what could be a disadvantage of washer-dryers that are transforming the laundry experience. However, combining a washer and dryer results in lower drying performance. Also, water use is comparatively higher in all-in-one washer-dryers. Take a look at the cons below to ensure none are a concerning factor in your purchase.  

We already mentioned that the drying capacity of all-in-one washer-dryers is less efficient compared to a standalone dryer. While the washer is as good as a standalone washer, drying takes longer in a combo unit. Unlike vented dryers, an all-in-one washer-dryer uses a condensation method. This extends the time to almost 30 minutes compared to any regular standalone dryer.  

The condenser method is also why this unit requires lots of water (nearly 55 to 56 gallons for specific models). This is in addition to the water required for washing the clothes. Considering the kind of impact it will have on your water bills, an all-in-one washer-dryer is costly to run. The perfect alternative to a washer and condenser dryer combo is a heat-pump washer-dryer because it requires no water to dry clothes. However, this unit can be more expensive.  

The compact size of the all-in-one washer-dryer is another limitation. If you have a huge load to dry, hang it outdoors to dry or dry it in two separate cycles. Similarly, washing laundry for a big family can seem like a chore in an all-in-one washer-dryer. The practical option is to do laundry in two or three batches. 

Reviews on All-in-One Washer-Dryer - Should You Get One? 

Here is a final summary to help you make the right decision about an all-in-one washer-dryer. These are advanced combination units that perform the job of a separate washer and dryer, saving you the inconvenience of moving the load from one unit to another. This compact unit can also fit in a kitchen or bathroom. An all-in-one washer-dryer is a great choice for anyone living in a small apartment, condo, or mobile home. It will also handle the laundry needs of a family of two or three.  

An all-in-one washer-dryer does not require exhaust so you can install them anywhere without worrying about moisture-induced mold inside the home. The unit can work efficiently with a constant supply of water and requires no supervision. This makes an all-in-one washer-dryer combo perfect for people who spend most of their time away from home. As a single unit performing the task of two machines, it is highly power-efficient, which also addresses environmental concerns.  

However, if you have a large family or frequently do laundry, then you can either wash in batches or invest in a standalone washer and a dryer, which will occupy almost double the space. With two separate units, you will get a higher drying capacity and can split loads between the washer and dryer. Water bills will also not be as high with two separate units.  

Moving on to the budget factor, buying two separate units can be more economical than an all-in-one washer-dryer. If you have the option to hang the clothes outdoors, then you can skip the dryer and save more. However, if space is a concern for you, then an all-in-one washer-dryer is the best solution for your laundry needs. It might cost a bit higher, but it will save you time, effort, living space, and even power bills. 

FAQs About How All-in-One Washer-Dryers Work 

Do all-in-one washer-dryers work well? 

All-in-one washer-dryers are advanced combination units designed for the laundry needs of modern homes. The washing capacity of these units is similar to a standalone front load washer, but the drying capacity is not that efficient. As most of these all-in-one washer-dryers use a condensation process to dry clothes, they usually do not have vents (except vented models). They use water instead of air during the process, making the cycle a little longer.  

Like standalone washers, you get a variety of wash cycles to choose from, steam cleaning to sanitize, and you can even install an app on your phone to get updates on the wash cycle. An all-in-one washer-dryer is easy to use and doesn’t require any supervision. You can relax or focus on other tasks after adding the detergent and setting the wash cycle.  

How long do all-in-one washer-dryers last? 

As the all-in-one washer-dryer performs both tasks, the motor works the entire load during washing and drying at whatever cycle you select. This unit is constantly exposed to water during washing and drying, which can lead to corrosion. Compared to standalone washers and dryers, these combo units work harder so it is obvious they have shorter lifespans.   

If an all-in-one washer-dryer is well maintained, it can last for as long as 10 to 13 years. By maintenance, we mean cleaning it after every wash and also not overloading the unit. As these units are compact, washing in smaller batches is a good idea but not too often because constant use wears out the motor faster. 

How does an all-in-one washer-dryer drain? 

Apart from the water drained during the wash and rinse cycles, an all-in-one washer-dryer also drain water during the drying process. With no vent (except vented models) to absorb air from the room and release warm, moist air, this unit uses the condensation method to extract moisture from the laundry. The extracted moisture makes its way into the chamber and finally to the drain hose in the form of water. 

Do all-in-one washer-dryers need a vent? 

Combination washer-dryers are designed for urban homes where space is a concern. These units require about half the space that a standalone washer and dryer occupy. With vents in regular dryers, the room needs an exhaust system to prevent mold growth from moist, warm air released from the dryer. This is not an issue with washer-dryer combo units.  

Many modern all-in-one washer-dryer units have no vents and use the condensation method to dry clothes. This might somewhat prolong the drying process but saves the cost and hassle of installing an exhaust system in the room. Moisture extracted from clothes is passed through the drain hose in the form of water just like it is drained during the wash cycle.  

Final Thoughts 

People are increasingly switching to urban lifestyles, which makes the installation and maintenance of a separate washer and dryer a challenge. Investing in an advanced all-in-one washer-dryer unit is a smart choice. These units are available in a wide range of models to suit your laundry needs and budget. You can browse the collection now or visit the washing machine buying guide to discover which combo unit is best for your home and family.