What Is an Integrated Washer Dryer? Is It For Every Home?

what is an integrated washer dryer

Last Updated on May 5, 2021

The question, ‘what is an integrated washer dryer?’ has grown more common over the years. As more homeowners look to save space in their kitchens, integrated washing machine devices with drying capacity can make life a lot easier. A good integrated washer dryer is an efficient way to wash and dry your clothing fast. Plus, if you don’t like the appearance of large appliances in your kitchen, you can hide your device behind your cupboard door.

Today, we’re going to take a closer look at these washing and drying models and whether they’re a good investment for your home.

The Basics

Washing and drying machines come in a range of designs, shapes, and sizes. However, most models will fall into one of two categories – freestanding machines or integrated appliances. A freestanding machine is just like any washer or dryer that you would buy separately. Usually, you place these appliances in a portion of your kitchen or home with the right dimensions.

Freestanding units are easy to replace, but they don’t have the best aesthetic appearance because they’re not hidden within your kitchen unit. A family keen to create a more seamless aesthetic in a kitchen or laundry space can use an integrated appliance to hide their washer or dryer behind a cupboard door or within a unit.

Integrated washer dryer models help to save space and make your home look incredible. All you need to do is make sure that you have the right depth and dimensions in place for an installation. You can then pay someone to place the products behind your cupboards. If you don’t want to pay for the services, you can use limited knowledge to install the device yourself.

How Does an Integrated Washer Dryer Work?

Integrated washer dryers are closely similar to a standard freestanding washing machine. The best integrated washer dryer will come with an energy rating, just like your standard utility. They are also available in a range of sizes to suit a small to medium-sized home. However, integrated wash and dry products usually won’t be as large as some of the biggest washer dryer machines on the market.

An ordinary washing machine will act as a dryer partially when spinning the load as part of a full cycle. However, the spin-dry mode will still leave your clothing dry. On the other hand, a washer-dryer machine will use extra energy and heated air in the machine for drying clothes.

Notably, most washer dryer machines won’t be able to spin all of your clothes to the point where they’re ready to go in the cupboard. However, you will find that your load dries much faster after being in a washer dryer.

Integrated washer dryer machines have most of the same features as freestanding device. You can find a machine with minute quick wash options, spin cycle settings, and even eco-friendly cycle options to conserve energy. The only difference is that you choose the depth of your machines carefully so you can hide them behind a door or cupboard in your home.

Integrated washer dryer combos are often much narrower than their counterparts because they’re designed to hide within units. This is why they’re often recommended for households with fewer clothes to wash and less drying demands.

To ensure the motor of your integrated washer dryer doesn’t shake your units as it washes, you’ll need to ensure that you have the best available installation, with the perfect depth and width for a great fit. This will ensure that as you’re going through your menu of washing options, the motor stays quiet, and the washing machine remains safe.

Are Integrated Washer Dryers Worth It?

Integrated washer dryers are quite similar to the standard washing machine and dryer combo. They can offer a range of spin speed options, and there are various products to match your required energy rating to an efficient inverter motor. However, integrated washing machine and dryer products are often a lot smaller than their counterparts.

If you don’t have many people living in your home and don’t use your washing machine very often, the best integrated device will keep your kitchen looking great by hiding your devices behind a cupboard door. However, you will need to deal with smaller load options.

Although these products can come with energy-saving washing modes, quick wash options, and spin cycles, they’re also slightly slower than your standard washing machine and dryer. Because integrated machines need to fit into a cabinet, they can’t spin as fast, as this could damage your kitchen.

Some things to remember if you’re considering integrated washer dryer models include:

1. They’re intended for small households.

No matter which model you choose, the ability to hide a device behind a cupboard door will mean you need to compromise on size. Most products won’t hold more than 8kg for washing and even less for drying. Check the reviews and product details about the model you like to ensure it can suit your family.

2. They can be more expensive.

Integrated look amazing in a kitchen and may help you to find more free space. However, they can be quite expensive. As standard, integrated washer dryers are often a little more expensive because they do more jobs in one. You may also need to pay for the services to get your device installed and spend on maintenance cost in the long-term, too.

3. They can be a little slow.

An integrated washer dryer is a great way to keep your devices hidden in your kitchen, but they’re not the most practical at dealing with multiple loads. Your device can only use so much energy when handling your washes if you want the unit to stay quiet and safe. Too much movement puts your kitchen utilities at risk.

Although the number of washer dryer options you can keep hidden in your kitchen is growing, it’s worth noting that there’s still a limited selection out there. You’ll need to be extra careful to ensure you buy the size and model that suits you.

a man fell asleep while waiting for his laundry

What About Semi-Integrated Washer Dryers?

If you’ve been checking out reviews for washer/dryers online, you may have noticed that there are two types of ‘integrated’ model you can choose from. The first option is the fully integrated washer dryer. A fully integrated model will sit within your kitchen units, behind a cupboard door. A semi-integrated model will only be partially hidden.

Although you’ll hide most of a semi-integrated model’s body within a certain unit, you’ll usually be able to see certain features like the display panel or even the whole front door. The semi-integrated option is often a popular choice because it gives you more machines to choose from when you’re looking for the perfect appliance.

In rare circumstances, medium-sized and larger households can even look into getting a built-in washing machine for their laundry. These involve having a machine and a unit system designed around the family’s needs. This way, you can get the spin speed, 30-minute quick wash, and capacity you require for each wash. However, designing a solution from scratch with the right features will cost a lot more than buying standard machines.

Do Integrated Washer Dryers Need a Vent?

As your machine moves through each wash and dry mode for your laundry load, it will need enough space to vent hot air. Some products will require a vent system to be built-in, but others don’t. If your wash-and-dry combo doesn’t need it, the chances are that it’s using the water pipe to drain condensation.

If you don’t want to add a vent to your wall, look for a washer dryer model that can operate without one. If you’re concerned about the small size of an integrated washer and dryer, you can look into getting a full-size model that simply fits into the cabinets in your kitchen or laundry room. Whatever you decide, make sure that you have your device installed correctly and by a professional to ensure that you get the best results.

If a vent is necessary, you will need to work with an expert to have this installed in just the right place, too. Don’t simply try to drill holes into your walls, as you could end up hitting a wire or pipe.

Time for an Upgrade

What is an integrated washer dryer? It’s a discreet appliance that blends with your current decor. Integrated washing and drying machines are perfect for small to medium households who don’t require a lot of washing machine capacity and don’t have a great deal of space for their laundry. Unlike freestanding machines, integrated models blend into your kitchen as part of an installation in a cupboard or a unit.

Do you have a freestanding machine or an integrated one? Tell us about it below.

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