I'm looking to buy a new washer/dryer (WD) and would welcome advice regarding options.
The machine will do about 4 normal 6-7 kg domestic washes a week.
There are no drying facilities (except for the dryer itself).
Standard fit is OK.
No vent, so dryer needs to be condensing.
The more energy efficient and green, the better.
Very soft water area at present but may be moving to a very hard water area in a few months.
I'd prefer a WD to separates due to limited space.
However I would be interested to know how a WD compares to separate appliances in terms of cost (WD presumably cheaper), energy (no idea, but I'd guess very similar) and lifetime/reliability/maintenance (I'd guess that being more complex with more to go wrong the WD will probably have the shorter lifetime and higher repair costs?).
Also, do WDs have known issues?
E.g. does the dryer part typically fail well before the washer part?
Are they more expensive to run?
Do compromises mean that they wash and/or dry less effectively or efficiently than separates?
I don't mind paying a bit more for a durable and reliable machine that is well designed and modular so that when it does have a fault it can be repaired, rather than buy something that will break after a couple of years of use. That said I appreciate that my usage is modest and cheaper models may well be better in price/performance terms.
Can modern dryers sense when the load is dry and basically keep the drying cycle going until the washing is dry?
Also, can WDs dry a full load or, after washing, do you need to take some of the wet washing out and dry the load in batches?
I don't need any special bells and whistles although a timer function to delay washing (and drying) until economy 7 comes on would be handy.
As I mentioned above, although presently in a very soft water area, I may be moving to where the water is extremely hard and don't know if this makes a difference.
Thanks in advance for any help, suggestions or comments.