A Brief History Of The Washer And Dryer

It’s been around a lot longer than you think

The first attempts to construct a drying machine were made as far back as the late 1700s and consisted of a hand-operated mangle that squeezed excess water from wet clothing. This device soon benefited from the addition of a motor which speeded it up considerably as well as making it less labour intensive to use. Unfortunately, the motorised version was extremely dangerous to operate and caused countless serious injuries. The first integrated washer and dryer also appeared in the 1790s and featured a motorised mangle that was either fixed over a washing tub or could be moved to ensure that water squeezed out of just washed clothing would return to the tub to be reused; saving time and money.

Advancements in technology have been slow

It was not until the 1940s that an automatic washing machine was invented kenmore dryer repair los angeles, and even later still that a dryer became integrated into it. In 1954, USA brand ‘General Electrical’ pioneered the first automatic combined washer and dryer (aka the washer/dryer). Washing machines and tumble dryers have enjoyed many advancements in design and technology since they first became commonplace in domestic households. The same cannot be said for machines that do both. These have remained, in essence, the same as when they were first introduced in the 1950s; though improvements in speed, size and noise have been made.

Washer/dryers and tumble dryers use different technologies

It’s a common misconception that combined washing and drying machines and separate tumble dryers use the same method to remove the water from your clothing, and should therefore achieve similar results for comparable costs. Actually, the two work their magic in completely different ways. The washer/dryer cools the air inside the machine by introducing cold water to its system, rather than adding already cooled air. The Tumble Dryer heats air and blows it through the tumbling clothes, removing the water that is lost through a venting hose. As the process of water being added and working its way through the system before being drained out is more labour intensive and lengthy, washer/dryers naturally take much longer to get the job done.

Washer and dryers make repair companies rich

They perform two functions so they sound like they should be efficient. But appliances that combine both a washing and a drying function are one of the most unreliable found in the modern home; a fact noted by both consumers and repair technicians. As they use only one motor to fulfill these two roles, they become subject to breakdowns caused by wear and tear much more quickly than their separate counterparts. It’s also often that case that if the washing component of the machine develops a fault, they drying element is affected by this and ceases to function. Combo machines also need to be replaced more regularly than separate units, given the double task their motors just perform.

They have a fatal flaw

The main problem with combined washer and dryers, and one that might never be combated, is the fact that they are able to dry only a proportion of clothing that they have just washed. Users must separate just washed clothing into at least two new loads before it can be put in the machine to dry, raising questions about where the other half of the load is stored and whether the washer/dryer really offers a convenient solution at all.

They may have no place in the future of kitchen appliances

With the advent of slim depth washing machines and tumble dryers, the heyday of the combined washer and dryer may be coming to an end. Consumers are now able to place a separate washing machine and tumble dryer in the place where a combined unit would once have stood. The washer/dryer, as an appliance, also uses much more energy than two separate machines. Combining two functions means that they are not able to perform as well at either but cost much more to run.

With today’s consumer being more interested in the effects of their choices on the environment than ever, and energy bills quickly rising for the average household, this is a major problem. Unless the washer and dryer can adapt and keep up with the fast-paced improvements and innovations being made by its separate, competitor units, it may become redundant.

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