LG WashCombo vs. GE Profile heat pump washer-dryers compared, 10 reasons to get either | Electrek

Over the past few months, a new type of washer-dryer combo has emerged on the scene in North America (Yes, Europe and Asia have had great, tiny heat pump tech for decades). These new big combo units from GE Profile UltraFast PFQ97HSPVDS and now LG WashCombo WM6998HBA (introduced at CES) are now on the market.

I’ve had the GE Profile for 2 weeks, and the LG is on the way for testing head-to-head, but for now, I want to tell you about all of the ways both of these things are amazing, and energy savings is just the tip of the iceberg… Heat Pump Produce Machine

LG WashCombo vs. GE Profile heat pump washer-dryers compared, 10 reasons to get either | Electrek

There is a revolution in all-in-one washer-dryers happening right now. Gone are the days of the tiny, 5-hour all-in-ones, and we now officially have 2 large, efficient heat pump washer-dryer combos to choose from. These are both ventless, take 2 hours to wash and dry, only require a 120V outlet, and are loaded to the gills with fantastic technologvaccy.

Both of them are compared below but first, here are 10 reasons to get either one of them.

Heat pump technology pulls heat from the air and also separates water from the air which makes it perfect for the application of drying clothing. Ventless all-in-one washer-dryers have existed on the market for a long time but have always been too small (for Americans), taken forever to run a cycle, and have boiled clothes, reducing fabric and elastic lifespan. These new machines are standard size and have 4.8-5 cubic feet of capacity.

The energy efficiency adds a lot of other benefits that might not be obvious. You can also make it function as a washer only or dryer only, so you can throw wet mittens in there or wash delicates you want to hang dry.

Both the LG and the GE Profile only require a single 120V outlet, replacing the need for the additional 240V outlet of most stand-alone dryers to add to the 120V on most washers.

The freed-up 240V space in the breaker box is perfect timing for those people replacing their pollution-spewing oil/gas heaters with heat pumps/geothermal or adding an electric vehicle outlet or two in their garage. This will likely save many people from the costly expense of having to upgrade their electrical service and/or breaker box for these additions. In fact, upgrading service/breaker boxes often cost more than the whole $2,000-$2,500 price of the washer/dryer upgrade!

For those people who currently have their washer and dryer in their garage, you could imagine simply removing the dryer, replacing the washer with the combo, and plugging the car into the now-unused outlet. Maybe a new foldable e-bike fits in your newfound space?

For new homes, fewer 240V breakers/outlets/wire runs are going to save cost and complexity.

Because the machine is self-contained, it doesn’t need a duct or an air pump to move the hot, moist air out of the unit. That has a lot of add-on effects. Less energy to move the air, less lint-cleaning, and, in turn, fewer lint fires.

That also means you can put these machines just about anywhere where there is water and drain hose access. Building houses will now be easier without having to build separate venting spaces.

I can imagine a future where these live inside a walk-in closet in smaller homes, alleviating the need for clothes ever to leave the closet unless worn.

Since the combo units have the same footprint as a typical front-load washer or dryer, you split your floor space requirement in half.

Or if you stack the previous washer and dryer, you can now fold clothes on top of the washer-dryer combo.

Building washer/dryer units in the middle of the house, away from exterior walls where venting was previously required, will now be possible.

Also, if the ducts are long, a dryer will heat up a space for better or worse. In places like Texas, Arizona, and Florida, that’s extra heat for your AC to offset.

Pretty self explanatory but already in the first weeks of use, this has become a game changer. You no longer have to babysit laundry loads or stay up late at night to move laundry from one machine to another. Depending on the type of laundry, which the machine senses, a full cycle can take anywhere from 90 minutes to 2.5 hours. But mostly, it is like charging your car: You put a load in at night and wake up done, with clean, dry clothes.

Maybe the biggest unsung advantage to heat pump dryers is that they aren’t pumping air out of the home. This is called negative pressure, and it is normalized as air is sucked through holes in your home from the outside, whether that’s windows, under door seals or holes in the insulation. If you live in a temperate climate and leave your screen door open all year, that’s not a big deal. But if you have an HVAC system running, it is going to run a lot harder to offset the outside air temperature being sucked in.

Removing 150 cubic feet of air per minute from a home is essentially like opening a door for outside-temperature air to be drawn in. Multiply that times a 45-minute cycle, and you’re replacing most of the air in a home over the course of a wash. That’s going to be expensive, particularly in very hot and very cold climates.

Since clothing is not being superheated, the process is much gentler on clothing, meaning that you can leave many line-dry-only clothes in the dryer cycle. It also means clothes will last longer and need to be replaced less often. As mentioned previously, there is less lint to clean and catch fire.

Because there isn’t air blowing out of the unit, heat pump combos are typically much quieter than the resistance heat equivalents, which means they can operate much easier at night or adjacent to bedrooms without waking up occupants.

The LG is currently $1,000 off at $2,000, and the GE Profile is about $2,500, depending on discounts. That’s significantly more than most standalone units but on par with higher-end combinations of washer/dryer. The cost saving is pretty incredible, however. Each wash-dry cycle is under 1 kWh. That means, depending on where you live, each load will typically cost anywhere from 7 to 20 cents per load or less. Compare that to a typical resistance dryer, which will use between 2 and 6kW to dry for about an hour, or around 4 times that amount for the dryer alone.

(Many variables are here, so I’m doing my math with numbers in the middle.)

Then, if you live in hot or cold climates (or both!), you have to consider all of that heated air you’re sending out of your house. That air loss creates negative pressure in your home that is filled with air from outside via small holes in the house or under doorways (or around that dryer vent). Your HVAC system then has to heat or cool that air again. For me, this is a huge added cost in the summer and winter when our HVAC costs are high. I figure I’m going to save about $1.80 per load overall, and we do roughly one load per day for a family of 4.

That’s a conservative $700/year in savings and a mere 3-year payback timeline.

Because this is an all-in-one, the washer cycle immediately leads to drying without moving the laundry from machine to machine. That’s easier and allows the whole cycle to run during a night when rates are the lowest.

You put dirty clothes in at night, it runs when the rates are lowest, and you have clean, dry clothes waiting for you in the morning.

Depending on where you live, there may be heat pump dryer rebates available to qualified buyers. As with most government programs, the rebates aren’t straightforward, but up to $840 federal money might be available soon.

In Vermont where I currently live, there is another $400 rebate available.

Right there, I’ve cut the initial upfront price in half before I start saving money on energy bills.

It’s not heat pump or energy-related, but both units have this, and it is really, really cool. The smart dispenser allows you to fill the reservoirs with detergent or fabric softener for something like 20 loads, dispersing the right amount of each depending on load size. That will save time and prevent the overuse of laundry products, thus saving more money. I love it.

Also, you will have to change from dryer sheets to fabric softener. But the dispenser makes sure you don’t forget.

Also, these machines have apps that seem more trouble than they’re worth, but I’ll let you know after a few months of use.

While the upsides of the heat pump washer-dryer combo are plentiful, there are still some downsides.

So which of these is the better pick? I aim to find out over the next few months when I will have both of the in my house at the same time. But for now, let’s look at the differences on paper:

We weren’t aware of LG’s entry into the market last month when we opted to purchase the GE Profile. It was delivered a few weeks ago, and the initial washes have been within expectations. The “moistness” at the end of a cycle thing is accurate, and it does take getting used to.

But now that we are looking at the LG WashCombo, it seems to meet our needs better.

One of the most significant issues is that we have some cabinetry in our laundry room that would have to be removed for the taller GE Profile model. While both units have the same footprint, the GE is 7.7 inches out of typical washer/dryer height spec. That might be good for repairs as the heat pump unit is separate from the washer unit.

Also, the LG’s opening is higher for ergonomic reasons and has its own water heating unit.

As for lint, GE Profile requires you to clean the lint catcher after every 5 washes, whereas LG requires you to do it after every wash. However, LG’s cleaning process is much easier.

LG’s is a direct drive vs. GE Profile, which is a belt drive, and as someone who has replaced dryer belts, I’m a direct drive fan. LG’s also has a built-in water heater which is a big plus if it can eliminate running a hot water line. But I’m also told that LG’s heat pump is smaller and takes longer to dry clothes.

Lived in Europe 17 years ago and we had separate washer / dryer units, but the dryer unit was a heat pump. We had to hump the water bottle upstairs and put it down the drain, and yes, clothes were not the "hot and crisp" condition you get with thermo dryers, BUT, clothes looked better longer. No fading or worn look.

It always happens. I was looking at the GE Profile for months and finally bit the bullet when we had a washer leak. Then, between ordering and arrival, LG shows off their new model that seems a little better for a price of $500 less than what I paid.

The GE Profile has been solid in the week we’ve had it, but I’m really looking forward to the LG WashCombo to see if it will be our Forever Washer Dryer.

You can buy both at Best Buy here: GE Profile (Haier); LG WashCombo WM6998HBA.

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LG WashCombo vs. GE Profile heat pump washer-dryers compared, 10 reasons to get either | Electrek

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