Are Washer Dryers Worth It – With a feature set that could make it the poster child for the new wave of washer-dryer combos hitting the U.S. market, we brought the GE Profile PFQ97HSPVDS Combo Washer-Dryer (available at Best Buy for $2,899.99) into our test labs to see how it does—all this good. One actually functions. The machine lets you set it and forget it, switching to an appropriate drying cycle after washing is complete – without the hassle of transferring clothes between the washing machine and the dryer. With an energy efficient heat pump, 4.8 cubic foot capacity, detergent dispenser and intuitive interface, this all-in-one unit has a lot to do. It can have a bit of trouble drying heavy items completely, though we found that turning on its ‘Drawer’ option was able to solve the problem. Overall, this all-in-one unit performed so well in tests that it ranked in both our top ten washing machines and our top 20 dryers.

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Are Washer Dryers Worth It

To understand the pros and cons of the GE Profile PFQ97HSPVDS you must first understand what a washer-dryer combination is. Although popular in Europe for some time, these units have only recently become available in the United States.

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Combined washer and dryer units are able to do both in one box. Like most combos, the GE Profile PFQ97HSPVDS uses 120 volt power, and it’s a ventless dryer, meaning you can install it in places where a traditional washer set would never fit.

GE washer-dryer combos use an advanced heat pump to improve drying efficiency. This heat pump not only improves its drying capabilities, but also contributes to the slightly higher price tag.

The unit has an automatic dispenser for detergent and fabric softener, as well as a decent amount of options for customizing cycles. Not only are its controls obvious in low-light conditions, but they’re positioned higher to be more accessible than those found on most front-loading washers and dryers.

With a capacity of 4.8 cubic feet, this unit is ahead of the pack by having a full-size drum and a heat pump, and won’t limit you to smaller loads.

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The lint trap also stands out, with an efficient, easy-to-clean filter located next to the controls.

Even compared to conventional washers and dryers, the cleaning and drying performance of this combined unit stands out.

The machine’s regular and linen wash modes scored above average in our tests. The spin cycle usually does a better job of removing water, making the entire wash/dry cycle the most efficient.

In our tests, the complete wash and dry cycle time was 85 minutes in fast mode and just over two hours in normal mode. That’s about the same average cycle time as individual washers and dryers we’ve tested in the past, meaning this GE Profile washer-dryer combo cleans and dries your laundry as quickly as a pair of regular washers, but without the hassle. And lost time transferring your laundry between the two.

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The machine’s drying cycles were also largely effective. The normal cycle, for example, was able to remove 100% of the water with a peak temperature of about half a degree below 150 degrees Fahrenheit. The fast cycle, operated with a smaller load, achieved the same 100% water removal in less time, peaking at about 154 degrees Fahrenheit.

The controls on this GE washer-dryer combo are easy to follow and conveniently located.

Among all its features, our testers rated the usability of the GE PFQ97HSPVDS profile the highest. There are many factors contributing to this high score, from integrated set-a-and-forget-it functionality to well-designed button handling and controls.

The basic design of this washer-dryer combo makes it easier to use than most front-loading appliances. Controls are above average for a front loader, making it easy to follow without bending or stooping. The white label contrasts with the charcoal finish, while the screen, power, wash, dry and on/pause buttons are all illuminated. These buttons control the wash and dry functions, while LEDs indicate option buttons. Our tester found the controls very responsive even with wet hands.

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The unit also makes good use of smart sensors and controls. With enough control over the wash cycle, you can set a dry cycle after the wash has started, customize the standard cycle, add more water to the wash cycle that has started, and more. Detergent dispensers dispense the right detergent for your load, while smart features let you do things like remote start.

A complaint you’ll often see about combo units is that they don’t have the volume needed for a family-sized load of laundry. The GE Profile PFQ97HSPVDS is the first we’ve seen that includes both a heat pump and a large 4.8 cubic foot drum.

Although the added efficiency of the heat pump means this unit is more expensive than many combined condenser units, it is less than other options equipped with a heat pump.

For example, the unit sells for significantly less than the LG Signature LUWM101HWA, but has a capacity of nearly two cubic feet more.

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We all love a dryer that can also smooth out wrinkles. The GE Profile PFQ97HSPVDS has a steam de-wrinkle mode that introduces a small amount of water vapor. Additionally, a wrinkle treatment option can help prevent post-cycle wrinkling by extending the fall without heat.

Connecting to the GE SmartHQ app will set you up for cycle notifications that will keep you updated on what’s happening on your unit, as well as giving you access to downloadable cycles. We tested it and found that these messages worked as expected

We didn’t test any of the downloadable cycles against the machine’s standard cycle, but we think it’s an exciting feature that could open up the machine to many different uses and needs.

We’ve also seen GE issue over-the-air software updates to its units, which improve performance and reduce washing and drying times. We hope this continues.

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For the most part, this washer and dryer combo did a solid job with drying as well as washing. However, we encountered problems in a few cases. At Balki, our heavy blanket retains moisture even after the sensor warns it’s dry. We had to turn on the more dry function to dry it completely. This mode extends the drying cycle by 20 minutes after the sensor stops drying.

A heavy mode you might want for items like jeans or jackets is available with just one download There’s also an Eco Dry mode, but it’s similarly hidden behind menus.

Even in drier and heavier settings, you’ll find that fabrics like blue jeans come out with a thin layer of a thickener. However, we found that frequent shaking was sufficient to clear this dampness.

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Beckett Dubai, our lab tester, said, “Jeans that felt more damp than loads around the waist, as well as a medium-weight flannel that was slightly damp, both dried after a few minutes sitting flat on the machine while I folded the rest of the laundry.” Dubey also suggests keeping them in bed for a few minutes.

The PFQ97HSPVDS is a sensor-centric machine. While the wash cycle has a lot of customization, the dryer doesn’t tell you much. It doesn’t let you set dryness levels, only timed dry or sensor dry, with some tweaks, like More Dry and Eco Dry.

We were surprised to note that the GE washer-dryer combo continues to draw power passively even when not in use. As it turns off, it draws a watt-hour of electricity every few minutes – something we haven’t seen before. While you might expect better energy efficiency from this unit than most standard dryers, we still found it odd.

The machine makes a decent amount of noise while running. We measured 64dB to 65dB when we stood at a distance of one and a half meters and turned towards the machine. Although the noise was consistent and consequently less annoying, it was a concern.

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The GE Profile PFQ97HSPVDS comes with a decent one-year warranty on parts and labor. It has a five-year parts-only warranty on the sealed heat pump drying system and a ten-year parts-only warranty on the motor.

You can plug it into any 120 volt outlet and run it from a closet or kitchen. As with any combined unit, it can’t be compared neck and neck with a standard washer and dryer set or laundry center at any level. However, in most cases it will take about the same amount of time to wash and dry as a traditional set.

Efficient enough to receive an Energy Star rating, the profile equipped with a heat pump will save you money on electricity and water. At the same time, the large 4.8 cubic foot drum gives you more

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