LG steam washer dryer review

The LG uses more water to dry clothes than to wash them.
 
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  • Updated:8 Jun 2007
 

01.LG WD1248RD

LG-steam-washer-dryer
Price: $2299
Capacity: (wash/dry) 9 kg / 5 kg
Dimensions: (mm) 925 H x 635 W x 720 D
Available in white with silver trim (WD 1247RD) and also with 8/4 kg or 10/6 kg capacity in various colours.

If you’ve listened to the marketing, you might be thinking the LG Combined Steam Washer and Dryer makes wash day more environmentally friendly. While it’s true it’s energy and water-efficient when used as a washer, that’s not the whole story. When you use it as a dryer, it goes through an awful lot of water.
  • The wash cycle uses comparatively little water (107 L for a 9 kg load).
  • But it guzzles down on average an astounding 74 L to dry a 5 kg load — that’s more than you’d send down the drain flushing a modern water-efficient toilet 12 times.

Why? Washer/dryers don’t release hot, damp air into the laundry like normal clothes dryers. Instead they condense the steam back to water which is then flushed down the drain — and they can use a lot of water to do this.

See our lastest articles on washing machines and clothes dryers.

Unfortunately the current water efficiency labelling system doesn’t reflect this, as it’s only based on usage during the wash cycle — but that’s under review. CHOICE wants manufacturers to be required to label washer/dryers to show the total water use.

Please note: this information was current as of June 2007 but is still a useful guide to today's market.


Washing and drying

As a washer using a cold-water program (as in our normal CHOICE tests), the machine scored well overall (76%). But we also tested it on the ‘eco steam’ warm water program featured in its marketing, with which it performed just a little better. However, ‘eco’ notwithstanding, this warm-water cycle uses nearly three times the energy of the cold-water wash.

As for drying, it takes around 3.5 hours to dry a 5 kg load (you can’t dry a full 9 kg wash load in one hit). Add to that the 100 minutes for the wash and there’s your morning gone — and you’ve only dried about half the wash.

Steaming and refreshing

“If you’re on the run, you can refresh your outfit in minutes with a special Steam Refresh cycle,” the ads proclaim. Unfortunately it’s not as simple as popping yesterday’s shirt in the machine while you’re showering and having it ready when you are — you’ll most probably still need to iron it, even if the fact that it’s slightly damp makes that easier. Steam refresh also isn’t recommended for 100% cotton clothing.

That aside, does it really freshen clothes up? We asked volunteers to sniff out worn polycotton shirts we’d ‘steam-refreshed’. More than half said they’d wear them once more, but less than half thought they smelt really fresh.

CHOICE verdict

  • If space is at a premium, a washer/dryer saves you some room, but this one’s larger than others we’ve tested.
  • It’s a good washer, but slow at drying and uses lots of water in the process.
  • The ‘steam refresh’ function may come in handy but doesn’t live up to all its promises.
  • If you have enough room for a separate washer and conventional dryer in your laundry (and can vent the hot air from the dryer to the outside), that’s a better — and cheaper — choice.
 
 

 

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