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I never thought I'd hear myself say that I really enjoy hanging out my washing to dry, but there we are. I said it, and it's true. There are few household jobs more satisfying, at least when you can do it in the confidence of knowing that it won't rain for the next five hours or so and you can come back to beautifully dry and sweet smelling clothes and towels.
But there's the rub. I live in the north west of England and there are too few times in a year when I can have that confidence in the weather. The alternative up to now has been drying laundry inside with the consequent condensation and unsightliness. So finally I decided to empty my penny jar and invest in a washer/ dryer. Besides, my old washer must have been built with space age technology, because on spin cycle it always sounded like a rocket taking off.
What I got was the LG F1480YD and it was all I might have wanted and a lot more besides.
At 60 cm x 64 cm x 85 cm it only takes up as much space as a washer, so you're saving space on a separate dryer. That depth of 64 cm does not include the door, which does protrude a little, so it's worth making sure that you've got the space, or that you're not going to site it where that might be an issue. Remember also that you will need to leave at least a 2cm gap at the sides and room at the back to accommodate the hoses.
One of the great features of this machine is that it uses a condensing system to turn the steam from the drying process back into water so that it can be expelled through the usual drainage outlet. This means that you don't have to worry about having an extra vent or suffer with humidity problems.
They come in black, white and silver. Mine's silver and looks great. Really futuristic, with lights that run around the control panel when you turn the function control. On the looks front, you'd have to say that it's not the shy, retiring type. It stands there quite proudly - almost boastfully. But then it has plenty to boast about.
If you get one of these and you think it sounds noisy, either it's been installed incorrectly or you've got bionic hearing. This is surely one of the quietest washing machines ever. Mice are thunderous by comparison. It manages this thanks to its direct drive system. There's no belt and pulley and this cuts down the noise considerably.
The absence of the belt and pulley also makes this more energy efficient (rated B) and less likely to break down.
The machine can also detect how heavy your load is and adjust wash and rinse times accordingly, thus saving on electricity and water consumption, or saving you the hassle of working out the best program to use.
The drum can take an 8 kg wash or up to 6 kg for drying.
The process is straightforward. Sort. Load. Power. Choose program. Add detergent. Press start.
There are fourteen programs to choose from:
Cotton; Cotton Eco; Easy Care; Mix; Baby Care; Silent Wash; Skin Care; Duvet; Sports Wear; Wool; Quick 30; Dry Only; Wash & Dry; Rinse & Spin
Each program has additional options available. There are nine possible additional options, some of them, like Pre-Wash and Rinse Hold will be familiar. Others, like Medic Rinse, might not be so usual. With Medic Rinse, the final rinse is heated to 40 degrees and might be particularly useful as an addition to the Baby Care program, for instance.
Time Delay is another extra option, available to all programs, enabling you to pre set a time at which the program will end, while Favorite (their spelling, not mine) is an option that allows you to save frequently used wash settings.
The other extra options are Time Save, Intensive, Rinse and Dry.
If required, spin and temperature settings can be selected separately.
The Washing Action
LG are very proud of the six motion action of this machine.
-Scrub, which ensures that the detergent dissolves more quickly and efficiently
-rolling, in which laundry is rolled below the water level
-swing - for your delicates, creating a heart shaped motion, apparently
-filtration - a combination of spraying and spinning to achieve faster soaking
-stepping - which means that after the spin cycle, the drum rotates and stops repeatedly to loosen the clothes from the drum and so to prevent wrinkles
I have to be honest and say that I would normally take all that with a pinch of washing powder. However, I'm sure they know their business better than I do and I can't argue with the results.
This can be done automatically via the program selection or you can choose your own temperature and drying time. Drying times can vary on the automatic programs and the process of condensing must also add to the time. One minor disadvantage with the machine is that the drying can seem slow, but perhaps that's just a question of adjusting our expectations. After all, how long would it take outside on the line, or hanging over the bath?
Care and Safety
The door locks, as one might expect, during a program.
There is also a child lock facility to prevent accidental (or otherwise) operation.
There is a special cycle called Tub Clean, for which you can add an anti-limescale agent.
All the usual safety precautions obtain, but you might also bear in mind, if you are not used to a washer/dryer that there are certain materials that are not suitable for this kind of drying. In some cases, as with wool, it might not be good for the fabric. In others, as with rubber and plastics, it wouldn't be good for the machine either, so be careful if washing the baby's bib, for instance, to make sure that it doesn't have plastic on it.
LG give a 10 year warranty on the Direct Drive motor. Worth knowing. Worth having.
Power Direct are currently advertising this for £579.97
Price Factor £499.00
Expensive, perhaps, but if you have a family and/or a busy lifestyle, it makes sense to invest in something that will be reliable, do the range and bulk of work that you expect and need - and not annoy the hell out of you by making lots of noise.
The Best Bit
The best bit (and I've still not got over this) is that at the end of its cycle......it plays a little tune! I know. Little things please little minds and all that, but come on! A musical washing machine? How could you resist that?
Perfect for a flat or closet the 8kg LG F1480YD Washer Dryer offers twice the performance in half the space / and doesn't require an external venting source / Programmes include pre-wash economy wool and delicates / Reverse action helps cut down on creasing while a variable temperature control lets you tailor the heat to the wash / A delay start timer lets you begin a cycle at a time to suit you or to take advantage of cheaper electricity rates / When the cycle has finished a no-delay door lock gives y / Short name: LG F1480YD