The LG All-in-one Washer and Dryer is one of the space-saving combinations available.

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Laundry may be your least favorite chore, or you could be one of those people that think doing laundry is fun and productive. Regardless of your feelings toward it, however, for most people doing your own laundry is a necessity. The average family does about 400 loads of laundry a year [source: Energy Star].

Luckily, there are many different options, from steam cleaning to different spin cycles, so you're sure to find a washer and dryer that fit your individual needs. If one of your top priorities is space, then one of the most compact units for cleaning clothes is a washer dryer combo, or an all-in-one washer-dryer combination.

"They're not really brand new to the market, but they have become more popular as people move into smaller apartments or condos," says Michael Lee, vice president of marketing at Thor Appliance Company.

Already popular in Europe and Asia for their space-conscious dimensions, all-in-one washer-dryer combinations are units to consider for loft dwellers, apartment residents or just those that are concerned about space [source: Creative Laundry Systems, Inc.]. These units are also popular with those having larger boats or recreational vehicles like mobile homes. Many of these units are around the size of an average dishwasher [source: Lee].

Besides just being small, some all-in-one washer-dryer units are constructed a little differently than their stand-alone counterparts. We'll look into how these units work next. Then we'll look at the advantages and disadvantages for choosing these versions instead of a separate washer and dryer, including how you might be able to save some energy.

Let's start by taking a closer look at the inner workings of a washer dryer combo system.