If you have a limited amount of space for a washer and dryer in your house or apartment, a stack set dryer and washer may be an ideal solution to your laundry problems. The stack set combo takes very little room, and newer models are quite energy efficient. However like any appliances, the stack set washer and dryers have problems as well that you should consider before you make a purchase.
Size and Space
Stack set dryer and washer combos are available in a standard size 27-inch configuration. Unfortunately, this size is often still too wide to fit into a closet or nook. Stack set washers and dryers are also available in 24-inch models, but with them you sacrifice load capacity. Stack sets don't have as many bells and whistles as separate washers and dryers do.
Configuration and Installation
Typically the dryer sets on top of a stack set. The washing machine may be either top or front loading. Top loading washing machines are easier to access and usually cost less to purchase. Front loading machines are more energy efficient.
It is possible to create your own stack set washer and dryer. To do this you need to find a washer and a dryer that are the same width. The washing machine in this instance would need to be front-loading. Both machines would have to have control panels on the front. And you would need to put the machines in a frame designed specifically for supporting the weight of the stack set combo.
Regardless of whether you make your own stack set or one already configured that way, both of the machines need their own dedicated 220-volt electrical outlets. If the stack set dryer is gas, it needs either a LP (propane) or natural gas connection. The dryer also needs a vent to the outdoors. If you have carpentry skills, you may be able to run the vent work. Most municipalities require licensed professionals to do the electrical work and to run the gas lines, so there are some installation costs involved.
Repair and Replacement
Like any appliance, at some time you are going to need to do repairs on your stack set. You may even have to make the decision to repair or replace the unit. The really hard part of that decision comes when one appliance is irreparable and the other still has many years of use in it. You can separate some pre-configured stack sets, but most are all one unit. If the washer goes bad, you have to replace the dryer as well.