We have a separate washer and dryer, but only because we were given the dryer for free by a friend who was emigrating. It very rarely gets used, only in emergency - in the winter, we use the spare bedroom for drying clothes; in the summer, we've still got the spare bedroom I'm surprised that most Americans still use top-loading washing machines. Front-loaders have been common here for the last 25-30 years or so. They are far more efficient than top-loaders because they use so much less water. It's much better to have a small amount of water at the bottom of the drum, and rotate the clothes through it than it is to fill the drum with water. I'd imagine that it saves power not only because it take less to heat the water, but also because it takes less energy to rotate the drum.