Having a washer and dryer set in your home is great convenience. Using a laundromat means you need to leave the house and can be expensive. Hand washing clothes and hang drying them is tedious and time consuming. Having a washer and dryer in your house can be a big advantage but make sure to keep your units well maintained.
First, lets take a look at how these systems work. After you fill the washer with clothes (make sure they are machine washable!), load the detergent and select the cycle, the machine will fill with water. It will then stir the clothes using an agitator for a little while. After finishing this step, the water will drain and a spin cycle starts. The spinning action is used to remove the water from the clothes. The machine will then repeat these steps (i.e. water, agitate, drain and spin) to help remove the detergent from the clothes.
The dryer is an even simpler process. Clothes are placed in the dryer and a cycle is selected. The tumbler starts spinning the clothes inside the tumbler. The heating element, powered by gas or electric, will turn on to help the water evaporate. The exhaust from evaporation is vented through a lint trap filter, out the back of the machine and down a tube to the outside environment.
Most of the maintenance for the washer and dryer consist of cleaning. The best part is that the these tasks consist of easy do-it-yourself steps.
Lint is the biggest problem with a dryer. Keeping is clean and clear of lint will improve its operating efficiency and lower the chances of a dryer fire.
References: http://home.howstuffworks.com/washer.htm http://home.howstuffworks.com/dryer.htm