Did you know that you can expect to keep your new dishwasher for 11 years? That's a lot of washing cycles and hot water, Today's dishwashers need water hot enough to melt dishwasher soap and clean greasy dishes - at least 140 degrees. By purchasing a dishwasher with a booster heater, you can set your home's water heater at 120 degrees, and still allow your dishwasher to operate correctly.
According to research, a load of dishes cleaned in a dishwasher requires 37 percent less water than washing dishes by hand. If you fill the wash and rinse basins of your sink instead of just letting the water run, however, you will use half as much water as the normal dishwasher load.
As much as 80 percent of the energy your dishwasher uses goes to heat water. Remember-by saving water, you're also saving the energy used to pump it, treat it, heat it in your home, and clean it up afterwards in your city's waste water facility. Up to 50 percent of a typical city's energy bill goes to supplying water and cleaning it after use!
Appliances have two price tags - one is the purchase price, and the other is paid out month after month, year after year, in the form of your utility bills. That second, on-going price tag is why it's so important to consider the operating costs as well as the purchase price when buying a dishwasher. Fortunately, there are several tools available to help you.
Dishwashers have an EnergyGuide label that estimates how much electricity, in kilowatt-hours (kWh), is needed each year to run the appliance and to heat water, based on the yearly cost of gas or electric water heating.
Ratings are based on washing six loads a week using the normal settings. If you plan to use other setting options, your energy use can vary substantially.
- Look for features like "energy-saving" and "short-wash" cycles. Using more efficient operating cycles helps you use less water and save energy.
- Choose a dishwasher that gives you heat-drying and air-drying options. Heat-drying elements use considerable energy; air-drying options use very little.
- Dishwashers are classified as compact capacity and standard capacity. Compact models use less energy, but they also hold fewer dishes. Having to run a compact dishwasher several times to clean your family's dishes will result in greater energy use.
Before you go shopping, explore the Energy Star® dishwashers for those with the best efficiency features. These feature improved technology, energy efficient motors, and other advanced technology such as sensors that determine the length of the washing cycle. They also save energy by using less hot water to clean, and they feature the built-in water temperature boosters we mentioned. To qualify as an Energy Star¨ dishwasher, the appliance must exceed minimum federal standards by at least 13 percent.
It's Your Money
- Avoid using the "rinse hold" setting on your dishwasher. "Rinse hold" uses three to seven gallons of hot water for each use, and heating water takes extra energy. Never use "rinse hold" for just a few dirty dishes.
- Try to wash only full loads-the savings will surprise you.
- Use short cycles for everything but the dirtiest dishes. Short cycles use less energy and work just as well.
- If your dishwasher has an air-dry setting, choose it instead of the heat-dry setting. You will cut your dishwasher's energy use from 15 percent to 50 percent. If there's no air-dry setting, turn the dishwasher off after its final rinse and open the door. The dishes will dry without using any extra electricity.
- If you rinse dishes before loading them, use cold water. Don't waste water by letting it run continuously, either.
- Install your dishwasher away from your refrigerator. The dishwasher's heat and moisture make the refrigerator work harder. If you have to put them next to each other, place a sheet of foam insulation between them.
According to researchers, a load of dishes cleaned in a dishwasher requires 37 percent less water than washing dishes by hand. However, if you fill the wash and rinse basins instead of letting the water run, you'll use half as much water as a dishwasher would.
80 percent of the energy your dishwasher uses is for heating water. Remember-by saving water, you're also helping your city's wastewater facility save on the energy used to pump it, treat it, and clean it. Up to 50 percent of a typical city's energy bill goes to supplying water and cleaning it after use!
When you buy a dishwasher (also known as a dish storage device!), select one with a booster heater that raises incoming water to 140¡ F or higher. The higher temperature melts dishwasher soap and cleans those greasy dishes. Booster heating allows you to save energy by setting your home water heater to 120¡ F. Look for an energy efficient dishwasher that features air or overnight dry settings. Using these features can save up to 10 percent of your dishwashing energy costs.
Avoid using the "rinse hold" setting on your dishwasher. This feature uses 3 to 7 more gallons of hot water for each use. Never use "rinse hold" for just a few dirty dishes. Instead consider the old-fashioned hand wash/rinse basin option.
Use short wash cycles for everything but the dirtiest dishes. They use less energy and work just as well.
If your dishwasher has an air-dry setting, choose it instead of heat-drying. You'll cut your dishwasher's energy use 15 to 50 percent. If there's no air-dry setting, turn the dishwasher off after its final rinse and open the door. The dishes will dry slowly, but without using any extra electricity!
Many newer dishwashers do not require you to rinse dishes off before loading. If you prefer to pre-rinse use cold water on your dishes before loading them-but don't waste water by letting it run continuously.
If you have a choice, install your dishwasher away from your refrigerator. The dishwasher's heat and moisture increase your refrigerator's energy consumption. If you have to put them next to each other, place a sheet of foam insulation between them.