If you’ve got an old dishwasher — or no dishwasher at all — it may be time to consider buying an energy efficient ENERGY STAR® machine. These days you can find affordable dishwashers that clean well and use far less water than older models – saving you energy, time and money. And compared to hand-washing dishes, qualified dishwashers can save your home almost 5,000 gallons of water each year. That’s an especially important feature here where droughts are common in the hot Texas summers.
According to ENERGY STAR, newer dishwashers are built on technologies to ensure that, even though they use substantially fewer gallons-per-cycle, your dishes get squeaky clean and thoroughly rinsed. New dishwasher technologies include:
- Soil sensors that can detect how dirty dishes are and adjust the cycle accordingly.
- Better water filtration which helps with efficient detergent use and good rinsing.
- Improved rack design which allows placement of dishes in a way that strategically maximizes cleaning capacity.
- Super jets that do a better job of spraying water and detergent while using less energy.
When you’re out shopping for a new and improved dishwasher, look for the ENERGY STAR label which tells you whether the model provides energy efficiency and energy savings. These models also include an EnergyGuide label that tells you exactly how much energy it uses per cycle — great information to have on hand when comparing models.
Choose a dishwasher that’s the right capacity for your home. Dishwashers come in two sizes, standard and compact. Standard models hold about 12-14 place settings while compact machines typically hold 6-8 place settings. It’s more energy efficient to run a bigger dishwasher less frequently than a smaller one more frequently. Models that offer a number of wash cycle options like “air dry”, “quick wash” or “heavy duty” are also more efficient since you can choose the setting that fits the task at hand.
Finally, don’t forget to make plans for your old machine. Many retailers have a delivery and pick-up service in which they’ll take care of recycling the old dishwasher for you, but you can also drive your old machines to a recycling facility yourself.
Did You Know?
You’ll use less energy if you run the dishwasher completely full. Optimize your new dishwasher’s efficiency by following the government’s best practices for dishwashing.
Energy-efficient models aren’t always the cheapest but the long term environmental and monetary savings you get from them are worth the investment. If you’re not in immediate need of a new dishwasher, Black Friday sales just after Thanksgiving are a great time to get big deals on large appliances.
Have you recently purchased a new dishwasher? What tips can you provide for others looking for one?