Did you know that washing a full load of dishes in the dishwasher is more cost-effective than washing dishes by hand? Washing dishes in a new ENERGY STAR® qualified machine rather than hand washing can cut your utility bills by more than $40 per year.
The benefits of ENERGY STAR® qualified dishwashers include:
- Saving water and energy—no pre-rinsing required.
- Soil sensors test how dirty dishes are throughout the wash and adjust the cycle to achieve optimum cleaning with minimum water and energy use.
- ENERGY STAR® certified dishwashers have features that result in better cleaning. They boost water temperatures to 140 degrees, which allows for improved disinfection compared to hand washing.
- More efficient motors.
ENERGY STAR® labeled dishwashers save by using both improved technology for the primary wash cycle, and by using less hot water to clean. Construction includes more effective washing action, energy efficient motors and other advanced technology such as sensors that determine the length of the wash cycle and the temperature of the water necessary to clean the dishes.
Significant savings can be realized by minimizing the amount of hot water needed. The water temperature in a dishwasher should be at least 140°F to clean your dishes. The ENERGY STAR® qualified models with internal water heaters boost the water temperature inside the dishwasher. This allows you to turn down the thermostat on your household water heater to 120°F, reducing your water heating costs by up to 10%.
Using your dishwasher's heater to dry dishes consumes a significant amount of energy. Federal law requires that all new dishwashers have a no-heat drying option. This is often called the "energy saver" feature. This takes a little longer, but may dry the dishes as well as the heat drying operation and saves energy.
- Using ENERGY STAR® qualified dishwashers with internal water heaters can save you 10% on your water heating costs.
- Some advanced dishwashers can sense and adjust for the amount of soil on your dishes, using only as much water as necessary.
Here are some tips for buying a new dishwasher:
- There are two dishwasher classifications: compact capacity and standard capacity. Compact models use less energy, but they hold fewer dishes. A compact model may actually result in greater energy use if you have to operate it more frequently.
- Choose a dishwasher that provides several different wash cycle selections. If your dishes are only slightly soiled, you can use a "light wash" or "energy-saving" wash cycle and save energy by using less water and operating for a shorter period of time.
- Look for a dishwasher that allows you to choose between heat drying and air drying. Heat drying elements draw considerable electricity; circulation fans for air drying use very little.
- Keep in mind that ENERGYGUIDE ratings for dishwashers are based on washing 264 loads annually using the normal settings. If you are considering a model with other setting options that you would use most of the time, your energy use could vary substantially.