Eco-Friendly Dishwashers - A Buying Guide Eco-Friendly Dishwashers - A Buying Guide

Eco-Friendly Dishwashers - A Buying Guide

Your dishwasher is probably one of the most used, yet least appreciated appliances. Why? Because it’s quite dependable and can last for years without causing any problems, so you don’t think about it much. But if your current dishwasher was bought around the time of the O.J. Simpson trial, you should seriously consider replacing it.

Believe it or not, O.J. fled--or rather coasted--from the police in his white Bronco in 1994. Your dishwasher may still be working fine, but it’s probably costing you more in your electricity bill than you can imagine. As it ages, it gets harder and harder for it to maintain the original efficiency, just like getting out of bed in the morning for me. The harder it has to work to heat the water, the more energy is consumed. And if the appliance is over 4 years old, odds are that it isn’t an energy efficient model to begin with.

Your search for a new eco-friendly dishwasher should be limited to those models which display the yellow Energy Star label. The Energy Star label shows that the dishwasher uses at least 15% less energy than the government standard.

The Energy Star label will also indicate the approximate annual cost of operating the appliance. For a detailed explanation of the helpful information that can be found on the Energy Star label, read our accompanying article by clicking HERE.

Along with the Energy Star label, here are a few other features you can look for in a dishwasher that will help you conserve energy and be eco-friendly:

  • If the dishwasher you’re looking at doesn’t have a switch to turn off the electric drying feature, pass on it. Letting your dishes air dry may take a little longer but the energy saving properties are profound. Plus, it never hurt anyone to pick up a towel to hand dry!
  • Look for dishwashers that have a booster heater. Located inside the dishwasher, this can heat the water to the temperature necessary for cleaning the dishes. Having this feature on your dishwasher can allow you to turn your home’s hot water heater temperature down, saving you even more energy.
  • Today’s advanced dishwashers are quite impressive. Some energy efficient models can even alter the way cleaning based on how dirty your dishes are. Many energy efficient dishwashers feature built-in sensors that read the soil level and adjust the heat and water usage to optimize cleaning.
  • Choosing a dishwasher with the most powerful motor you can find will help you avoid second runs due to still-dirty dishes. While you may associate the stronger motor with more energy use, actually it’s the reverse. Since the powerful motor blasts the dishes clean with one pass-through, you can effectively eliminate multiple cleanings.

Modern dishwashers are more powerful and more effective at cleaning dishes than models that were manufactured less than 5 years ago. They’re also much more energy efficient which can go a long way toward helping solve the planet’s warming crisis.

The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy reports that by simply using appliances 10 to 30% more efficient than the ones we’re currently using we can significantly reduce the burning of fossil fuels. This energy savings would enable the United States to produce enough energy with 25 fewer power plants.

While it’s unrealistic for every American family to replace all of their appliances at once, we can individually make the best energy saving decision when it does come time to replace an appliance. Whether it’s a new dishwasher, refrigerator, washer, or dryer, you can make an indelible mark on the state of our planet’s current warming crisis by choosing an Energy Star labeled appliance.

Get more information on energy ratings.

Read our general dishwasher buyer's guide.

Dave Donovan is a freelance copywriter living in Atco, N.J. An electrician for 15 years, an injury forced him to pursue his true passion - writing.

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