How to Buy an Energy Efficient Dishwasher That Won’t Wash Away Your Savings

Every year you keep your old, inefficient dishwasher, you are also washing away your hard-earned money.

Older dishwashers aren’t nearly as energy efficient as some of the newer ones and can drive up your utility bill by using excessive amounts of hot water.

Upgrading to a newer, energy efficient dishwasher is just one of many ways you can make your home as energy efficient as possible.

So, how can you tell if a dishwasher is energy efficient? Here are some guidelines to help you find an energy efficient dishwasher that can save you money each year in your Atlanta-area home.

Search for the Energy Star logo

The Energy Star logo tells you if a particular dishwasher has met the energy efficiency standards set by Energy Star.

This organization is a “joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy helping us all save money and protect the environment through energy efficient products and practices,” according to their website.

To meet the current Energy Star criteria, an appliance must be at least 41 percent more efficient than current federal energy efficiency standards.

On average, a dishwasher with the Energy star logo will be 10% more energy efficient and 20% more water efficient than standard dishwasher models.

By upgrading to a new, more efficient dishwasher you can save about $40 a year on your utility bills if you have a dishwasher that’s pre-1994.

Doesn’t sound like much, right? But, according to the Study of Life Expectancy of Home Components done by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), a dishwasher’s life expectancy is about nine years. That adds up to $360 in savings over the dishwasher’s life! That money can go towards your next dishwasher when you need to upgrade once again.

After you find a few Energy Star dishwashers you like, study the EnergyGuide label on each dishwasher to see how much energy each unit uses.

Buy a smaller dishwasher

This is probably a no-brainer to you, but the bigger the dishwasher, the more power and water it will use. Knowing this makes it easier to look at multiple Energy Star dishwashers and determine at a glance which of them will use less energy. But you should look at the EnergyGuide to get specifics.

Unless you have a large family and need room for lots of dishes, go for the smaller and less expensive models.

Look for dishwashers with energy-saving settings

Pick dishwashers that have a “light wash” or “energy-saving” wash cycle. This setting is meant for dishes that are just barely dirty. It uses less water and operates for a shorter period of time.

Also, look for dishwashers that have a cycle that allows dishes to be air-dried with circulation fans instead of being heated by energy-wasting heating coils.

Ask a salesperson which dishwashers have these features to speed up your search.

Getting started

While a dishwasher may not be a super exciting purchase, finding the right one can help you complete your “ultimate kitchen.” Get started by checking out some of the best recommended dishwashers from Consumer Reports.

Mr. Plumber is your Atlanta-area plumbing expert. Have a plumbing problem or question you would like answered? Ask us!

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