5 Tips for Selecting Your Next Energy Efficient Dishwasher
Not all dishwashers are alike, What should you be looking for in a dishwasher?
Heading out to purchase a new large appliance, you will need to take your energy efficiency score card with you. How will the new dishwasher fit in with your program for conserving energy and lowering your power bill?
Shopping for a new appliance is not what it used be. When I say used to be, I mean back in the day when you had a dozen mom and pop stores selling washing machines and you purchased one solely based on cost, color and who you went to church with.
There was a time when you might purchase a green refrigerator because it went well with your green bathtub. I am feeling old cause I remember those days. A dishwasher built in 1994 will use, on an average, $40 more dollars per year to operate and 10 more gallons of water per cycle.
Today, we have fewer stores to shop at and we have new technology to keep in mind. Joe, from Church, may work in the appliance section of your favorite mega appliance store but, chances are, he does not know as much about dishwashers as the guy that sold the green ones 40 years ago.
In order to increase the energy factor and save water, some units now filter the water so well that they use the same water over and over. That is how a dishwasher can use just 4 gallons of water for a complete cycle instead of 10 gallons.
Here’s some tips to keep in mind if your heading out to purchase that new dishwasher you’ve been needing:
1. Do your homework before you get to the store.
Chances are you will know more about dishwashers than the person there to help you ( Unless it’s Joe ). Gather facts and figures from several on-line places. Energy Star can give you the energy factor rating ( EF ) of the dishwasher (the higher EF rating the better ) and Consumers Digest can give you the maintenance and satisfaction reports along with efficiency ratings. Green Appliances will have a list based on overall impact on the environment.
2. Don’t be concerned about size.
All dishwashers are made to fit in a standard kitchen cabinet space.
3. Compare the Yellow Energy Guide Tags.
At the store, the dishwasher will have a yellow tag called an Energy guide. The Energy Guide will give you the estimated yearly operating cost and the estimated yearly electrical use. This will allow you to compare dishwashers by comparing the yellow Energy Guide tags. Notice this tag is all about electricity and does not say anything about water.
4. Compare operating controls.
Can you control the dry cycle separately? Again, on the average, a dishwasher will use about 6 times more electricity on the dry cycle than it uses on the wash cycle. If you want to save a lot of juice, turn off the dry cycle and hang the plates on the clothes line with the laundry.
5. Be aware of what your paying for.
Paying more for energy efficiency is one thing, paying more for stainless steel is another. With some models, you will pay more for stainless whether it’s on the outside of the door or on the inside of the wash box. You will also pay more for a quieter dishwasher. With dishwashers, there is a connection between stainless steel and quiet.
Here’s a few dishwashers brands and energy efficiency numbers. I randomly chose one of the higher efficiency models for each brand.
Frigidaire 283 kWh/yr, 3.68 gallons per cycle, Energy Factor of 0.79
Bosch 180 kWh/yr, 1.56 gallons per cycle, Energy Factor of 1.19
Kenmore 290 kWh/yr 4.24 gallons per cycle, Energy factor of 0.78
Now, don’t forget to check with your State Department of Energy and with your Power Company, somebody may just want to reward you for selecting an energy efficient appliance. It’s not unusual to get a $30 to $50 incentive.
Thank you for taking this dishwasher shopping trip, hope you said hi to Joe…come back soon, but remember, I won’t leave the light on for you. Don Ames