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Basic Facts about Energy Efficient Dishwashers

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One area where families consume a lot of electricity in the home is the dishwasher. Energy efficient dishwashers can save you a lot of money on utility costs and help protect the environment at the same time.

Many homeowners find that energy efficient dishwashers not only pay for themselves, but also help them in their efforts to be environmentally sensitive. Energy efficient dishwashers come in a wide variety of styles and colors, with enough features to satisfy even the hardest-to-please consumer.

Energy efficient dishwashers save money

The U.S. government says that dishwashers earning the Energy Star rating are about 10 percent more efficient than those that do not meet the program’s energy reduction criteria. The Energy Star program was created by the government to inform consumers of the amount of energy used by appliances such as dishwashers and clothes dryers. Energy Star criteria for energy efficient dishwashers requires them to use 5.8 gallons of water or less during the wash cycle. Many older models use twice that much water per cycle. Here’s another fact that surprises a lot of folks: It typically takes more water to hand wash dishes than to clean them in a dishwasher.

Knowing that consumers have become more environmentally sensitive, appliance manufacturers are continuing to develop new technology to make dishwashers more energy efficient. The new designs not only protect the environment, they cut costs. A U.S. government estimate has concluded that dishwashers manufactured before 1994 trim as much as $40 per year more in electricity costs.

Here are some of the features on energy efficient dishwashers:

  • Soil sensors that can tell how dirty the dishes are and adjust the cleaning cycle so that energy and water are not wasted.
  • Better filters that remove more food from the water during the wash cycle. This allows the dishwashers to make the most of the water and detergent that is used, manufacturers say.
  • Improved water jets that use less energy.
  • Improved interior designs, which strategically place specific dishes in areas where they will require less energy to be cleaned.

But having a new dishwasher isn’t the only way to cut costs and help the environment. Here are a few energy-saving tips for older and newer models:

  • Scrape the food off dishes instead of rinsing it off. Experts say rinsing dishes can use up to 20 gallons of water. Scrape food off dirty plates and let the dishwasher handling the washing and rinsing.
  • Make sure the dishwasher is full before using it. Even the most energy efficient model uses the same amount of electricity and water whether it’s full or half full. So it makes the most sense to run the dishwasher with a full load.
  • To save energy, use the no-heat drying option. The dishes will dry anyway, but this way it won’t cost you extra money.

Energy efficient dishwashers have come a long way in recent years and with the constant advances in technology, it’s a sure bet they’ll continue to get even better.

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