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Energy Saving Dishwashers


About Dishwasher Efficiency:


Dishwashers operated at full capacity can be an efficient alternative to hand washing. Around 80% of the energy used by dishwashers goes towards heating the water.

Tips for Lowering Your Dishwasher Energy Usage:

  • Always operate a dishwasher with a full load and select an energy-saving cycle whenever possible. The dishwasher uses the same amount of water whether it is half full or completely full.
  • Don't pre-rinse dishes before putting them in the dishwasher. Scrape-off food and empty liquids. Soaking or prewashing is generally recommended in cases of burned-on or dried-on food. If you must rinse dishes, use cold water.
  • Load dishes according to manufacturers instructions and allow for proper water circulation.
  • Don't use the "rinse hold" on your machine for just a few soiled dishes. It uses 3 to 7 gallons of hot water each time you use it.
  • If your dishwasher has a booster heater, turn down your water heater thermostat setting to 120F.
  • Select the air-dry option, if your machine has it. If not, stop the machine before the drying cycle begins and open the doors to let dishes air-dry.
  • Help your dishwasher operate more efficiently by checking drains and filters to make sure that they are not clogged with food.

Tips for Buying a New Dishwasher:

  • Look for ENERGY STAR models. ENERGY STAR qualified dishwashers use 25% less energy than the federal minimum standard for energy consumption. Because they use less hot water compared to conventional models, an ENERGY STAR qualified dishwasher saves about $100 over its lifetime.
  • 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 322 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.


U.S. EPA's ENERGY STAR Program, http://www.energystar.gov and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power

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