Chapter

Dishwashers

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How to Read the EnergyGuide Label

The EnergyGuide label gives you two important pieces of information you can use to compare different brands and models when shopping for a new dishwasher:

  • its estimated yearly operating cost, based on the national average cost of electricity; and
  • its estimated energy consumption on a scale showing a range for similar models.

Most of the energy used by a dishwasher is for water heating. The EnergyGuide label estimates how much power is needed per year to run the appliance and to heat the water, based on the yearly cost of natural gas and electric water heating.

Dishwasher Tips

  • Check the manual that came with your dishwasher for the manufacturer’s recommendations on water temperature. Many have internal heating elements that allow you to set the water heater in your home to a lower temperature. The ideal temp is 120° F.
  • Scrape off large pieces of food and bones, rather than pre-rinsing your dishes before placing them in the dishwasher. Soaking or prewashing is generally only recommended in cases of burned-on or dried-on food.
  • Be sure your dishwasher is full, but not overloaded, when you run it.
  • Avoid using the “rinse hold” feature on your machine for just a few soiled dishes. It uses 3 to 7 gallons of hot water each time you use it.
  • Let your dishes air dry. If you don’t have an automatic air-dry switch, turn off the control knob after the final rinse and prop the door open slightly to allow the dishes to dry faster.

Long-Term Savings Tip

  • When shopping for a new dishwasher, look for the ENERGY STAR label to find a dishwasher that uses less water and 41% less energy than that required by federal standards.