Do This …
If your dishwasher has the delay option use it as an energy-saving tool.
— ccoletta (@ccoletta) January 26, 2014
Avoid using a dishwasher during the peak hours of energy consumption.
Kitchen appliances, though they make our work easier, do consume a lot of energy. One culprit that increases the energy usage of a home significantly is the humble dishwasher. Though it looks inconspicuous sitting in its corner, don’t let its innocent facade fool you. To clean the dishes, a dishwasher uses heat, which is where the maximum amount of energy is being used. The energy consumption is even more with older models, since they lack additional features which are incorporated in newer models to save energy.
You may now ask whether you should replace your existing dishwasher for a new, advanced model. Well, modern dishwashers come with a ‘cold-fill only’ facility, which certainly makes them more efficient than older models, and if you have one that needs hot water, it may be time to replace it. Although energy-efficient dishwashers are quite expensive, the amount of energy that they save in the long run is worth the investment made in buying them.
Whether you buy a new dishwasher, or continue using your old one, the following are a few tips that can help you save energy when it comes to dishwashers.
Tips to Make Your Dishwasher Energy-efficient
Wash Only Full Loads
Know that your dishwasher uses the same amount of water whether you put two plates and three forks, or load it to the maximum. Hence, running your dishwasher every 2-3 hours to clean just two to three utensils is not a good idea. Instead, if you put the dishes in the dishwasher throughout the day, and run it once at the end of day, it will save a lot of water and energy, which would otherwise get wasted either in hand-washing or dishwashing throughout the day.
Prefer Scraping Over Pre-rinsing
Many people prefer rinsing plates and bowls prior to dishwashing. They feel that pre-rinsing enhances the cleaning process, and if the utensils are not rinsed before loading them in the dishwasher, the dishwasher won’t clean them properly. However, rinsing is just a waste of water as well as time, because scraping the leftover food and removing the liquid from the dishes is more than enough to obtain a better cleaning result. Moreover, modern dishwashers are efficient enough to remove grease, dirt, and grime from dishes and make them shine.
Opt for Energy Saving Setting Options
As mentioned before, majority of the energy is required for heating the water. Therefore, choose a setting that uses the least amount of energy, but, at the same time, performs a quality task. Most newer models have this ‘green’ setting option that consumes less energy, and cleans a heavy load of dishes.
Use a Booster Heater
Normally, a dishwasher requires a temperature of around 140 °F to heat water and melt the dishwasher soap. Such a high temperature is a must to do away with the grease, grime, and dirt accumulated on the utensils. However, if you have a booster heater in your dishwasher, it is possible to heat the water at 120 °F, and still allow the appliance to work efficiently.
Follow User Manual Instructions
If you want your dishwasher to perform at optimum levels, follow the instructions given in the user-guide. It specifies the correct method of loading the dishes, and steps for the cleaning procedure. If you don’t have a user-manual, follow these few tips to ensure efficient cleaning.
✦ Utensils need to face the source of water, and hence, all of them need to be placed in an inward direction.
✦ There are compartments for all types of utensils, so arrange them accordingly.
✦ Plates should go into the bottom section, facing the center.
✦ Bowls, cups, and glasses should occupy the top section, and placed on an incline.
✦ Pans should be placed on the bottom along with the plates, facing downward.
Use the ‘No-heat Air-dry’ Option
Using the air-dry option instead of heat-drying saves around 50% of your dishwasher’s energy consumption. If your dishwasher doesn’t have an air-dry option, turn it off after the final rinse, and open the door to let the dishes dry naturally. It will require a little extra time, but not extra electricity.
Even though the dishes are scraped properly before being put in the dishwasher, constant use may cause food particles and grime to stick to the dishwasher drain. This, in turn, may affect the efficiency of your dishwasher and make you pay a hefty sum for its repair. Therefore, indulge in regular cleaning of the drain, which will allow your dishwasher to work efficiently for at least 10 years.
If you are planning to get a new dishwasher for your kitchen, make sure you consider the size, price, and above all, if it has all the energy-saving features incorporated.