Today’s dishwashers are far more energy efficient than earlier models, using up to 95% less energy than those made in the 1970s. Dishwashers have an average lifespan of 11 years, meaning dishwashers pre-dating the mid-90s are likely in need of replacement, regardless of their energy qualifications. By simply replacing a dishwasher manufactured prior to 1994, you could save up to $30 a year.
The majority of energy consumed by a dishwasher is used for heating the water. Up to 80% of the total energy is used to get the water near the 140°F mark in order to melt the dishwasher soap and clean the grease and grime from dirty dishes.
Homeowners may be leery at the cost of replacing an existing dishwasher. If this sounds like you, consider that in addition to your savings in operating costs and energy, a new dishwasher can provide a richer feature-set over older models. The majority of newer models include energy-saving features such as short, light or economy cycles, which use one detergent wash and 2 or 3 rinse cycles. These models will also give the option of using heat or no-heat drying cycles. For optimal energy savings, use the no-heat cycle.
More advanced dishwasher models go as far as providing sensors that measure the amount of dirt on your dishes and adjust the amount of water used accordingly. This reduces both the amount of energy and water required to clean dishes.
The most energy efficient dishwashers on the market are ENERGY STAR qualified. These models are at least 41% more energy efficient that the regulated standard models, with a minimum Energy Factor of 0.65.
There are three types of dishwashers available to consumers – built-in, portable and compact.
Built-in dishwashers are those permanently connected to a home’s water and electrical supplies.
Until recently, only standard-sized dishwashers qualified for ENERGY STAR approval, but new criteria have been developed to allow compact dishwashers to wear the ENERGY STAR badge. These models are those with capacities less than 8 place settings and 6 serving pieces. In order to achieve ENERGY STAR status, compact dishwashers must have an Energy Rating of 0.88 or higher.
Portable dishwashers are those not permanently attached to a home’s water and electrical supplies. They are lightweight and freestanding and can include counter-top and caster-mounted dishwasher, all of which can be moved from place to place fairly easily.
Find out how energy efficient your dishwasher is by viewing our product listings of dishwashers, or using the ENERGY STAR calculator below.