Here’s the #1 Secret to Buying an Energy-Efficient Dishwasher

energy efficient dishwasher

If you’re shopping for a new dishwasher, what are your top concerns?

Noise levels? Color? Price? You might not even put “energy efficient” on the list! And if you do, you might not know how to figure out which dishwasher actually saves energy.

That’s a mistake.

We’re partnering with Constellation Energy to remind you why energy efficiency needs to be a priority when you shop.

We’re also going to tell you what to look for, including the #1 secret that will make sure you get the most efficient model to meet your needs.

But first, why bother?

Dishwashers and other home appliances use a lot of electricity. For most of us that still means we’re relying on polluting fossil fuels like coal for power. And you know what happens every time your local utility burns coal? The air gets dirtier, the atmosphere gets filled with more carbon dioxide, and climate change gets worse.

The less energy your dishwasher uses, the cleaner it is to operate. But that’s not all.

The more efficient it is, the more money it saves on your electric bill, too.

Constellation projects you’ll save up to $35 a year on electricity with a more efficient model – enough to pay for several boxes or bottles of dishwashing detergent.

Plus, an energy-efficient dishwasher offers another benefit that’s good for the environment as well as your pocketbook: it uses less water. Take a look at this graphic from Constellation:

water saving dishwasher

And don’t even think that you can save more energy and water by skipping the dishwasher and washing all your dishes by hand! The EPA reports that a new ENERGY STAR certified dishwasher not only cleans dishes better and kills more germs. It uses less than half as much energy as washing dishes by hand and saves more than 5,000 gallons of water each year. That adds up to big savings, too!

energy efficient dishwasher

So…how do you know which dishwashers are energy efficient?

energy-efficient dishwasherThe Secret is…Look for those that are ENERGY STAR certified.

ENERGY STAR is a program created by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to motivate manufacturers to build and sell highly efficient appliances like dishwashers. An appliance that bears the ENERGY STAR logo uses a LOT less energy and water than one that does not. According to EPA:

“Standard-size dishwashers that have earned the ENERGY STAR are on average 12 percent more energy efficient and 30 percent more water efficient than those that have not.”

energy efficient dishwasherOnce you locate energy-efficient dishwashers that bear the ENERGY STAR logo, you can then compare other factors, like how quiet they are when they operate, and what other features they offer that will help you save energy. (Here’s a picture of my own dishwasher; the ENERGY STAR label is right on the inside of the door.)

You can also check the yellow Energy Guide label you’ll see on various machines to compare how much energy each machine is projected to use.




After you get your dishwasher home, Constellation says here’s how you can use it to save energy and water and still get your dishes clean.

Energy-Saving Dishwasher Tips

Run full loads only.

Don’t rinse dishes. Today’s energy-saving dishwashers don’t require pre-rinsing so you can save on water use before you even load the dishwasher by avoiding this unnecessary task. Simply scrape food off and you’re good to go. Or wipe them off with a wet sponge that you can refresh with a bowl of warm soapy water in the sink. That’s how I do it.

Consider air-drying rather than running the heat cycle on your dishwasher. Let Mother Nature do some of the work for you.

Load the dishwasher correctly. Yes, there is a proper way to load a dishwasher to ensure maximum efficiency. Your owners’ manual will show you the best practices for your particular machine.

For more excellent ways to save energy, visit Constellation here.

NOTE: Our partnerships enable us to provide expert content so you can live the green life you want. Our editorial opinions remain our own. Thanks.

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