Dishwashers have been sitting in the shadows for some time now. People avoided them for being too bulky to install in an already existing kitchen design, for consuming a lot of water, energy, and money to run, and for not aligning with water conservation and other sustainability efforts. However, modern, hi-tech dishwashers – that can snuggly fit on the countertop – are energy efficient, easy to operate, and sporting plenty of environmental benefits. So let’s discuss today how a dishwasher can make your next best eco-friendly and money-saving home improvement project!
Are Dishwashers Environmentally Friendly?
As you know by now, most eco-friendly home upgrades sport the EnergyStar label and comply with the current governmental guidelines for energy efficiency. For instance, EnergyStar dishwashers, together with washing machines, can save you over 3,000 gallons of water a year and reduce your energy and water consumption by 50%. The more and better you use such an efficient appliance, the more you will save on bills, water waste, and electricity, among others. Even if you have to purchase special dishwasher detergents, they come in bulk, are affordable, and can prolong the lifespan of your appliance so it can work to your advantage.
What Tech Specs to Look for In an Eco-Friendly Dishwasher?
Featuring an EnergyStar label may not be enough for your needs and budget when it comes to the best and most sustainable dishwasher on the market. Here are some innovative technology features that new dishwashers boast these days.
You don’t have to use the sink-and-water routine to pre-rinse the dishes before letting the dishwasher clean them. Now, most dishwashers come with sensors that allow them to adjust the temperature, water quantity, and time needed for a crystal-clear cleaning cycle without you consuming even more water from the sink. For instance, some of the best Whirlpool dishwasher models use the AutoSoil sensor tech. It automatically fine-tunes the appliance’s performance based on the dirt and food it detects on your dishes. You will find such features in many modern dishwashers today. Make sure you read reviews and the manufacturer’s instructions on how to use them at their maximum efficiency.
Many people will tell you to avoid using the air-drying settings on your dishwasher because it consumes energy. Older models did not do an outstanding job at saving it, but the new ones are highly capable. The reason for which you should use the Air Drying feature from time to time is that it sanitizes the dishes, lowering the risks of contamination, food poisoning, and more.
Today’s eco-friendly dishwashers use different sensors and settings that sanitize the dishes without pulling your electricity and water meters out of your wall. Many dishwasher reputable brands offer a sanitization cycle with their appliances that will spare you a lot of trouble, especially if you have a big family, you are a chef/baker, or you cook for your local community.
Temperature and Time Control
Just like energy-efficient washing machines, modern eco-friendly dishwashers allow you to set different temperatures and times. Evidently, most appliances run a regular cycle of 3 to 4 hours, but some of them allow you more fine-tuning in this regard. You can set the water temperature on a lower level if you also use the sanitization cycle, or you can pump it up if you let the dishes air dry. Similarly, you can use a 1-hour short and fast washing period if you need clean dishes in a blink of an eye, and they just need quick cleaning.
The idea here is to return to the manual and find the best settings that serve your needs. There is no shame in wanting to save water, energy, and money when you wash a few coffee cups or when you want to clean a day’s worth of dishes.
If you want to improve your home with eco-friendly appliances, dishwashers should be on your short list of priorities, together with smart water faucets and even water filters. According to the American Council for Energy-Efficient Economy data, washing dishes by hand takes a more significant toll on the environment (and your budget) in comparison to the modern dishwasher.
The greatest news is that you can remodel a kitchen with such eco-friendly addition by using a countertop dishwasher. Smaller in size but highly performing, such machines match the majority of water faucets and plumbing. Some of them can save hundreds of dollars in water and electricity, without the drag of having to rebuild the kitchen around a large unit.
Are you using a dishwasher? Share your tips on how to use one to make dishwashing time, money, and energy-efficient!