According to the U.S. Department of Energy, using a dishwasher can actually save more money than washing dishes by hand. Using the faucet and sink several times a day taxes a home's hot water production, which will drive energy costs up, especially in households with several people. Dishwashers are not only a time-saving alternative but a cost-effective one, too.
If you decide to use a dishwasher, here are a few tips to help you choose the optimal settings and get the most out of your new appliance.
One of the first details you should look for when buying a new dishwasher is its Energy Star rating. Energy Star is a system created by the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency, which helps consumers determine whether or not their appliances comply with federal standards for energy consumption. Most machines built after 1994 have an Energy Star rating.
The amount of time and money your dishwasher saves you ultimately depends on how you use it. Breaking apart the whole mess of dirty dishes into separate, lighter loads can actually be worse for your water use and energy bill rather than washing each plate by hand. You can only get the best out of a dishwasher if you maximize its efficiency by keeping your loads at or close to full capacity.
Many modern appliances come with new, and sometimes vaguely defined, functions, such as the "Eco Setting" on certain washing machines, dishwashers and other devices. Short for "economy," the eco setting usually works by regulating the temperature of the water in the machine. In the case of dishwashers, this typically means that this setting will cause the water to heat more slowly and take longer to clean everything.
There are pros and cons to the eco setting for your dishwasher that you should consider before using it, and most of these are dependent on exactly which type of machine you bought. Research the design of the appliance thoroughly, check its Energy Star rating and compare it with others on the market. If you're moving into a new home with a pre-existing washer, or are simply not confident with your purchase, contact a professional to check your plumbing.
The best way to keep your dishwasher as efficient as possible is regular maintenance. No matter how much you research and fiddle with your machine, wear and tear will bring down its performance. Regular maintenance can also help with other dishwasher issues, such as loud noises. Call a professional to check it regularly, especially if you feel like you may not be getting the most out of your appliance.
For answers to all of your dishwasher and plumbing questions, contact The Pink Plumber today.