To aid consumers in choosing appliances, the United States Department of Energy has developed a series of standards known as the EnergyStar ratings program. Appliances which exhibit above average energy efficiency are labeled as EnergyStar products, provided they live up the required energy standards as certified by independent third-party testing. Naturally, choosing an energy-efficient dishwasher starts with locating EnergyStar certified products. These models typically save significant amounts of energy and also they save a lot of water during the cleaning cycle. The EnergyStar panel indicates that dishwashers made prior to 1994 use up to 10 more gallons of water per cycle than their more modern and efficient counterparts. Naturally, this translates into increased water costs each and every month. EnergyStar certified dishwashers also use less energy during the wash cycle, decreasing the amount of air pollution they produce and further saving customers money on their monthly electric bills.
Although it is quite obvious that EnergyStar certified models are more efficient, choosing an energy-efficient dishwasher is still dependent upon your personal needs and preferences. Some dishwashers are designated as 'compact' models. These dishwashers are somewhat smaller, but they're reduced size further adds to their efficiency and cost-savings. If your household can get away with a smaller sized dishwasher, a compact model is certainly worth consideration. Another feature to look for when choosing an energy-efficient dishwasher is a multiple settings feature. Specifically, the more settings and cycles there are to choose from, the more control you can exercise over your dishwasher. For example, some energy-efficient dishwashers now have unique settings designed specifically for smaller loads. By utilizing these types of features, you can significantly cut back on your energy usage.
Furthermore, many people own dishwashers with heat-drying features. Although effective, this method of drying requires considerable energy usage. When shopping for an energy-efficient dishwasher, look for models which utilize air drying instead.
Finally, many new, energy-efficient dishwashers are now outfitted with devices known as booster heaters. These models are able to use water at up to 20 degrees cooler than normal without sacrificing any cleaning ability. Obviously, the less energy used to heat water the better.
Keep these tips in mind as you begin the process of choosing an energy-efficient dishwasher. Some dishwashers may boast slightly higher price tags, but do not be deterred. The energy savings brought on by these models quickly outweighs the higher initial investment.