“Going green” or being environmentally conscious and aware does not mean sacrificing convenience and modern technology. It may seem like an eco-friendly choice to hand-wash your dishes rather than have a dishwasher but the fact is that may not be safe. This is according to research from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Washing dishes by hand can waste thousands of gallons of water, because many people just let the water run while cleaning individual dishes and pans. For a normal family size, cleaning up from dinner alone can use a ton of water.
The trick is to have an environmentally friendly dishwasher that is energy star rated. There are many choices out there for you to pick from and you can look up ratings for them online to see which models are most popular, which are least likely to need repairs, will last the longest, are most liked by homeowners, etc.
Dishwashers first came about in the beginning of the last century but were not commonplace in most homes until the 1970s and 80s. Now somewhere on the order of seventy percent of households have dishwashers whereas it was only 40 percent about 25 years ago.
Obviously a large home appliance like dishwashers, air conditioners, fridges and washers and dryers are all using electricity and are a chunk of your home usage, but if we are educated and informed and using things in an environmentally responsible way, we will not waste energy.
Some of the ways to use your dishwasher more carefully include pre-rinsing all dishes, running only a full load of dishes, not using the hot dry feature, but air drying them instead, and only running your dishwashers on eco settings.
When you choose your dishwasher, make sure to choose only an energy star dishwasher that has been fully certified to save energy and water. You can save somewhere in the area of five thousand gallons of water per year while using half of the energy as hand washing. Not to mention the hours of your time!
Using older, lower efficiency dishwasher models will cost you money in electric bills. For the dishwasher to be energy star rated, it has to provide a definite cost savings to you which will earn you back the money you spent.
When purchasing, you can study the energy guide labels which will state how much the estimated energy levels of the product are and approximate costs for you to run them. You can compare several makes and models so you make sure you get the best one in your budget.
Another good tip is to choose a dishwasher with the largest possible capacity. Of course, the more dishes you can load in on one wash cycle, the more energy savings and water savings you have. Racks that can be reconfigured in various ways are very good as well, because then regardless of the types of dishes you are loading (platters and pots versus small plates and mugs) you can fit all of those dishes in on one cycle.
Other efficiencies to look for include soil sensors and water filtration. These help to adjust the cycle depending on how much dirt and grime is on your dishes so the detergent is optimally used.
Most modern dishwashers also have an air dry option, as mentioned above. Air drying is a great way to save energy instead of running the high heat fan of the dishwasher (which also heats up a house during the summer, causing more air conditioning to be used).
Additionally you might not realize that there are dishwashers with temperature options, which will allow you to save energy by disabling the high-heat setting. You just need to make sure your water heater is set to 120 F and your dishes will be clean.
Most dishwashers also have cycle options, and the energy star dishwashers have an eco cycle, using less water and less electricity. You can also find ones where you can fine tune the cycle and set the soil level.
Dishwashers will cost from $200 on up and eco friendly models are not more expensive than others generally.
You can of course buy eco friendly dishwashers at any of the normal retailers you would go to and in every brand you’re used to. If your dishwasher is very old, consider replacing it with a new one and you should see the savings soon.
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Written By: Bob Jenkins
Budget My Build
P.O. Box 72987
Phoenix, AZ 85050
Office: (602) 579-9660
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