Your innocent-looking dishwasher is one of your home’s biggest energy vampires. Here are a few easy tricks for significant energy savings:
* Turn off or skip the dry cycle — and save up to 50% of the energy! If you wash your dishes in the evening, simply unlatch the dishwasher’s door. The small airspace that appears after unlatching will allow air to circulate — and your dishes will be dry by the morning! Depending on dishwasher model, your energy savings could be $25 – $50 per year.
* Use the “energy saver” cycle. Most modern dishwashers let you select an economical mode of operation. Use it. You’ll probably not notice the difference.
* Reduce the on-board water-temperature setting. Again, most modern dishwashers let you select the temperature that they heat water to. The default setting is typically 140 degrees. Reduce it to 120 degrees. You’ll save a bundle on your energy bill — without reducing the cleanliness of your dishes.
* Break the habit of pre-rinsing dishes. In the “old days” of dishwashers, you needed to give the dishes a quick scrub ‘n’ rinse to make sure the dishwasher could finish the job. But any dishwasher produced over the last 15 years, or so, do a marvelous job of washing even very grimy dishes. Just scrape off major foodstuffs and let the dishwasher do the rest.
* Don’t run the dishwasher until you have a full load. Whether you have a few dishes in the machine or it’s chock full, the dishwasher uses the same amount of water and energy. So wait an extra day. You’ll be surprised how much electricity and energy you will save.