Dishwashers help the environment and your pocket book compared to washing dishes by hand. Researchers at the University of Bonn in Germany found that using a dishwasher cleaned the dishes better and saved energy, time and water.
Washing dishes by hand can cost a household more than $431 in additional energy and water bills over the estimated nine-year lifetime of an Energy-Star certified dishwasher. Energy Star dishwashers use less than half as much energy as washing dishes by hand and save nearly 5,000 gallons of water a year. They can also save you more than 230 hours of personal time over the course of a year.
According to Energy Star, hand rinsing your dishes before placing them in the dishwasher can waste up to 20 gallons of water per load.
“Most of today’s dishwashers and detergents are designed to clean even heavily soiled dishes,although it is important to run only full loads in the dishwasher. They use the same amount of water and energy regardless of the number of dishes inside. So you’re getting more bang for your buck by running full loads.
According to research, a load of dishes cleaned in a dishwasher requires 37 percent less water than washing by hand. When you save water, you’re also saving the energy used in heating the water in your hot water heater and to pump it, treat it and clean it up afterwards in your city’s waste water facility. So, using a dishwasher is not only good for you financially but it helps the community save energy, water and money as well.
If you don’t mind modifying your dishwasher there is a change you can make — most dishwashers in the U.S. have been made with built-in heaters to boost water to an optimal temperature. Therefore, you can save additional energy by adjusting your water heater’s thermostat to a more cost-conscious setting of 120 degrees F. For further energy savings, select the no-heat drying option on your dishwasher.
For more information on Energy Star dishwashers including buyer’s guides, rebates and approved models, visit www.energystar.gov.
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