Energy Efficient Dishwashers
Posted by Norman Fong
We all understand the goal of getting an energy efficient dishwasher that has the Energy Star label on the dishwasher. New models used improved techniques to clean using less hot water. Many do not realize that companies do not publish water use. The Oregon Department of Energy maintains a list of dishwashers that meet its maximum water use threshold of 6.5 gallons per cycle. Some Energy Star ones do not meet this goal. Rebates are available from many utility companies.
Dishwasher made before 1994 cost an extra $40 a year on your utility bills and waste about 8 gallons of water per cycle compared to owning a new ENERGY STAR qualified model.
California Urban Water Conservation Council has a page with details. They provide a great site with many resources on how to save water. (And money!)
Canada’s Energy Star site has dishwasher listings with water consumptions. Many of the models are also sold in the USA, so be sure to check this list.
H2ouse.org is another good site to check for water saving tips.
Remember that the best dishwashers are much more water efficient than hand washing. Hand washing can easily use 15 gallons a load.
Always do full loads and use the energy saver or air dry cycle to save energy. You could also leave the door open to do a natural air dry. Avoid pre-rinsing dishes to save upto $75 a year in water.
If lipstick is still slightly present on glasses after washing, then bacteria and viruses could be present on dishes and cutlery as well. Next time pre-rinse your glasses or silverware thoroughly. Consider switching to a different dishwasher detergent or having your machine checked out.
Avoid using dishwashing detergent with phosphates as they can promote algae and aquatic weed growth. Too much algae depletes oxygen needed for healthy fish and aquatic life. Many states now band phosphates in dishwashing detergent.
Sewage treatment plants and private septic systems can remove much but not all of the phosphorous from wastewater, so some of it ends up in lakes, streams and rivers.
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