It can be easy to overlook your dishwasher when you're looking for ways to save on household expenses. After all, it's already saving you time and elbow grease. Luckily, dishwasher usage probably doesn’t contribute too much to your utility bills, and if you have an energy-efficient model your numbers are probably even better..
Dishwashers with an ENERGY STAR certification are tested to meet strict efficiency specifications, using less energy and water to still give you dishes just as clean as standard models.
ENERGY STAR features include special sensors to detect how dirty your dishes are mid-wash, so the machine can alter its cycle to get the best results, and they use more efficient jets that use less water.
The main cost of using a dishwasher come from electricity and hot water usage. This doesn't include the upfront cost of purchasing the dishwasher and subsequent, detergent, of course. However, because your dishwasher can hold more dishes than the average kitchen sink, you are less likely to run your machine as often as you would hand wash your dishes. Modern dishwashers also contain interior water heaters are far more efficient than your average household water heater. This means that a certified ENERGY STAR dishwasher can actually use less than half the energy of handwashing. 1
How much does it cost to use a dishwasher?
Energy companies charge a higher rate at peak use times, so the best time to run the dishwasher is when other people aren’t using theirs. The most popular times for people to run their dishwasher are naturally around lunch and dinner after they have eaten, so hold off turning it on at that time. Instead, do it just before you go to bed, or, if you have a delay setting, set it to go off after midnight.
If you choose to run it late at night, consider putting it on for a longer cycle, too. Most modern-day dishwashers will have an eco-setting that will run a slower cycle and use less energy to heat water. This can save up to 30% of your energy usage compared to a regular setting. 2
How to save money when using your dishwasher
Many factors determine how much a dishwasher cycle will cost. This naturally includes the type of dishwasher you have, but it can also depend on your energy supplier and even how you stack your dishes before every cycle. Ultimately though, using a dishwasher is the economical choice, particularly if you follow these steps.
1. Wait until you have a full load. This way, you will reduce the number of cycles you will need to run in a month.
2. Don’t overload your dishwasher. By over-stuffing your dishwasher, you are not only jeopardizing the quality of the clean, but you could also cause serious damage to your machine. Ensure there’s room on the inside for the cycle to work effectively.
3. Always clean and maintain your dishwasher. Use quality detergent like Finish® and keep the inside of your dishwasher clean from limescale, grease, and grime, with Finish Dishwasher Cleaner.
4. Consider upgrading your dishwasher to an energy-saving model. Modern dishwashers are far more energy efficient than older models. If you spend a little more upfront on a quality machine and you could save money over time.
For more ways to get the most out of your machine be sure to read our article on Dishwasher Cycles and Settings.