Choosing The Most Energy Efficient Dishwashers For Your Home
With energy costs continuously rising, appliances that drain power around the clock can really take a toll on your utility bills. Dishwashers are one of the hardest working appliances we depend on daily. Considering the number of loads washed each week for the average family, an energy efficient dishwasher can save you significant money compared to an outdated, inefficient model.
This guide covers everything you need to know about selecting an energy efficient dishwasher. You’ll learn how dishwashers consume power and the key features that improve efficiency. We compare the leading energy efficient brands and models to fit different budgets. You’ll also get pro tips for installation to maximize energy savings. Let’s get started!
How Dishwashers Use Energy
First, let’s look at how dishwashers use energy so you understand where savings opportunities exist:
- Heating elements – To heat wash and rinse water to desired temperatures. Heating accounts for around 70% of total energy use.
- Motors – To pump and circulate water. More efficient motors reduce this energy demand.
- Control panels/electronic displays – For setting and running cycles. Look for auto power-down.
- Drying cycles – Heat to aid drying at end of cycle. Optimize with condenser or heat pump drying.
- Water pumps – For water intake and drainage. Improved water pumps lower energy.
The key opportunities for energy savings come from improving heating efficiency, reducing standby power waste, and optimizing drying.
You’ll see the following technologies and features that target these areas on energy efficient models:
Key Features That Improve Dishwasher Energy Efficiency
Advanced Heating Systems
Instead of using conventional heating elements, energy efficient dishwashers use alternative systems including:
- Heat pump drying – Recycles hot moist air to dry dishes without added heating element. Up to 25% savings.
- Water condensation drying – Retains steam to use residual heat for drying. No added heat needed.
- Hybrid washers – Use heat pump for drying and boost heater for hottest water when needed.
- On-demand water heating – Only heats wash water as needed, rather than maintaining tank temperature.
Increased Motor Efficiency
Motors that power the pump and circulation have also improved:
- Brushless motors – Maintain power with less energy loss as heat.
- Inverter motors – Vary pump speed based on demand rather than single speed.
- Quieter motors – Well insulated motors stay cool using less energy.
- Water optimization – Variable spray pressure based on soil levels.
Another key efficiency improvement is insulation:
- Multi-layer insulation – Lightweight insulation materials reduce heat loss.
- Chamber insulation – Insulated walls keep wash water hotter longer.
- Noise insulation – Sound proofing material also provides thermal insulation.
Advanced Sensors and Controls
Smart sensor technology optimizes energy use:
- Soil sensors – Detect how dirty dishes are and adjust wash accordingly. Saves water and energy.
- Auto temperature controls – Maintain optimal temp without overheating.
- Turbidity sensors – Measure soil in wash water and adapt cycle.
- Automatic detergent detection – Calibrates cycle based on detergent used.
- Smart diagnostics – Monitor parts for optimal performance. Alert for maintenance.
- Delay start timers – Schedule washing for off-peak energy hours.
ENERGY STAR Certification
Look for the EPA’s ENERGY STAR Most Efficient certification. To qualify, dishwashers must meet rigorous standards for efficiency and performance. Certified models include:
- Bosch Benchmark Series – Meets ENERGY STAR’s max efficiency requirements. Uses heat pump and condenser drying.
- GE Profile Series – ENERGY STAR certified. 40% more energy efficient than standard GE models. Motion controls detect when users are near.
- KitchenAid Architect Series II – Earns ENERGY STAR’s Most Efficient Mark. Variable water pressure adjusts based on soil levels. Heat pump drying and filter sensor maximize efficiency.
- Miele G7000 Series – MET ENERGY STAR’s strictest certification standards. Miele’smost efficient dishwasher line ever produced.
Cost Savings and Other Benefits of Energy Efficient Dishwashers
Here are the excellent benefits you’ll enjoy by choosing an energy efficient dishwasher:
- Lower electricity bills – Energy efficient models can save $35 to $100+ per year on utility costs depending on usage levels. These savings offset the higher upfront cost over time.
- Lower environmental impact – Using less energy is better for the planet. Reduces your household’s carbon footprint.
- Qualify for rebates and incentives – Many energy efficient dishwashers are eligible for rebates from energy providers, retailers, and state programs.
- Enjoy tax credits – Federal tax credits up to $500 may apply when you replace an old dishwasher with a new certified model.
- Quieter performance – Energy efficient motors are well insulated for lower noise. Makes for a quieter kitchen environment.
- Cleaner dishes – Advanced sensor tech improves cleaning performance in addition to boosting efficiency. No need for rewashing or rerun cycles that waste energy.
An energy efficient dishwasher truly is a smart long term investment that pays for itself through energy savings. Plus you get upgraded performance and features compared to outdated appliances.
Dishwasher Brand Comparison – Who Makes the Most Energy Efficient Models?
Now that you know what features to look for, let’s compare some of the top brands producing the most energy efficient dishwasher models:
The leading brand for energy efficient, quiet dishwashers. Bosch has more ENERGY STAR certified dishwasher models than any other brand. Key offerings include:
- 800 Series – Utilizes a hybrid heat pump system for drying combined with an internal water heater when higher temperatures are needed. Delivers A+ energy ratings.
- Benchmark Series – Bosch’s most efficient dishwashers with heat pump drying, stainless steel interiors, and 42 dBA quiet operation. Saves up to $110 annually.
- 500 Series – An affordable mid-range line with condenser drying, leak protection, dosing assist, and 44 dBA quiet operation. Great balance of value and efficiency.
A leader in smart home appliances, LG’s energy efficient dishwashers are packed with tech-forward features that optimize efficiency. Consider these models:
- QuadWash with TrueSteam – Dynamic wash jets and multi-stage filtration reduce water usage while Steam boost improves drying without extra heat.
- ThinQ Technology – Wifi enabled dishwashers adapt cycles based on usage patterns for added efficiency. Can download additional specialty cycles.
- LinearCompressor – Innovative motor design increases efficiency while reducing noise.
Whirlpool produces affordable, mid-range options like:
- WDT730PAHZ – Has an internal water heater to improve energy efficiency. Top control dishwasher is just 55 dBA.
- WDTA50SAKZ – Features soil sensor technology to optimize cycles based on dish loads. Energy efficient drying option.
- WDT750SAKZ – With built-in water softener, turbo zone, sanitization function, and 5 wash cycles. Good value model.
For a premium efficient dishwasher with sleek style, consider:
- Architect Series II KDTM704KPS – Features ultra-fine filtration, ProWash cycles, bottle jets, and a 3rd rack for ultimate cleaning flexibility and efficiency. One of KitchenAid’s quietest models at just 44 dBA.
- Architect Series II KDTE334GPS – With a sleek pocket handle and glass touch controls, this model has OptiDry condensation drying and ProScrub wash jets for flexible, energy efficient washing.
Professional Installation Steps to Maximize Energy Savings
Installing your new energy efficient dishwasher properly ensures it operates at maximum efficiency from day one. Here are pro tips:
Ensure cabinets are cut out to allow for adequate airflow around dishwasher exterior. Check condenser venting for unobstructed airflow. Proper ventilation keeps components cool for efficient operation.
Water Supply Connection
Use new water supply lines, not old ones. Verify water pressure meets dishwasher’s ratings for optimal fill and spray pressure. Insulate hot water connections to prevent heat loss.
Drain Line Position
Position drain line to prevent backflow and allow complete drainage. This prevents dishwasher from having to work harder or rerun cycles.
Level dishwasher properly so it doesn’t have to compensate for an uneven position. Enables optimal cleaning action.
Install surge protecting outlet or consider hardwiring dishwasher. Prevents power spikes that damage control boards and electronics that regulate efficiency.
Take advantage of delay start functions to schedule dishwasher cycles for off-peak hours when utility rates are lower.
Rebates and Tax Credits
Don’t forget to claim any rebates, incentives, and tax credits from energy providers, retailers, or governments when you install an ENERGY STAR certified model. This saves you even more money!
Following proper installation protocol ensures your dishwasher operates as efficiently as possible right out of the gate. Maintain your dishwasher well to sustain energy savings for years to come.
Frequently Asked Questions About Energy Efficient Dishwashers
To wrap up, here are answers to some common questions about buying energy efficient dishwashers:
What’s the most important feature for energy efficiency?
Advanced drying systems like heat pump, hybrid, and condensation drying make the biggest difference, saving up to 25% on energy costs. These features minimize reliance on conventional heating elements.
Do Energy Star models really save money?
Yes! ENERGY STAR certified dishwasher can reduce your utility bills by $35 to over $100 per year compared to conventional dishwashers. The savings add up.
How do I know if I qualify for rebates or tax credits?
Check with your utility provider, state energy department, and the EPA’s ENERGY STAR website to find eligible programs and qualifying models for incentives when installing a new efficient dishwasher.
Which brands are the quietest?
Quieter operation correlates strongly with energy efficiency due to better insulated components. Bosch, Miele, and high end KitchenAid tend to be the quietest running options at ~40 dBA noise ratings.
Do I need to upgrade electrical or plumbing for a new dishwasher?
Not usually, unless very old lines need to be expanded. Most models work with standard household plumbing and 120V power supply. Ask installer to assess connections if unsure.
Is heat pump drying worth the extra cost?
For maximum energy savings, invest in heat pump drying which can save over 20% on energy usage versus other drying systems. The higher initial cost pays off over time.
Finding the perfect balance of value, performance, efficiency and reliability in your next dishwasher is easy when you know what features to look for. Refer to this guide anytime you’re shopping for energy efficient dishwashers. With the right selection and professional installation, you can save energy and money for years to come.