Do Dishwashers Use a Lot of Electricity?

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As dishes fill up your sink at mealtime, you may look towards your dishwasher. Beyond the anticipated convenience, you could be stumped wondering, “Do dishwashers use a lot of electricity?’

This question becomes more profound when considering whether to wash dishes traditionally or to opt for a freestanding dishwasher.

Here’s everything you need to know about your favourite dishwashing buddy and how much electricity it consumes.

How Do Dishwashers Work?

A dishwasher is a helpful kitchen appliance that washes dirty dishes, saving you time and effort. It cleans your plates, utensils, mugs and glasses, giving you more time to relax or enjoy other activities.

Here’s how it works in a sequence of steps, which seamlessly flow together to make your dishwashing experience a breeze.

When the dishwasher’s cycle begins, it collects cold water from a hose directly connected to the machine. Shortly after, a heating element located at the base of the dishwasher kicks into action, warming up the accumulated water. The next phase involves the strategic dispensing of detergent at an optimal point in the wash cycle.

Following this, the washing stage begins. At the core of this process is a pressurised system that forcefully circulates water at multiple angles through spray arms. This powerful spraying mechanism provides efficient cleaning of dishes, while systematically rinsing them to remove not only the detergent but any lingering food particles.

To prevent these food by-products from redepositing on the dishes, filters are designed to trap and segregate them from the clean water.

Once the washing stage concludes, the dirty water that carries the filtered food particles is systematically drained from the dishwasher. A fresh batch of water is then sprayed onto the dishes, giving them a final rinse to remove any remaining detergent or food particles. This rinse water, similar to the cycle before, is drained off, leaving the dishes alone in the machine.

Finally, the most satisfying part of the dishwasher’s process – the drying stage. The heat generated within the dishwasher evaporates the remaining water droplets clinging onto the dishes, ultimately leaving behind squeaky-clean and dry dishes.

Dishwasher Types and Their Power Consumption

Especially with increasing electricity prices, many homeowners must consider electric consumption as one of the major factors in choosing the best dishwasher to buy. Essentially, there are primarily three types of dishwashers, and their electricity usage varies:

  • Built-in dishwasher: This is the most common type of dishwasher found in kitchens. It tucks neatly into a specific spot under the countertop for a seamless look. It’s usually available in standard sizes (60.96 cm) or compact versions (45.72 cm). The electricity consumption of a built-in dishwasher usually ranges between 10 to 15 amps, which depends on the make, model, and usage frequency.
  • Freestanding dishwasher: This unit can be placed anywhere in the kitchen as it doesn’t need any installation. Similar to the built-in dishwasher, its electricity consumption depends on factors such as model, size, and usage patterns.
  • Drawer dishwasher: This is available as a single or double-drawer model and allows for smaller or separated loads. Drawer dishwashers generally consume less electricity than traditional dishwashers because of their smaller and more flexible load options.

All modern dishwashers are made to be energy efficient, therefore they use less electricity compared to older models. Top energy-efficient brands such as Bosch, Kitchen Aid, Frigidaire, LG, and Maytag typically use about 15 amps, while Samsung dishwashers use around 10 amps.

An Energy Star-rated dishwasher could cost as little as $3.16 per month to run, amounting to only around 15.8 cents per load. This is assuming the dishwasher is used about 20 times a month.

A newly installed dishwasher

Benefits of Using Dishwashers

Here are some key benefits of using a dishwasher:

  1. Time and effort saving: One of the most significant benefits of using a dishwasher is the time it saves. Rather than standing by the sink washing and drying dishes, you can simply load the dishwasher and use that time for other activities.
  2. Water efficiency: Dishwashers typically use less water compared to washing dishes by hand. This is because most modern dishwashers recycle filtered water during the washing cycle. Reduced water usage can also contribute to significant savings on water bills over time.
  3. Energy efficiency: Dishwashers use less energy, which makes them much more energy efficient compared to washing dishes by hand with hot water. Energy-efficient dishwashers can help save electricity, resulting in lower energy bills.
  4. Effective cleaning: Dishwashers often offer a more thorough cleaning than washing by hand. The high temperature of the water, along with dishwashing tablets or pods, effectively cuts through grease and eradicates bacteria. This promises a high standard of cleanliness and hygiene.
  5. Less damage: With machine washing, there’s less chance of dishes being dropped and broken. Many dishwashers also have specific programs for delicate items, reducing the likelihood of damage to valuable glassware or crockery compared to hand-washing.
  6. Convenience: Among the most appealing benefits of using a dishwasher is the convenience it offers. With the ability to clean and dry dishes without requiring physical effort or supervision, it takes a big task off your plate.

Delving Into Dishwasher Brands

Among home appliances, dishwashers, particularly the freestanding dishwasher, are a popular choice. They sit quietly in your modern kitchen, offering services that seamlessly integrate with your lifestyle.

Offering from 8 to 14 place settings options, a dishwasher’s ability to hold dishes varies based on space and model.

  • Bosch and the wonders of freestanding dishwashers: Bosch, a name long trusted in appliances, makes dishwashers that are a welcome addition to any kitchen. In a Bosch freestanding dishwasher, you can find a Maxiflex cutlery drawer, multiple wash programs, and superior energy efficiency, making it an ideal choice.
  • The power of efficient design – Fisher & Paykel dish drawers: A chief in the arena of energy consumption is Fisher & Paykel’s dish drawers. Designed for optimal loading and unloading of dishes and cutlery, they provide seamless access while cleaning dishes to gleaming perfection. Versatile dish space, multiple wash programs, and laterally thinking drawers mould to the requirements of the modern bustling kitchen.
  • Stainless steel – the Smeg edition: Stainless steel dishwashers cast a professional look to your kitchen, and Smeg takes this appeal to the next level. Featuring stainless steel panels, a variety of wash programs, 14 place settings, and a cutlery drawer, Smeg dishwashers offer a touch of class, efficient cleaning, and prime energy usage.
  • AEG – seamless integration with impressive performance: AEG prides itself on creating built-in dishwashers that blend with kitchen cabinetry. But the real charm of AEG dishwashers is their cleaning performance and energy efficiency. Offering spotless clean, fast rinsing and focusing on reduced energy and water usage speaks volumes about their goals.

New dishwasher about to be installed

Choosing and Purchasing a Dishwasher

How to purchase the right home appliance, such as a dishwasher needs careful thought. Depending on your budget, space, style, and energy usage requirements, you might choose a freestanding dishwasher, a built-in model, or a dish drawer.

Here are some tips to consider when choosing and purchasing a dishwasher in Australia:

  • Size and type: Depending on your kitchen layout, you may opt for built-in, freestanding, or drawer dishwashers. If space is limited, consider more compact dishwashers, while larger families may benefit from full-size or double-drawer models.
  • Energy efficiency: Look for models with a high-energy star rating. The more stars, the more energy-efficient the dishwasher. While an energy-efficient dishwasher might cost more upfront, it will save you money in the long run via lower electricity bills.
  • Water efficiency: The same rules apply to water efficiency. In Australia, the Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (WELS) scheme provides star ratings for water efficiency. Therefore, opt for a model with a higher water star rating for greater water conservation.
  • Cleaning performance: Look at how well the dishwasher cleans. Some dishwashers are better equipped to handle tough stains and baked-on foods. Peruse online reviews or speak to sales representatives to gauge a model’s cleaning performance.
  • Noise level: More expensive models often have advanced insulation to dampen noise. Review the decibel rating (dB). The lower the dB rating, the quieter the dishwasher.
  • Interior configuration: Look for adjustable or collapsible tines and shelves that can be adjusted for odd-sized dishes. A silverware basket is another factor to consider.
  • Cycle options: Buy a dishwasher offering multiple wash cycles – ranging from ‘quick wash’ for lightly soiled items to “heavy wash” for dishes with caked-on food. Some models even feature sanitising wash options.
  • Brand reputation and warranty: Choose a reliable brand known for quality and service. Consider the warranty available, as a good warranty can save you from expensive repairs later.

Always remember to compare prices, read reviews, and fully understand the features of different models before making your final decision.

How to Keep Your Dishwashers Energy-Efficient

Here are some tips to keep your dishwasher energy efficient:

  • Run full loads: Make the most of your dishwasher’s energy usage by running it only when it’s full. However, don’t overload it so much that dishes can’t be properly cleaned.
  • Use the energy-saving mode: If your dishwasher has an “energy-saving” or “eco” mode, use it. It might extend wash time, but it will use less energy.
  • Use the air-dry feature: Instead of using the dishwasher’s heating element to dry your dishes, use the air-dry feature (if available). Or, simply open the dishwashing cabinet after the cycle to let your dishes air-dry.
  • Opt for shorter wash cycles: For not-so-dirty dishes, choose the shortest cycle. It does an adequate job while using less water and energy.
  • Don’t pre-rinse dishes: Modern dishwashers are quite efficient, and pre-rinsing dishes under a running tap can waste a significant amount of water. Scrape off the large food pieces and let the dishwasher handle the rest.
  • Maintain your dishwasher: Like any appliance, maintenance can extend the dishwasher’s lifespan and keep it running at optimal efficiency. Regularly clean the filter and check for any clogs or malfunctions.
  • Choose off-peak hours: If your area has tiered electricity pricing, run your dishwasher during off-peak hours when the power cost is lower.
  • Monitor water heater temperature: A lot of dishwashers’ energy usage goes toward heating water. Making sure your home’s water heater is set at a sensible temperature (around 48.8°C) can help save energy.
  • Install correctly: Make sure that your dishwasher is installed away from your refrigerator or oven. This is because the dishwasher’s heat and humidity might force the other appliances to work harder.

Remember, an energy-efficient dishwasher not only benefits the environment but also helps reduce your utility bills.

Another newly installed dishwasher

The Right Professional for Your Dishwashers

Getting a licensed and seasoned technician on board is key to dishwasher installations. Choose a professional who’s across your particular dishwasher model, can identify hiccoughs swiftly, and knows how to fix them efficiently.

It’s also vital to offer an upfront quote, outlining necessary parts, labour, and any extras to build a sense of trust and transparency. Be sure to pick a technician who’s always on the ball and quick off the mark, especially if your dishwasher demands immediate attention.

Don’t skip the value of word-of-mouth when scouting for a professional for your dishwasher. Use suggestions from mates, relatives, or neighbours, and check online reviews to gauge the technician’s services.

Regular maintenance from a true-blue expert will make sure your dishwasher keeps ticking along like a dream, adding ease and assurance to your daily routines.

Washing Dishes Has Never Been This Easy

Whether you’re planning to spruce up your kitchen with a stainless steel freestanding dishwasher, a built-in range that matches your cabinetry, or a high-tech dishwasher from our selection, your next efficient dishwashing partner awaits.

Remember, while dishwashers do consume electricity, many models are built for high energy efficiency, saving you energy in the long run. That means less guilt over that pile of dishes and free time gained – something truly worth considering.

Please note: This information is provided for advice purposes only. Regulations differ from state to state, so please consult your local authorities or an industry professional before proceeding with any work. See Book a Plumber Online’s Terms & Conditions here.