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6 Ways to Make your Dishwasher Energy Efficient

Whether you have a new or existing dishwasher, there are a few things you can do to help make your dishwasher run more efficiently. Here are some ways to start saving water and energy today.

1. Lower the Heat
Adjust the temperature of your water heater thermostat down to 120 degrees. Internal booster heaters in modern dishwashers can sometimes raise the wash cycle water temperature up to 140 degrees. Some dishwashers even do this regardless of the temperature of the incoming water so you end up heating the water twice.

2. Energy-Saving Mode
Check the settings on your dishwasher. Use the energy-saving mode to conserve half the water (and water heating energy) used by other cycles. 

3. Air It Out
If possible, choose an air-dry cycle that uses unheated air to dry your dishes. You can save about 15-50 percent of your dishwasher’s operational cost with this feature. If your model does not offer this option, you should consider stopping your dishwasher just before the dry cycle and open your machine to allow your dishes to air dry.

4. Fill It Up
Remember to only run your dishwasher when it is full. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, a few dishes or a full load make little difference in your dishwasher’s use of water and energy. For best results, be sure to stack dishes neatly in the dishwasher trays.

5. Skip the Rinse
Scrape food off your dishes and skip pre-rinsing them in the sink. Most new dishwashers are designed to clean off small pieces of food left after big pieces are scraped off.

6. Hand Washing Efficiently
If you don’t have a dishwasher, hand wash dishes in loads, filling one sink with hot soapy water and the other with cold rinse water. Install a low-flow faucet aerator to further reduce the amount of water you use.

Content in part adapted with permission from Rocky Mountain Institute’s Cleaning Appliances Home Energy Briefs.

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