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Using your appliances efficiently: Dishwashers

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Since the life of an average automatic dishwasher is 11 years, it is important to run it as efficiently as possible in order to save money, energy and time.

Here are some tips to get the most out of your dishwasher:

  • Consider an upgrade. Replacing a dishwasher manufactured before 1994 with an ENERGY STAR qualified dishwasher can save you more than $30 per year in energy costs.
  • Run the dishwasher only when it’s full to save up to 400 gallons of water per month.
  • Use the air-dry setting. This can cut your dishwasher’s energy use by 15 to 50%.
  • Check to see if your dishwasher has an internal heater (which heats incoming water to 140 degrees or higher). If it does, you can lower your home’s water heater temperature to 120 degrees.
  • Avoid using the rinse-and-hold cycle. Depending on the age of your dishwasher, just rinsing the dishes could use several gallons of water.
  • Clean the spray-arm nozzles and water jets. Hard water deposits can be removed with an old toothbrush, reducing the powerful flow of water necessary to clean the dishes.
  • Use short cycles for everything but the dirtiest of dishes. Short cycles use less energy and work just as well.
  • Don’t assume that washing dishes by hand saves money. If it’s fully loaded, your dishwasher may be a better bet. Hand washing dishes uses significantly more water because most people tend to leave the faucet running during the process, using about 35% more water than an automatic dishwasher.

Vectren does not endorse any particular product or wholesaler.

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