For a long time, dishwashers were synonymous for water and energy wasters. Now with California’s drought entering its 4th year, using the dishwasher seems taboo. Upon closer look, we find that using the dishwasher may help in a time of drought.
The Nation Resource Defense Council conducted a study on the efficiency of a dishwasher. They found that old dishwashers were not efficient when operated (especially when combined with the practice of rinsing dishes before placing them in the dishwasher). Newer dishwashers, particularly units that are energy-star certified, can use less water, less electricity, and less time than if you were to wash the dishes by hand. The chart below details the results of their findings:
|1. New Energy Star Machine||3-5 gallons||1kWh|
|2. Efficient Hand-washing||Up to 8 gallons||1kWh|
|3. Older Machine||Up to 15 gallons||2-3kWh|
|4. Regular Hand-washing||27 gallons||2.5kWh|
If you are in the market for a new dishwasher, be sure to purchase one that is Energy-Star Certified. Do not pre-rinse your dishes before you place them in the machine. Modern machines are designed to tackle the toughest materials (scraping food off dishes before is fine). Do not use the machine unless it is fully loaded. Use environmentally-friendly detergent. For those who desire to stick with hand washing, using an aerator of your faucet will reduce overall water consumption. With the new standards involved with dish-washing technology, you may find that hand washing is not as efficient as one would like to believe.
For more information of Energy Star dishwashers and other appliances, click HERE
Consumer Reports have run test on several models of dishwashers. You can access their guide HERE