Being faced with a mountain of dirty dishes can drain you of energy even at the best of times. All you want to do is close off a long day, enjoy your food, and relax, right?
But no rest for the wicked, and if you must do those dishes, the least we can do is help you tackle them in a more energy efficient manner (electrical energy that is!) to help you save money, energy, time, and the planet.
It’s no secret that household appliances have been in demand a lot more lately. With Covid-19 still impacting us all and people remaining at home longer, household utility bills are set to increase more than usual this winter.
And with that comes the inevitably that our increase in household energy use will not only impact our planet but will undoubtedly put a strain on our national energy system.
The final part of The Energy Saving article series focuses on how you can use your dishwasher more efficiently and how you can save both money and energy.
So, sit back and relax while we make everything more crystal clear for you.
How your dishwasher can save you much more than just money
People often wonder whether using dishwasher is more energy efficient than hand washing dishes. However, studies have proven to quash the myth that handwashing is more efficient.
For example, a standard dishwasher uses approximately 9.5 litres of water per cycle. Meanwhile, hand-washing dishes can use up to 60 litres of water.
In terms of electricity, dishwashers tend to use less energy compared to other household appliances. That said, the dishwasher is one of the most used appliances in the house and can often be over-used unnecessarily.
Below we explore a few need-to-know tips that will help you save energy, time and money all at the same time
- Avoid Pre-Rinsing
- Wash Full Loads
- Use Eco Settings
- Size of the Machine
- Check the Energy Label
One of the biggest myths involves rinsing our plates before placing them into the dishwasher. For many of us, we are led to believe that we are doing the dishwasher a favour. Instead, we are doing more harm than good for our planet.
In fact, UK households waste almost 6,000 gallons of water a year just by pre-rinsing before placing into the dishwasher – that’s an enormous waste of water resource.
The truth is dishwashers today are designed to withstand stubborn stains on cutlery using high temperatures leaving dishes shiny and clean.
By not pre-rinsing your dishes, you are not only saving the planet’s already compromised water resource but you’re also saving on your own water bill!
TIP: No need to pre-rinse, but for maximum performance be sure to scrape all excess food from the plates before placing into the dishwasher – saves water usage, time and prevents pipes from being blocked.
Wash Full Loads
To save energy and water it’s best to run a cycle when your dishwasher is full. This method will certainly make the most of conserving energy and water.
It’s easy to get into a bad habit of running a cycle when the dishwater is partially full. However, the planet will thank you for filling it up.
TIP: Avoid overloading the dishwasher – this will result in cutlery not being cleaned leaving you no choice but to either wash by hand or putting on another cycle.
Use Eco Settings
Whether you’re aware of this or not, there are multiple settings available on your dishwasher. To conserve energy, time and money your best option is to choose an Eco setting. Many dishwashers today contain energy-efficient settings that allow you to save up to 20% in energy alone - this method uses less energy by using less water at a lower temperature.
Air Dry After Cycle
At the end of a cycle, your dishwasher tends to go one step further and dry the dishes using a built-in electric heat or fan. However, you can be more energy efficient by just opening the dishwasher door at the end of the wash cycle and let the cutlery and crockery air dry.
Other Factors You Should Know
Whilst a dishwasher can be our saving grace they don’t come without their problems.
For us to do our part for the national energy grid and, of course, the planet, we also need peace of mind that our dishwasher is in good health. So, in line with our ambition to collectively save energy, here are some additional tips you may want to consider:
Ideally, your dishwasher should be placed next to the sink and away from other large appliances, such as your fridge or freezer. Placing it close to the sink is purely based on convenience and plumbing purposes.
However, placing the dishwasher next to appliances like a fridge or freezer will mean your refrigerator appliance will have to work harder due to the heat given off during a washing cycle.
Generally, the larger the appliance the more it’s going to cost you – energy and money wise. However, best practice is to research all appliances and their energy rating and choose a dishwasher that suits you and your households needs.
If you’re in need of an upgrade, be sure to check the energy rating label before you make your investment. You want to choose a dishwasher that is efficient for both energy and water usage.
Typically, an energy-efficient rating of AA+ or above is a worthy investment though every manufacturer is different and it’s worth comparing before making your choice.
The need for extra peace of mind has been in big demand these last few months. With Covid-19 continuing to impact us all , household appliances will also continue to be in high demand, as the population remains longer at home for the foreseeable future.
Just by altering some of our washing up habits can alleviate the everyday pressures we are currently experiencing not to mention helping keep the national energy grid ticking over during the winter months ahead.
If that’s not enough, why not take one step further by offering others a share of that peace of mind by encouraging family, friends, colleagues and neighbours to take similar actions. After all, one person’s actions can really make a difference.