With many appliances, it seems like the only way to save energy and water is to buy an energy-efficient or low-flow model. But how you use your appliances (and even when you use them) can matter even more. If washing your dishes is using up a lot more water and electricity than it should be, try rearranging your dishwashing schedule and taking this different approach.
How can changing when you do the dishes impact your energy bill?
Unless you change the cycle settings for your dishwasher, it will always use about the same amount of electricity, but if you have particular electricity providers, you may be on a payment schedule that offers peak and off-peak hours of use. Find out what hours in your plan have a major drop in the per kilowatt hour rate, and that’d be a good time to run your dishwasher. Chances are that time will be late at night or early in the afternoon.
Choosing the late-night option gives you additional benefits, especially as the weather gets cooler. Dishwashers make a room hotter from the steam and hot water, no matter how well they’re insulated. Set it right before you go to bed and lower your heater. The dishwasher’s heat builds up at night and can even substitute a bit of your heating.
What steps should you remove from your dishwashing checklist?
Don’t pre-rinse dishes if you’re putting them in the dishwasher immediately. Stopping food from drying on can give the dishwasher an easier time, but it’s often not necessary. Rinsing dishes in the sink can lead to hundreds of gallons of wasted water over the course of a year, especially if you don’t have a water-efficient faucet. You also don’t need to use the powered drying feature. Either turn that option off or crack open the door, so dishes can air dry. If you have room on your counter for a drying rack, that can also give you an easy alternative to the electricity-using drying function.Small steps in energy conservation can lead to big savings in the long run, and that is especially true for your dishwasher. Even better, consider hand washing them! For more energy efficiency and water conservation tips, contact us to learn more.