Eco friendly dishwashers play an important role in helping the environment and reducing your household’s energy and water consumption.
According to the Canadian Government, the dishwasher is the 5th heavy consumer of energy amongst household appliances.
What this does not take into account is the water used during a typical wash cycle and the energy required to heat that water.
The impact of dishwasher increases significantly when you take these additional items into account.
About 80 percent of the total energy required to operate a dishwasher is used to heat water.
Some models require twice as much water as other models so it is important to choose your dishwasher wisely.
For 2006, the most recent year of analysis, the Canadian Government estimated the typical dishwasher consumes 104 kilowatt hours per year.
A new eco friendly dishwasher in 2006 was estimated to consume 64 kilowatt hours per years.
In 1990, the average Canadian dishwasher consumed 282 killowatt hours per year.
Whether are not you are looking to purchase an eco friendly dishwasher, start your research by comparing the EnerGuide label of different dishwashers.
What is the Dishwasher EnerGuide Label?
The EnerGuide label is an initiative of the Canadian Government that allows the consumer to compare the energy efficiency and consumption levels of everyday items including personal vehicles, new houses, heating and cooling equipment and major appliances, including dishwashers.
By law, the EnergGuide label must be placed on all new electrical appliances manufactured or imported into Canada.
The EnerGuide label provides useful information such as:
- average annual energy consumption of that appliance in kilowatt hours (kWh)
- annual energy consumption range for similar type and size models
- energy efficiency of the appliance relative to similar models
- the type and size of the model
If you are in the market for an environmentally friendly dishwasher, a great staring point is an Energy Star dishwasher.
What is Energy Star?
Energy Star is an international symbol of energy efficiency.
In Canada, Energy Star is administered by Natural Resources Canada’s Office of Energy Efficiency.
In order for a product to be classified as part of the Energy Star program it must meet and exceed minimum Canadian federal energy efficiency standards according to a prescribed performance level for each product area.
In simple terms, Energy Star products are the most efficient in their class.
Energy Star Dishwashers
Energy Star dishwashers have advanced features such as sensors that calculate the required length of washing cycles and the appropriate water temperature to properly clean each load.
Other Energy Star dishwasher features include built in heating elements that help save on the cost of heating the water.
Even without the benefits of eco friendly dishwashers, these usage practices will still help reduce an individual’s environmental impact.
Best Dishwasher Usage Practices
- Environmentally friendly dishwashers will use less water than hand washing
- Use the rinse-and-hold cycle of your dishwasher if you don’t like leaving dirty dishes lying around as it uses approximately 50% of the water compared to hand washing dishes
- Do not pre-rinse your dishes before loading. Today’s dishwashers are fine once excess food is scrapped. Rinsing is simply wasting water!
- Always wash full loads. If you do not have a full load and do not want to leave dirty dishes lying around, consider the rinse-and-hold cycle. An over-loaded dishwasher can not probably wash dishes and likely result in dishes having go be washed again
- Be Smart when loading… soiled surfaces facing in towards the spray; larger items at the back and sides to ensure water spray is not blocked; space out items evenly to ensure water can reach all surfaces
- Let your dishes air dry
One of the latest trends in eco friendly dishwashers is the drawer dishwasher.
The drawer dishwasher is similar to a filing cabinet.
You can think of it as two separate dishwashers in the space of one.
Each drawer is able to operate independently allowing you to run two different dishwasher cycles at the same time.
The drawer design allows you to run smaller more efficiently loaded dishwasher loads resulting in less energy and water usage.
Many drawer dishwasher models also allow you install them as single units.
This is ideal for small kitchens that might lack the room for a traditional dishwasher or for the more luxurious kitchens that might require more than two drawers.
Two drawbacks of the drawer dishwasher are they have difficulty handling large plates and it is often mentioned they run louder than a traditional dishwasher.
The Importance of your Dishwasher Detergent
The type of dishwasher detergent you use is just as important as the type of dishwasher your own.
When shopping for dishwasher detergent, looking for detergents that are free of phosphates and chlorine.
Phosphates, when discharged into waterways, cause the excessive growth of algae blooms which smell bad and can rob the eco system of oxygen that fish need to survive.
As well, look for detergents that are vegetable based instead of petroleum based.
Seventh Generation and Ecover are environmentally friendly dishwasher detergent options.
To do your part in helping the planet, it is important to ensure your old dishwasher is recycled and probably disposed of.
Dishwashers are primarily made of plastic and steel. It is estimated that up to 90% of steel from appliances can be recycled.
Some Environmentally Friendly Dishwashers
Here is a list of some industry best eco friendly dishwashers to help you get started with your own research.
Kenmore (Sears) 13742
Kenmore (Sears) Elite 13152
Kenmore (Sears) Elite 13122
Thermador HD Series DWHD64EM[SS]