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02/24/10
Energy Saving Dishwashers Consume More Energy?
Filed under: Green Living
Posted by: Rebecca @ 10:38 am

I loved my old dishwasher. I loved it so much that I was willing to pay to have it repaired on those few occassions that required it. But the last time it broke down, I decided it was time to get a new one. After all, it was already nine years old with a projected life expectancy of ten years. So off I went, excited to buy my new dishwasher and add another energy saving appliance to my life.

My initial reaction: Uggghh. Filled with regret. I wished I paid to have my old dishwasher repaired and kept it for as long as possible. This new energy saving dishwasher consumed SO much more energy, and without cleaning as effectively. I was manually rinsing my dishes, prewashing them in the dishwasher, setting all of the highest temperatures for the wash cycle, and then doing another prewash after the fact. Then I washed half of the dishes that were still dirty by hand. Energy saving? Nope. Not by a long shot. Not to mention the water waste, too.

Grrrr. Then I noticed a film buildup in the dishwasher getting worse and worse, so I called maintenance for my new dishwasher. Much to my dismay, I learned that I probably got rid of my older dishwasher prematurely, since the main problem was not my dishwasher, but my detergent, due to a change in their formula several months prior (coincidentally right around the same time my other dishwasher started developing problems). Okay. So, I now had a clean dishwasher and a new detergent and a renewed hope in energy saving dishwashers. Except . . .

. . . my dishwasher repairman cautioned me to always use the High Temperature cycle otherwise the water will never heat up enough to melt the detergent sufficiently. Of course, the high temperature cycle takes about an hour longer to run. He also reiterated that I need to let the hot water run from my faucet for at least thirty seconds prior to running a load so that the water can get heated (something I knew I had to do with this dishwasher but I never needed to do it with my old one).

Long and short of it, the new detergent coupled with running hot water and using a high temperature cycle does clean my dishes beautifully. I just still wonder about how much energy I’m saving with my new energy saving dishwasher when my old dishes cleaned beautifully without all of the extra energy efforts!

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