Our homes use massive volumes of energy these days through furnaces, water heaters, and air conditioning units. This is why we frequently miss out on opportunities to reduce our utility bills. One appliance that many folks often don’t consider when thinking about how we can reduce our consumption of energy is the dishwasher.
Though dishwashers do use quite a bit of energy, heat is their primary by-product. It needs a good amount of energy to create. If you are looking to know how much it is costing you to run your dishwasher, then you’ve come to the right place. Read on for more information about the costs involved with running a dishwasher. Plus we look at what you can do to minimize these costs as much as possible.
Table of Contents
The Price of Running a Dishwasher
The majority of modern dishwashers on the market use, on average, 1,800W of power. The water rates are going to depend on the date, your local area, and even what time it is in the day. Standard electricity usage of most dishwashers these days is pretty cheap. For an hour-long load and 1,800-watt models, you are going to use about 1.8kWhs of power.
The average cost in the United States per kWh is about $0.13 – if you run your dishwasher 5 days a week for an hour a day, it will only cost you about $1.17 on your utility bill.
Saving Money Using Your Dishwasher
There are a number of ways that you can save money and ensure that your dishwasher runs effectively.
- Clean your dishwasher regularly to stop the filter and spray arm from becoming clogged with soap scum, limescale, and food particles that can reduce its efficiency.
- Open up the door of your dishwasher as soon as it has finished its wash cycle and when the dishes within are still warm. If you do this, you will speed up the process of evaporation. It means that you can avoid having to use the dry setting on your dishwasher, saving some extra money.
- If your home comes with air conditioning, try to avoid using your dishwasher in the warmest times of the day in summer. The dishwasher is going to create some additional heat throughout your kitchen and living areas. This means that your air conditioning unit is going to have to work harder. This will subsequently increase your overall energy use – more significantly than you might think.
- If you have the means, you should try to upgrade your dishwasher to a model that is newer and more efficient on energy.
Using your dishwasher correctly is a fantastic way to ensure that your home is as energy-efficient as it possibly can be. Unlike your clothes dryer, where you should consider hanging your clothes outside on a clothesline when it is warm and sunny enough outside, being ‘lazy’ and using your dishwasher can actually save you in the long run.
None of us like to do the dishes. It’s a tedious chore that often takes way too long and can be very frustrating to do when there are dozens of dishes in the sink. Thankfully, the majority of modern dishwashers on the market these days use far less water than what is used when you wash your dishes by hand.
Running the Dishwasher vs Washing Dishes By Hand
Most dishwashers use anywhere between 11 to 13 liters for every cycle on average. Washing the dishes by hand can consume up to 9 times that volume. Thus, if you own a dishwasher, you should, by all means, make use of it! Washing dishes in the machine can not only save you money, but it also helps you conserve energy as well.
This leaves you with a lower bill and a household that is more efficient in energy. In layman’s terms, when arguing about dishwashers against hand-washing costs, dishwashers definitely are the victors.
How Often You Should Run Your Dishwasher
There is no wrong or right number of times that you should be using your dishwasher in a month or week. Each household is different. Some have large families that eat big meals together using many dishes. This kind of household would probably have to wash their dishes every day.
On the other hand, couples or smaller households that do not eat at home every day will probably require fewer washes using their dishwasher. The one thing that you need to remember is that your dishwasher should be pretty full each time that you use it, but not so full that it is overcrowded before you start the wash cycle.
If the level of usage of your dishwasher is quite low and you only use it once every few days, we suggest that you think about running it at the end of every week so that you can keep the motor seals functioning properly. This will ensure that your machine does not become backed up and that it always works as well as it should.
Is Running a Dishwasher at Night Cheaper Than During the Day?
The price of energy during peak hours is different depending on where you live. Every utility company is different in terms of the times at which they bill you more for energy, though the respective higher rates and peak hours are billed during the busiest hours of the day when the demand is at its hardest.
This period usually runs between the hours of 1 pm and 7 pm, from Monday to Friday. Partial-peak hours that will cost about 25% less than regular peak hour billing will usually be charged from 10 am to 1 pm and 7 pm to 9 pm, from Monday to Friday.
The majority of utility companies will charge their lowest prices off of peak rates at all other times, and this includes holidays.
Should You Be Running Your Dishwasher Every Day?
Dishwashers can often provide us with a fairly accurate estimate of our actual energy consumption since the actual machine does not use much electricity. The pump on the dishwasher and its control electronics use about 1,200 watts. This is not much electricity at all and is the equivalent to around the same output as a hairdryer.
Dishwashers generally get away with such a low power profile since they piggyback off of your water heater for as much as 50% of their energy consumption. In other words, from an energy perspective, it is not super harmful to run your dishwasher each day. This is particularly true if it is always filled with dishes that genuinely need washing by the end of the day.
Do You Save Water By Running Your Dishwasher?
Like we mentioned previously, using a dishwasher can really help your household save water. Especially when compared to washing every dish individually by hand. With that being said, you should keep in mind that you should fill your machine the correct way. This will ensure that your dishwasher is being used to its full potential. Otherwise, you might end up wasting water rather than saving it.
This means that you should make sure that you have stacked your dishes in such a way that lets each item be filled to a decent capacity and be washed equally.
Washing Your Dishes Before Using the Dishwasher
Contrary to fairly popular belief, there is no need to pre-rinse your dishes before you put them in the dishwasher. Instead, all you need to do is scrape off any leftover food into the bin before you load your dishes into the dishwasher. You can just let the appliance do the rest.
Why Get a Dishwasher?
There are a few benefits to owning and using a dishwasher. Let’s take a look at some of them.
Your crockery will be cleaner
Not only does washing by hand require more time and energy than using a dishwasher does, the cleaning results of hand-washing your dishes often aren’t as pleasing. With special technology like Steam Gloss, your dishes and crockery will appear shinier, brighter, and cleaner.
Gets rid of germs
In order to be able to clean dishes effectively, the water used needs to be above 60°C. When we are washing dishes by hand, the water generally only gets as hot as about 25°C. This is nowhere near hot enough to kill germs and make sure that your dishes are effectively cleaned.
The water used within a dishwasher is heated to temperatures of up to 75°C. This is definitely far higher than the water temperature used when washing dishes by hand. Not only will your dishes be extremely clean when you use your dishwashing machine to clean them. But they will also be as hygienic for you and your family as possible.
Now you know the answer to how much does it cost to run a dishwasher. And you know whether it is the right solution for your needs. By using the tips above, you will be able to use your dishwasher in the most energy-efficient manner. This will allow you to kill two birds with one stone – get your dishes spotlessly clean while saving money.
Founder of homeappliancegeek.com, avid cook, and lover of Asian food.
Signature dishes include Thai Red Curry, Chicken Saag, Bibimbap and Sushi.
Massive clean freak; a habit baked-in after spending 9 years in the catering industry.
The one appliance he couldn’t live without? Easily the dishwasher (total relationship saver!).