Does a dishwasher save you money?

With so many appliances in our household, it’s often easy to overlook the ones we use on a daily basis – like the dishwasher. Fortunately, a dishwasher’s base usage is relatively inexpensive, especially if you opt for an energy efficient model.

So, what’s the best dishwasher for your money?

Dishwashers in Canada can have two labels[1];

  • The ENERGY STAR symbol, which means the model is highly energy efficient, or;
  • The EnerGuide label, which shows the model’s energy consumption and how it compares to similar models.

Dishwashers with an ENERGY STAR certification are tested to meet strict efficiency specifications, though perform the same, if not better, than standard models. Features include special sensors to detect how dirty your dishes are mid-wash so the machine can alter its cycle to get maximum results, and more efficient jets that use less water – making

Obviously, the main cost of using a dishwasher stems from electricity and hot water usage (not including the upfront cost of purchasing a dishwasher and consequently, detergent), however since your dishwasher can hold more dishes than the average kitchen sink, you are less likely to run your machine as often as you would handwash. Plus, modern dishwashers contain interior water heaters that warm up far more efficiently than your general household water heater – meaning a certified ENERGY STAR dishwasher can actually use less than half the energy of handwashing. [2]

How much does it cost to use a dishwasher?

Energy companies charge higher at peak times, so the best time to run the dishwasher is when other people aren’t using their own. The most popular times for people to run their dishwasher are naturally around lunch and dinner after they have eaten, so hold off turning it on at that time.

Instead, do it just before you go to bed, or, if you have a timer, set it to go off after midnight!

If you do set it off late at night, and therefore have time on your side, consider putting it on for a longer cycle too. Most modern-day dishwashers will have an eco-setting, which can save up to 20% of your energy usage by using less power to heat up the water and running through a slower cycle.

How to save money when using your dishwasher

There are a number of factors that will determine how much a dishwasher cycle will cost. From what model dishwasher you have to what energy supplier you’re with at home – even how you stack your dishes before every cycle. So, is using a dishwasher economical? The answer is yes – if you follow some simple steps.

  1. Wait until you have a full load. This way, you will reduce the number of cycles you will need to run in a month. Simple!
  1. Don’t over-stuff your dishwasher. By over-stuffing your dishwasher, you are not only jeopardizing the quality of the clean, but you could also cause serious damage to your machine. Ensure there’s room on the inside for the cycle to work effectively.

  2. Always clean and maintain your dishwasher. Nothing says ‘money drainer’ like a call-out from your local dishwasher repairman! Always use quality detergent like Finish and keep the inside of your dishwasher clean and free of food scraps to avoid limescale buildup and clogging, which could cause expensive issues down the track.

  3. Consider upgrading your dishwasher to an energy-saving model. These days, modern dishwashers are far more energy efficient than their historical counterparts. Spend a little more upfront on a quality machine and you could save bucket loads over time.

Related articles:

Keen to find out when the best time is to run your dishwasher to save on bills? Read our article on dishwasher cycles and you’ll be counting your dollars in no time.