Rating Distribution

Shopping Tips for Dishwashers

The Issues

Appliances consume lots of energy — often as much as one-third of an average household’s entire energy budget. The main environmental impacts of appliances include:

  • Energy use, which can lead to the emission of greenhouse gases and other pollutants.
  • Water use, both the water required for operation and the effluent coming out of the appliance.
  • The release of ozone-depleting substances and greenhouse gases, particularly when older appliances are improperly handled after disposal.

What to look for

  • Always opt for ENERGY STAR qualified appliances when possible.
  • For washers, go for “high efficiency” models. For dryers, look for an automatic shut off feature.
  • For refrigerator/freezer combos, choose top-mounted freezer models without through-the-door ice dispensers.

What to avoid:

  • Avoid older, used appliances — they are less efficient and may contain environmentally harmful chemicals.
  • Avoid top-loading washers that are not labeled “high efficiency.”
  • Avoid bottom-mounted, side-by-side, or French door refrigerator/freezer configurations.
  • Avoid hand-washing dishes — instead, use an efficient dishwasher to save time, money, energy
    and water.

GoodGuide Recommends

Read the label — For most appliances, all of the information you need to make a good decision
is on the Yellow Energy Guide label. If you need help interpreting the label, see the Energy Guide website

Replace old appliances with new, ENERGY STAR qualified models. Be sure to dispose of the old appliance in a responsible manner.

Be sure to select the appropriate size appliance for your home.

For each appliance, follow these guidelines:

  • Air Conditioners — select the appropriate size for the room and shut off the AC unit when no one is present. Look for AC units with a high Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER).
  • Dishwashers — choose a dishwasher with several wash cycle options to avoid wasting energy and water. In general, you should avoid pre-rinsing; instead load dishes directly into an ENERGY STAR qualified dishwasher to save time and money.
  • Clothes Washers — choose a high efficiency model with a high Modified Energy Factor (MEF) and a low Water Factor (WF). Always use high efficiency detergent with your high efficiency washer.
  • Clothes Dryers — look for gas-powered dryers with an automatic shut off feature. Always clean the lint filter before operating the dryer. If possible, hang dry your clothes.
  • Refrigerators and Freezers — consider top-mounted refrigerators/freezer combos without the through-the-door ice dispenser. Manual defrost freezers use less energy than automatic defrost freezers, but must be defrosted regularly to achieve energy savings.

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