If you’re looking into buying a new dishwasher, there are many factors to take into account. Size, price, energy efficiency, how much sound it makes, and new technological extras are all things to consider. A new dishwasher bought today is much different than its older counterparts from even a few years ago. Here are some things to think about when looking for the perfect new dishwasher for your home.
Types of Dishwashers
There are several different kinds of dishwashers available, and they can range greatly in price.
Under the Counter Dishwashers – These are the basic dishwashers that you’ll find in most homes, and they work great in many kitchen layouts. They can be practical and relatively cheap at around $300 to $500. They can also come with extra, premium conveniences like the ability to program specific cycles and improved reduction in noise. Depending on which features you want, these can range from $800 to several thousands dollars.
Under the Sink Dishwashers – These dishwashers are more compact than regular ones and are designed to fit around the plumbing under your kitchen sink. They work great, but have an increased price tag since they are more specialized and compact. They tend to start around $800.
Drawer Dishwashers – These are similar to under-sink dishwashers, in that they fit into a smaller space. They can come as a single-drawer appliance at around $650 or double-drawer appliance at around $1000. They pull out like a cabinet drawer, making them easy to load but offering less space than a traditional dishwasher.
The major difference between these options is size. Make sure you measure the area of your kitchen that will hold the dishwasher and compare it to possible purchases. Consider whether or not you want a compact appliance, since it will save you space in your kitchen. However, this might be too limiting, depending on the types of dishes you use.
One of the most important factors to consider when purchasing a new dishwasher is energy and water efficiency. When an appliance is more efficient, it might cost a bit more up-front but will cost you less money in the long-term. Efficient machines are also better for the environment. Check dishwashers for an Energy Star label, which is granted by the U.S. Department of Energy. If an appliance has this star, it runs well above the minimum government efficiency standards.
Also check out the Energy Guide label. This handy sheet will give you detailed information on the annual cost of operation. Some appliances will also have extra energy-saving features such as rinse-and-hold cycles and a hard food disposer, which keep you from using extra water to pre-rinse the dishes. Another great feature is the ability to restrict a wash to the upper or lower rack, depending on what each load requires.
Good Extra Features
There are several extra features you can get with some dishwashers, but some of these are better than others. Here are great options that can improve performance and/or convenience:
Adjustable Racks – The ability to adjust the silverware holders and racks in a dishwasher can be very useful if you have a variety of sizes of dishes. This feature helps your dishes get cleaner by letting you organize them better.
Advanced Water Filtration – These systems help remove food particles from the water after it has run through the dishwasher. Self-cleaning filters keep you from needing to clean them by hand.
High-Efficiency Water Jets – These will let you get your dishes clean while using less water overall.
Noise Reduction – If you can’t stand the sound of the dishwasher running and want a quieter appliance, look for this feature. However, it will come with a higher price tag.
Soil Sensor – This feature allows the dishwasher to sense how dirty the dishes are and adjust the cycle accordingly. As a result, the appliance only uses the amount of water and energy necessary to get the job done.
Special Wash Zone – This feature allows you to put more heavily soiled dishes in a particular area of the dishwasher. This allows harder-to-clean dishes to be fixed without spending the energy to have higher wash ability throughout the entire appliance.
Third Rack – This feature allows for more organization when filling your dishwasher, especially for smaller items.
Hopefully these tips have given you a better idea of what to look for next time you need to replace your dishwasher. If you want to learn about preventative maintenance for your dishwasher to keep it running smoothly and efficiently for longer, check out Complete Appliance’s guide here.