Dishwashers can be a real lifesaver, especially as more of us spend our days working (and eating) at home. Saving over 35 minutes at the sink every day means an extra 230 hours every year to put towards the things that matter most. Put your knowledge about dishwashers to the test and learn a little more about how much energy they can save you compared to handwashing.
1. True or false: If I’m buying a new dishwasher, it’ll be energy efficient.
a. True, but not all dishwashers are created equal.
All dishwashers in Canada are subject to the government’s Energy Efficiency Regulations, so they meet minimum efficiency standards that become more stringent over time. Models with the ENERGY STAR label are typically the most efficient. The mandatory EnerGuide label will tell you how much energy a model uses compared to similar ones.
2. How much less energy do ENERGY STAR dishwashers use compared to standard models?
3. How much less water do ENERGY STAR dishwashers use compared to standard models?
c) 30 per cent less
Along with using less energy, ENERGY STAR dishwashers use far less water than standard models, saving you even more money and helping to reduce your household’s environmental impact.
4. True or False: Handwashing half a load’s worth of dishes is less wasteful than running the dishwasher half full.
While you should run full loads when you can, even if you’re running your dishwasher with less than a full load, you can still save energy and water when compared to handwashing. That’s because handwashing can use up to 15 litres every two minutes. On the flip side, using an ENERGY STAR dishwasher uses less than 15 litres in the entire cycle.
5. True or false: Hand washing pots and pans instead of putting them in the dishwasher is a good way to save energy.
Hand washing takes more time and uses more water than using a dishwasher, so load up. As long as cookware and dishware are labelled as “dishwasher safe” (check the bottom), you can skip the sink.
6. True or false: Always pre-rinse to keep your dishwasher running efficiently.
With advances in dishwasher technology and detergents, pre-rinsing just uses more water unnecessarily. Newer energy-efficient dishwashers often have soil sensors and multiple settings that let you get clean dishes even without pre-rinsing. Using a rinse agent along with your detergent can also help your dishes sparkle even more.