Why ENERGY STAR Is More Efficient

Technical advances make it possible for ENERGY STAR certified machines to use less energy and water than standard models. High-pressure jets mean you no longer have to rinse dishes before loading. Advanced soil sensors periodically test dishes while they’re washing, adjusting for the best clean while using the least amount of water and energy. And highly efficient motors reduce the energy needed to wash dishes, saving you money.

  • Saves hot water and electricity
  • Saves time: no rinsing, just scrape and load dishes
  • Advanced technical features boost efficiency and performance

What to Look for in a Dishwasher

If you’re shopping for a new dishwasher, it’s worth keeping a few key features in mind. First, consider what size makes sense for your household—small machines handle about eight place settings, larger models up to 16. Machines with stainless steel (rather than plastic) tubs dry dishes more efficiently and also tend to be quieter. Look for our Smart Choice label when you shop—it indicates models Efficiency Vermont has picked as “best of the best” for efficiency and quality.

  • A yellow EnergyGuide label allows you to compare efficiency levels of ENERGY STAR dishwashers
  • Pick the right size: compact units may require running more loads, which is less efficient
  • Look for adjustable racks and fold-down tines for maximum convenience

Tips to Save More

You might think that hand-washing dishes would be on this list, but in fact it’s less efficient than using a machine. It can be a good idea to run full loads, however, because many dishwasher models use the same amount of water regardless of load size. Scrape dishes rather than rinsing them, and use the “energy saver” wash cycle if your dishes aren’t too dirty. To save even more, turn off heated drying and air-dry your dishes.