Dishwasher Energy Efficiency and Performance
If you’re planning to get a new dishwasher, it’s worth taking a look at the energy label. Models with high energy ratings are more efficient, saving you money on your electricity bills, and are kinder to the environment. You’ll also find that some models use less water or are quieter than others.
Most appliances and electrical items these days come with an EU energy label.
In the case of dishwashers, this shows the energy efficiency rating, energy consumption, water consumption, drying efficiency, noise level and capacity.
Energy ratings range from the most efficient A+++ grade to the least efficient D grade. These are shown on the label using coloured arrows. Most modern dishwashers currently have an A rating, but there are also higher rated models around.
Generally, the higher the energy efficiency class, the more expensive the dishwasher will be to buy, but you can offset this with the savings you make in running the machine over time.
All dishwashers must now have A class cleaning performance, so this is no longer shown on the label.
Generally, the larger the dishwasher capacity, the more energy and water efficient the machine will be. However, this assumes that it’s completely full every time you use it. For a single person household or small kitchen, a slimline machine may be more practical and more efficient than running a large model with a half load.
Are Dishwashers Better than Hand-washing?
A lot of people trying to decide whether a dishwasher is for them want to know whether dishwashers are more energy and water efficient than washing up by hand.
Unfortunately, the answer is ‘it depends’. There a lots of factors involved, including how often you wash up, how large your household is, whether you leave the water running in the sink and the age and efficiency of your dishwasher.
However, dishwashers have some clear advantages. Loading and unloading is generally less time consuming then washing by hand and dishwashers can wash a large amount in one go – great if you have a dinner party planned and need lots of plates ready in time.
Dishwashers can also wash at higher temperatures than your hands can bear, which kills germs. Thanks to new technology such as steam power, dishwashers can sanitise your dishes and remove stuck on stains with ease.
If used optimally, dishwashers are often much cheaper to run than people expect.
Which? calculated an average running cost of between £32 and £72 a year for a family sized dishwasher. Waiting until the dishwasher is full before using it is a great way to keep costs low, as is using economy or eco programmes. If you have cheaper electricity at night, running the cycle then can knock down the electricity bill even further.
Dishwasher noise levels are measured in dB (decibels) and refer to the sound of a fully loaded wash.
If you spend a lot of time entertaining in the kitchen, have an open plan kitchen/dining room or have cheaper night-time energy rates, having a quiet machine may be fairly important to you.
Noise levels vary depending on the brand and the age of your model. New technologies such as brushless motors and stainless steel interior tubs are helping to minimise the volume, and most dishwashers now create about 40-55 dB, whereas older models can reach 60 dB.
Older models are likely to be louder due to a few factors:
- Quality of insulation – overall design and materials have improved over the years
- Built-in disposal units – effectively a built-in food grinder. Modern appliances no longer have these
- Plastic interior tubs – stainless steel tubs are much more common now and are quieter as they dampen the sound of the water sprays
To give you an idea of noise levels, the below chart gives some equivalent sounds at a glance.
Noise levels vary depending on the brand and the age of your model.
Older dishwashers are likely to be louder than newer models.