Kitchen Savings Tips

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No Cost
  • Reduce hot water temperature in dishwasher. Set the water heater to the "normal" setting or 120°F, unless the owner's manual for the dishwasher requires a higher setting. Savings are 7 to 11% of water heating costs.
  • If your dishwasher has an air-dry setting, use it instead of the heat-dry setting. You will cut the dishwasher's energy use 15 to 50%. If there is no air-dry setting, turn the dishwasher off after its final rinse and open the door. The dishes will dry without using extra electricity.
  • Run your dishwasher after 7 p.m. Wash only full loads and use the shortest possible cycle.
  • Run the dishwasher only when fully loaded. If necessary, scrape dirty dishes (with cold rather than hot water) and store them in the dishwasher until you have a full load.
  • Load dishes in their proper locations to ensure maximum cleaning efficiency. See the dishwasher owner's manual for instructions on proper loading.
  • Check and clean the dishwasher drain as necessary. Solid pieces of food waste can build up over the dishwasher drain and cause the dishwasher to work harder.
  • Avoid using the "rinse hold" setting on your dishwasher. "Rinse hold" uses three to seven gallons of hot water for each use, and heating water takes extra energy. Never use "rinse hold" for just a few dirty dishes.

Low to Medium Cost

  • Buy an ENERGY STAR dishwasher with energy-saving settings, such as partial load setting (which uses less hot water) and energy-efficient drying cycles.
  • Choose the right size dishwasher for your home. Standard capacity models hold more than eight place settings and six serving pieces.
  • Choose a dishwasher that gives you the option of air-drying the dishes, instead of heat-drying, which consumes more energy.
  • Use a surge protector on all appliances and disconnect the appliances from the power strip when not in use. For instance, the microwave clock, if not needed, will reduce "phantom" electricity costs.