Choosing the Right Dishwasher

dishwasher1Dishwashers today have become a necessity in most households.  If you have an old dishwasher in need of repair it may be time to replace it.  However, if the problem is only a broken seal or clogged spray arm these are inexpensive repairs. Even so, there may be advantages to invest in a new dishwasher.  An energy efficient, water efficient model can pay for itself in savings over 10 years.

When buying a dishwasher you want to keep in mind the size you need, options,  and finishes.  Do you want a built in or a portable.  Dishwashers come in the compact size of 18” which will accommodate a single, couple or small family.  It will hold approximately 6  or 7 place settings.  Standard size dishwashers are 24” and these hold twice as many place settings as the compact machine. Countertop dishwashers are also available and may be your choice if you have lots of counter space or are renting.  The countertop dishwashers are the least expensive and the portable machines are usually less expensive than the built in machines.  How you plan to use the machine is important when deciding what to buy.  Do you run the machine everyday or just once a week.

An energy star – energy efficient model dishwasher can use 30%  less energy compared to non energy efficient machines.  It also saves about 30% on water usage.  Most dishwashers today display the energy star logo.  The dishwashers on the market today run more quiet, wash dishes better and with less energy than your old dishwasher.

If you don’t want to scrape and/or rinse your dishes before loading some dishwashers come with a hard food disposal feature.  This feature eliminates food residue so it does not rinse back onto your dishes.  Some filters need cleaning while other model filters are self cleaning.  Basic dishwasher functions include cycles for light, regular, pots and pans and econo.  The econo setting allows for air drying.  More features are available and as the features increase so does the cost.  Other features which are pretty standard are the detergent and rinse agent dispensers.  You may want the child safety lock feature.

Dishwashers range in price from a couple hundred dollars for a countertop machine to over $1,000 for a very high end machine.  Most people purchase a machine somewhere in the middle range.  You can expect a life span for a dishwasher to be 10 to 15 years or more.