Dishwashers are the workhorses of any kitchen — running day in and day out after breakfast, lunch and dinner. Just like any appliance, however, your dishwasher won't last forever and will eventually need to be replaced.
If it’s been awhile since you shopped for a new dishwasher, the task can seem daunting. Which options are absolutely necessary? How energy- and water-efficient should the unit be? And how can you ensure that you are getting the best value for your money, especially when new dishwashers can cost as little as a couple hundred dollars and as much as a couple thousand dollars? This handy guide will separate fact from fluff and help you find the right dishwasher for your household.
Consider Your Needs
When buying a dishwasher, you should consider your lifestyle and how it affects your household cleaning habits. Are you a home chef who cooks gourmet meals daily? If so, perhaps a quick wash feature or a heavy wash feature that scrubs pans clean is essential to you. If you are a light user or someone who rarely prepares home-cooked meals, perhaps you don’t need as many features.
Consumer Reports magazine has put together a helpful list of dishwasher features to consider when purchasing. For example, they recommend prioritizing units that include adjustable racks and loading aids that let you rework the interior of the dishwasher to make every load fit perfectly.
Think About Your Aesthetics
Picking out a new appliance means upgrading to a new look, too. You can choose from different finishes like stainless steel, white, black, black stainless and more, or you can opt for a custom panel to cover your dishwasher so it blends in seamlessly with your cabinetry.
Think, too, about the dishwasher's interface. Do you prefer the buttons of the dishwasher to be hidden — found on the top edge of the dishwasher door, rather than on the front panel? Are you interested in a smart appliance you can monitor and control with a connected mobile app? Or would you rather have more accessible controls and an easy-to-read, built-in display?
Additionally, depending on your home's floor plan, you may want to look into decibel ratings. Some dishwasher cycles are noisier and more obtrusive than others. In fact, a decibel of 50 or higher is as loud as a normal conversation, while under 45 is virtually silent.
Look At Energy Efficiency
Energy-efficient dishwashers are not only good for the environment, but they also provide plenty of features that can help save you money. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, a newer, ENERGY STAR-certified dishwasher can save you up to $35 a year in utilities alone. Additionally, you can conserve 3,870 gallons of water over the appliance's lifetime! You can review a list of the most efficient dishwashers on the market by visiting the ENERGY STAR website.
When making your final decision, remember that American Home Shield customers are able to get a discount on appliances through the appliance discount program. Not only will you have a brand new appliance, but you'll be able to save some money, too!
Regardless of which dishwasher you select, make sure it’s one that fits the needs of you and your entire family. After all, once you have a new dishwasher, you will have no excuse for not doing the dishes!