After price, size and cleaning performance, what other factors should you consider when purchasing a new dishwasher? Here are a few you might want to take into consideration.
Dishwasher cycle run-times
Shorter run times under a standard or “normal” cycle means clean dishes faster and cheaper. The average dishwasher’s normal cycle takes about two hours to complete. Look for dishwashers with shorter normal cycles to save time and money.
Noise-level and quiet dishwashers
Loud dishwashers are annoying, especially in open-concept homes. Consumer Reports takes this into consideration when ranking dishwasher,s as does Good Housekeeping. Good Housekeeping recommends you keep this tip in mind when shopping for a quite dishwasher, “The more expensive it is, generally the quieter it is.” They also advise to look for models where the motors are mounted to the base-pan and not the tub which can amplify sound.
Adjustable dishwasher racks and loading flexibility
Adjustable dishwasher racks allow for the folding down of dishwasher tines or rack height adjustments that make it easier to fit in odd-shaped dishes. Some dishwashers are now being sold with larger utensil baskets to accommodate larger washable kitchen accessories.
Special cleaning features
Samsung makes a dishwasher with a “Storm Wash,” or “Zone Boost” setting which lets you apply extra power to dirtier dishes through blasts of water and by adjusting water pressure during cleaning.
Energy saving dishwasher features
Features like soil sensors detect how dirty the dishes are inside and automatically adjusts water usage and cycle length accordingly. Check the Energy Guide label to see quick estimates of yearly energy costs. Learn how to read an Energy Guide Label.
To save even more money, check with your local utility to see if they offer any cash rebates or other incentive programs if you purchase an energy-efficient appliance. Find a program at the ENERGY STAR website: http://energy.gov/public-services/homes.
To learn more about dishwasher features and to see which dishwasher ranked highly in recent Consumer Reports testing, visit Consumer Reports Dishwasher Buying Guide.
Visit the Good Housekeeping Research Institute’s Dishwasher product review and shopping guide for dishwasher reviews and buying tips.