Apart from the water saving benefits, dishwashers are convenient, easy to use and efficient. They can be a godsend when trying to keep up with today's fast paced lifestyle, that is why these days a dishwasher is an essential component to any kitchen. But before you make your dishwasher purchase, consider the size, energy rating, water ratings and feature and functions. Aside from the obvious water saving benefits, dishwashers are convenient, easy to use and efficient. SizesThere are two main sizes of dishwashers available, they range from a full sized unit which is about 60cm wide and is normally suitable for the average family home or office with space for twelve or more place settings, to a compact unit, which is about 45cm wide and caters for eight or nine place settings - which is a lot less than most fully sized units. Energy RatingsEnergy rating stars determine the energy efficiency of the dishwasher. You should look out for these when you buy a dishwasher. The more stars the dishwasher has, the less energy consumed by the dishwasher on a day-to-day basis.
For further information on energy ratings conduct a search on Google for the Australian Government Energy rating site. Water WiseSelected models of dishwashers offer water saving options and incorporate anti-flood systems to ensure your household is safe. Overall water consumption has been found to be four (4) times less in a dishwasher than when you wash your dishes by hand (UK Government Market Transformation Programme report BNW16: a comparison of washing by hand with a domestic dishwasher, 2004. The WELS scheme approved dishwashers use on average half the water of a standard model dishwasher. For more information about the higher star rating on a dishwasher and how it relates to water efficiently please visit the Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (WELS) Scheme website. Dishwasher Programs and SettingsThe settings on a dishwasher depend on the type of model you decide on. Generally, a standard dishwashers has three (3) wash settings ranging from light, normal and heavy. More expensive dishwashers have features for cleaning pots & pans or larger items which can be handy if you are a keen cook.
Some programs and settings you should consider when choosing a dishwasher include:
Water temperature - water needs to reach the right temperature for a more efficient wash cycle. Sensors are built into the dishwasher ensure the water is properly heated.
Soil sensors - This ensures dirty water cannot recirculate throughout the wash cycle.
Wash options - Select the correct cycle from pre-programmed wash cycles for each load to give better results.
Noise reduction. - Quiet dishwashers are handy because they normally reside close to other living areas.
Dishwasher Location and Installation
All dishwashers should be installed by a licensed plumber to ensure services are located close enough and are inline with the manufacturer's requirements. A freestanding dishwasher usually comes with a suitable top that can then be used as workspace. Location is very important, if the dishwasher is to be free standing (not under a benchtop), consider the models suitable for a freestanding location. Noise from a dishwasher can travel throughout your house so you may prefer a model with noise reduction or consider rooms close to your installation location, and what they are used for before you decide on a model with or without noise reduction.
Glossary Adjustable Racks
Customise the racking to suit your daily needs and make it easier to fit more into the dishwasher. Auto CleanThe wash cycle settings automatically use a sensor to monitor the rinse water until your dishes are clean. Temperature ControlEnsure the proper temperature is reached for the best performance - most models automatically add the correct amount of hot and cold water.
Electronic controls are usually touch button senor type with an audible tone when pressed.Mechanical controls are usually push buttons, dials or a combination of both Cutlery Tray Models often include a separate cutlery tray which is particularly useful for larger items like carving knives, soup ladles and other large cooking or serving instruments.
Dishwashers can get very hot internally so it is a great safety feature if a child lock stops a child from opening the dishwasher door during the washing cycle. CyclesSome models vary in washing speed, water pressure and water temperature. Each cycle differs the number of washes and rinses. Cycle Progress IndicatorsThis is how you know the status of the cycle via a display.
The dishwasher will start at a convenient time or when off-peak electricity rates are available.
Hard Food Disposal
This feature can eliminate the need for rinsing dishes before washing. Some dishwashers have a hard food disposal unit, capable of grinding solid food down into smaller particles to fit through the filter.
Can be used to increase energy efficiency and can also reduce noise. Plate WarmerThis is a feature that allows you to warm your plates before you serve food. Rinse Aid DispenserA solution known as rinse aid can help to improve drying results and prevent spotting and filming.
Rinse and Hold Cycle
This is handy when you want to hold off for a full load as you can rinse and leave dishes in the dishwasher.
Super Hot Final Rise
A super hot final rinse over 150 degrees or higher assisting in the removal of bacteria is offered by some models.
Stainless Steel Interior
A stainless steel interior lining, increasing efficiency and enables water to reach a higher temperature more quickly is available in some models.