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Dishwasher Buying Guide

So its finally time to replace that old, inefficient dishwasher with a new energy efficient model. The choices seem endless when you start to look around. Every manufacturer has many different models and all different price ranges. How do you decide? Well I will try to give you some insight into things to look for and pay attention to while shopping and comparing dishwashers.

Most dishwashers come in a standard size to fit a 24" wide opening under your counter but there are starting to be a few smaller sizes offered (usually by special order) as well as even countertop models. So if you are limited to space you may still find something that will work for you.

Energy efficiency is a big deal when shopping for a new dishwasher. 'ENERGY STAR' is the symbol for energy efficiency for many products in Canada and the world including dishwashers. Not all dishwashers qualify for this symbol but the ones that do are clearly marked in the stores and catalogues. They will all have a tag that displays the 'ENERGY STAR' symbol and also be labeled as to the annual energy consumption of the unit in KWH/YR. This number will vary depending on just how efficient the unit is. Dishwashers that display the 'ENERGY STAR' symbol area least 25% more efficient than the minimum regulated Canadian standard. Many of these efficient dishwashers are now using "smart sensors" that adjust the wash cycle and amount of water used to match how much cleaning the dishes need.

Dishwasher (white Kenmore)

Also a new trend by manufacturers is to vent the steam from the dishwashers out the side of the door instead of the top of the door, which was causing damage to some laminate counter tops. This new idea should really help that problem but I'm not sure if it is any better to apply that moisture to our cabinet doors and drawers?

Manufactures are also offering many models that are making the controls more out of sight by putting them along the top of the door instead of right on the front. And most major brands will offer a selection of dishwashers with a stainless steel interior (tub) these units are often the higher-end models, but this feature sure keeps them looking clean and new inside whereas the standard plastic interiors get stained over time and do not look as nice.

Well those are some of the main things to look for in a dishwasher. The color of the exterior is the final thing I will mention. Of course stainless steel is a popular choice, but there are still the old standby's of white and blac,k not to mention the odd time you may find a custom color you can special order.

I hope this has given you a few things to watch for or ask about as you start the task of shopping for you new appliance. Good luck!

When you do buy a dishwasher, be sure to check out our dishwasher installation article (complete with video!).