What does a Garden Gnome do when she is not gardening, in the kitchen or doing genealogy? Well the answer might just surprise you so read the entries to find out more. This blog focuses on everything we do to make our house a home. There will be a strong emphasis on home energy efficiency and do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. At the same time there will also be crafts, knitting and crocheting projects along with any other little tips we do to create that down to earth, I want to be here home. Please enjoy your visit :)

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Despite our best laid plans we found out the day our purchase was signed that the existing dishwasher wasn't working. The real estate agent wasn't very pleased but I wasn't concerned. While it would have been nice to have a working dishwasher in the new house, I had been struggling for quite some time with the dishwasher in our old house so buying a dishwasher was pretty much a given. I've been married a long time, raised kids, do a lot of cooking and canning and a fair amount of entertaining so I knew what I wanted in a dishwasher.

My wants and needs are fairly simple. I want a dishwasher that cleans the dishes, period. I want simple, easy to use controls. Sorry guys 14 dishwashing cycles does not impress me! Here's what I want to see: wash, dry, done. Simple, right? I wanted a stainless steel interior. Those white vinyl interiors stain to high heavens. I really don't want another dishwasher with a vinyl interior. I've heard all the hype about super quiet dishwashers and even though the new kitchen opens into the family room, this is not a real high priority. The reason being is quite often we run the dishwasher when we go to bed not while we are entertaining or watching television. I want/need an energy efficient dishwasher. During heavy canning sessions the dishwasher will be run two to three times in the day. I need that energy efficiency! The canning sessions have also dictated that I need a tall tub unit. Price is a factor as well. I want the best value for my buck, thank-you very much.

Thank goodness for online shopping! I narrowed it down to the Bosch SHE44CO5UC, Whirlpool GU2700XTS and Maytag MDBH975AWW. All are EnergyStar® qualified and all are reported very quiet. All are tall tub modes and they are in the approximate same price range. I really liked a lot of the features on the Whirlpool and because I'm a happy consumer of their other products that started swaying me a bit. Now this is a nice dishwasher but there were two things I found potentially problematic. First the inside finish was something called slate. I've dealt with vinyl interiors that turn orange as soon as anything tomato goes through the dishwasher. The slate to me just seemed to be a darker colour to mask this problem. This dishwasher also had an Anywhere silverware rack meant to be in the door. My husband didn't like this idea at all. Still the Whirlpool was in the running. The Maytag had a stainless steel interior and was in close running. Perhaps we would have considered it further if their website was just a little more user friendly. In the same price range, the Maytag offered a delay function not available on the Whirlpool. The Bosch offered everything we really wanted. It has the energy efficiency by using condensation drying so there is no heater. Why pay for a heater you won't - I never put my dishwasher drying cycle on! Then they eliminate both electricity and noise by using filters instead of a disposal. So all of a sudden I'm really liking the Bosch but my husband doesn't like the idea of no food grinder. Well after much discussion, the Bosch is going to be delivered just after we move in. It is the most frugal choice for our needs.

Dishwashers fall almost into a grey area as far as energy efficiency so you really need to shop wisely. They aren't like going to a front loading washer where you can do three loads in one wash. They aren't like a hot water tank where you can turn the temperature down. But they do use electricity to operate and electricity or gas or heat the water along with the cost of water itself. The problem is going to higher end models that promise savings may not warrant the cost in terms of pay back. Unlike other appliances with quicker pay backs, a dishwasher will maybe go from operational costs of $30 per year to $20 in electricity. Unless the newer model uses less water you will save nothing. Most dishwashers have a heating function to bring the water up to temperature so you are paying to heat the water regardless. The bottom line is a new dishwasher is likely going to save you at the most $15 per year total. At $800 that's 60 years and I doubt the dishwasher is still going to be working. So my advice is to buy as energy efficient as possible for that sake alone but only if you really have to.

Garden Gnome
© 2007