HOW TO CHOOSE A DISHWASHER?
When it comes to choosing a dishwasher, you need to consider not only its look and capacity, but also whether it can be integrated into a run of cabinets, whether it is energy- and space-efficient, how much noise it makes, and if it has a range of cycles to suit your family’s needs.
1. CHOOSE THE MODEL
When planning your kitchen you may automatically include a regular-sized dishwasher in your layout, but this isn’t the only option available, and may not be the most suitable model for your kitchen or lifestyle.
A regular-sized dishwasher measures 24in (60cm) in width, sits neatly below a countertop, and can hold 12 place settings. It is most suitable for an average family and can generally hold a couple of meals’ worth of dirty plates and pots.
A slimline dishwasher is the same height as a regular-sized model, but measures 14–18in (35– 45cm) in width, making it more suitable for a kitchen where space is limited. These machines hold nine place settings, so are a good choice for one- or two-person households.
Drawer dishwashers are available as either singleor double-drawer units. The double drawers can be used singly or together but are operated independently, which means you can use one for delicate glassware while washing pans on a heavier cycle in the other.
A countertop dishwasher is around 20in (50cm) wide and 18in (45cm) high, so it is an ideal choice for smaller kitchens or single-person households. It is designed to sit on top of a countertop.
2. CHOOSE THE LOOK
If you choose a floor-standing dishwasher that will sit beneath the countertop, you’ll need to consider whether you want to have it free-standing, built-in, or concealed.
One of the main advantages of a freestanding dishwasher is that you can take it with you when you move. Most models are available in white, but if you want yours to be more contemporary looking, you can buy models with a more stylish door shape and finish, such as stainless steel.
Semi-integrated dishwashers are partially covered by a kitchen cabinet door up to drawer line height, with the control panel above it on show. The advantage of these models over fully integrated ones is that you can observe the control panel while the machine is running to keep track of the cycle process.
Fully integrated dishwashers—including the controls—are concealed behind a cabinet door. Look for a machine with a light that shines on the floor when it’s on so you can check that the cycle is running.
DISHWASHERS AND ENERGY EFFICIENCY
Check the ENERGY STAR label when shopping for your dishwasher to find an energy-efficient model. Would investing in a more eco-friendly machine be the right choice for you?
An eco-friendly model uses on average 10 percent less energy than a dishwasher with a poorer energy efficiency rating. Whether your concern is for the planet or your electricity bill, it’s worth considering.
An energy-efficient dishwasher typically has low water consumption levels: some models use less water than you would washing by hand. It’s especially worth monitoring water consumption levels if you are on a water meter.
Look for machines that have an “eco” or “energy save” program. This will be the cycle that uses the least water and energy, typically washing dishes at a lower temperature.