When we moved into our current apartment last spring, I read some energy company pamphlet about ways to save energy in your home. Most of the suggestions were old news to me, but one in particular stuck out: air dry your dishes after running your dishwasher. I’m all about green changes that don’t require me to do a lot more work, so I figured I’d give it a try. I was happy to find that air drying was a huge success! When left to their own devices overnight, my dishes dried even better than the heated drying had worked on our old dishwasher. I’ve been air drying our dishes ever since.
I don’t know how much energy I’m saving by air drying our dishes because I never did any sort of side-by-side comparison. According to this Flex Your Power page, though, using the air drying setting on your dishwasher can reduce your dishwasher’s energy use by 15 to 50%. Just opening the door and letting the dishes air dry on their own consumes no power, so I’d imagine that air drying without the special setting could potentially save even more energy.
How to Air Dry the Dishes in Your Dishwasher
1. First, figure out how long it takes your dishwasher to run. Use that running time to calculate how early you need to start the dishwasher to ensure that it will be finished by the time you want to go to bed.
2. Start dishwasher by the appointed time.
3. Open the dishwasher after it has finished running. Pour out any reservoirs of water that have collected in containers. It’s fine for everything to be wet, of course, but big puddles don’t tend to dry overnight very well.
4. Leave dishwasher open. Go to bed.
5. When you wake up the next morning, all of your dishes should be clean and dry! Feel happy that you saved energy (and money!) without having to actually do much of anything. 🙂
Running Your Dishwasher During the Day?
I recommend running and then opening your dishwasher before you go to bed because the dishes (well, my dishes, at least) seem to require a prolonged period to air dry properly. A couple of hours isn’t usually enough to get things thoroughly dry. Sometimes, though, you just have to run your dishwasher during the day. In these instances, one way to speed air drying is to set up a fan next to the dishwasher. The extra air circulation considerably speeds drying time.
How do you like to dry your dishes?
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