Is It Better To Run Your Dishwasher During The Day Or At Night?

It's only natural to want to turn on your dishwasher whenever it becomes filled with dirty dishes. But think twice before running it during the daylight hours. For starters, running your machine at night will help you save money on your utility bill. Second, it'll save your ears from hearing accidental bangs, clangs, or that annoying musical ditty that sounds off to alert you that your load is done — assuming you're a heavy sleeper, that is. Another perk is that if your dishwasher tends to be a bit louder than the newer models (especially when it's improperly loaded), running it before retiring for the evening can help you enjoy some peace and quiet while unwinding in front of the TV or hosting a critical Zoom meeting from your home office. 

On top of that, there are other easy ways to save money when using your dishwasher (besides actually using it, which, compared to handwashing, will likely help you cut down on water usage). For instance, specific cycles use less water, and skipping the pre-rinse cycle altogether will reduce your utility costs. Opting for air-drying your dishes is also a wise decision for those trying to lower household expenses. 

Make it part of your bedtime ritual

Aside from getting your dishes sparkling clean, dishwashers create a warm and rather humid kitchen environment. If you live in an area where having the air conditioner on full blast during the daylight hours is a requirement, running your dishwasher simultaneously is not advisable. The tropical atmosphere your dishwasher produces can unintentionally provoke your HVAC system to work extra hard, which means your home routinely wastes electricity. On the other hand, operating your dishwasher at night when the temperature drops means you can avoid this battle of the appliances.

One of the best arguments for running your dishwasher at night is that rates vary for energy consumption based on the time of day in many areas. For instance, PG&E states that their peak hours (where you'll be charged a premium for energy consumption) are between 4:00 pm and 9:00 pm. That means your costs will be lower if you run your dishwasher after everyone has gone to sleep. So completing a load of dishes as part of your pre-bedtime ritual can help save you money over time.

There are other simple ways to save, too

Looking to add to your savings after implementing a nighttime dishwashing ritual? There are a few small steps you can take that can bulk up your bank account while simultaneously helping the environment. For instance, don't worry about rinsing your dishes in the sink before putting them into the dishwasher. It wastes water and doesn't do anything for the appliance, either. That's because they are designed to work best with a challenge (like a mostly full fridge works optimally when compared to an empty one). So it also goes without saying that you should also forgo the appliance's pre-rinse cycle.

Even for heavily soiled loads, run your dishwasher on a normal or eco-cycle, and stay away from the heated dry setting. This will likely add another 30 minutes to your dishwasher's activity, and your dishes will have plenty of time to dry while you're sleeping soundly in your bed. Plus, by going with an air-drying method, you'll be reducing your dishwasher's carbon emissions by a considerable margin.