Are you in the market for a new dishwasher? First, be sure that your house is dishwasher ready. Check water features to be sure you can add a dishwasher. If you have an older home, electrical work may need to be done so that a new dishwasher can be safely installed. Here are some other things to consider when shopping for the right dishwasher.

Portable

A portable dishwasher is the way to go if you do not have a dishwasher hookup in the home. You can hook it up to a kitchen faucet. When you are not using it, put it in a closet. Unfortunately, the downside to a portable dishwasher is the less room it has for dishes.

Cleaning

You can save some money by choosing a dishwasher with a basic clean setting. The basic clean setting is especially handy if you pre-rinse your dishes in the sink before loading the dishwasher. If you do not pre-rinse your dishes, look for a dishwasher with a heavy scrub setting. That way you can avoid using more than one dish cycle to remove leftover food. Also look for an air dry feature on the heat cycle. Your utility bills will go down by turning off the heater and letting the dishes air dry if applicable.

Do not get attached to the showroom floor models. Be reasonable in deciding what features you really need. Focusing on what you really need in a dishwasher will save you a lot of money. Features such as stainless steel tubes, self-cleaning and sanitizing add to the cost of dishwashers.

Energy

 An Energy Star dishwasher will save you an average of 1,300 gallons of water in the dishwasher’s life. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, current Energy Star models are eight percent more efficient than pre-2012 models. If you do not want the expense of buying an Energy Star model, read the Energy Guide label. This yellow label lets you compare the annual labor costs on the models you are considering buying.

Size

A dishwasher can be anywhere between 18 to 24 inches wide. Be sure to pick a dishwasher that has a lot of room inside, especially for really dirty dishes, large dishes, and cookware. Also, pay attention to the size of the silverware baskets. Adjustable shelves are essential for longer utensils, as are dishwasher basket flaps.

If you live alone or with a small number of people, pick a compact dishwasher with a quick cycle option. Take into account the option of being able to fit pots and pans in the dishwasher. Look for a dishwasher that comes with a pot scrubber option if possible.

Noise

When it comes to dishwashers, the cheaper models are usually the loudest. Dishwasher noise can be some of the most annoying and distracting noise in the house. It may be worth it to save up a little more money to afford a quieter dishwasher, especially if it will be near the living room or a bedroom. Your ears will thank you.

Once you have narrowed down the dishwasher models you like best, read what other customers have written about them before buying one yourself. Consumer Reports and Epinions are great sources for online customer reviews.