Is It Better To Use Air-Dry Setting On Your Dishwasher

Nowadays, most houses have a dishwasher, which eliminates the need for hand-cleaning dishes every day. Dishwashers are not only indispensable for handling the massive amounts of dishes that we all produce every week, but they also consume significantly less water and energy when compared to hand cleaning. We adore gadgets that improve both energy efficiency and convenience at the same time—win, win! However, did you know that you can increase the energy efficiency of your dishwasher even further?

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Selecting the air-dry option on your dishwasher is all that is required. When compared to the typical heat-dry option, the air-dry setting used to have a significant impact on energy efficiency. However, with the advancements in technology, is this setting still as significant now? Here’s everything you need to know about utilizing your dishwasher’s air-dry setting and whether it’s actually the best choice.

How Dishwasher Drying Cycles Work

Previously, after the wash cycle, all dishwashers dried the dishes using the same heat-dry method. In order to dry the dishes, hot air was created inside the dishwasher using an internal fan system and a heating element located at the bottom of the appliance.

Plastics were not recommended to be stored on the dishwasher’s bottom rack due to the heating element, which was also known to wear down the machine over time, especially if it was used frequently. Plastics were also prone to warp and melt during the drying cycle. Owing of these drawbacks, the majority of contemporary dishwashers come fitted with a novel drying method known as condensation drying.

Dishwashers that use condensation drying today are made of stainless steel, which makes this process possible, as opposed to older models that had plastic tubs. Rinsing the dishes in hot water after the wash cycle is how condensation drying operates. Condensation happens when the dishwasher’s interior, composed of colder stainless steel, comes into touch with the hot, humid air within.

Consequently, water is drawn from the dishes and emptied into the tub’s bottom. Compared to the outdated heat dry option, condensation drying is far more hygienic, safe for your dishes, and energy-efficient.

On the other hand, the air-dry mode circulates room-temperature air around the appliance using internal fans to dry dishes. The majority of brand-new dishwashers come with this feature. The air-dry mode is significantly more energy-efficient and safe for your dishes than condensation drying because it doesn’t utilize heat. It also has drawbacks, though.

Does Every Dishwasher Come with an Air-Dry Option?

Sadly, not every dishwasher offers an air-dry option. If you would rather, you may still air-dry your dishes in your dishwasher even if it does not have a built-in setting for that. This will depend on the brand and type of your appliance as well as how new it is.

To allow excess moisture to escape and your dishes to air dry, simply select an express or delicate wash cycle without a drying period. After the cycle is complete, gently crack open the dishwasher door.

Pros and Cons of Using the Air-Dry Setting

Research has indicated that the air-dry mode consumes approximately 15% less energy than a typical heat-dry setting; however, exact figures on the energy efficiency of the air-dry mode in comparison to condensation drying are not easily accessible. Due to the absence of heat, which over time might cause your dishwasher to break down, the air-dry setting is also supposed to be kinder to both your dishes and your dishwasher.

There are certain disadvantages to air-drying your dishes, though. If you need your clean dishes to be ready for supper, you might want to use your regular drying cycle instead of the air-dry setting, which can cause your dishes to take longer to dry. In addition, you could notice that the dishes have more water stains or come out a little wetter than when you use a heat-dry or condensation-dry mode.

(Note: Regardless of the drying setting you choose, it is quite common for concave objects and plastic plates to hold onto some water and moisture after drying!) Finally, it’s a bit of a letdown that not all dishwashers have this setting.

Is It Better To Use Air-Dry Setting On Your Dishwasher

Even if your dishwasher has an air-dry option, you might need to manually program it every time you use it, which can be annoying or cause you to forget to do it altogether. Whether the air-dry setting works better for you or not is ultimately a matter of personal preference. Dishwashers of today are significantly more energy-efficient than those of the past, making it harder to tell which settings are for air drying as opposed to regular drying.

Even when compared to condensation drying, it is still the most environmentally and energy-efficient choice, but some people could find it more cumbersome and not worth the trouble for the meager amount of energy it might save.

But if you want to reduce the amount of energy you use in your home and don’t mind waiting a little while longer for your dishes to dry, turning on the air-dry setting is a simple, one-button solution to reduce the environmental impact of your living space.

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