Buying a new dishwasher may save you water and money

SAN ANTONIO – You know the old saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” You might feel that way about your old dishwasher; if it still works, why get a new one? But the experts at Consumer Reports have reasons why a new dishwasher might be better: It could save you water and money.

If your dishwasher is more than eight years old, a new one might use 15 percent less electricity and 20 percent less water, making it cost less to run. And new ones are more effective when it comes to tackling dirty dishes, because many come equipped with soil sensors.

Soil sensors work by automatically adjusting the wash cycle depending on how much grime is detected on dishes.

CR says with soil sensors, you’ll need to resist the urge to prerinse your dishes. Instead, just scrape off the large bits of food into the garbage.

Prerinsing tricks the dishwasher into thinking your dishes are cleaner than they are, and that could cut the cycle short, leaving your dishes not so clean.

Manufacturers have also addressed another consumer gripe: wet dishes. They’ve come up with a bunch of ways to get them drier. One fix is to have the door automatically open to release steam and speed up evaporation.

If you’re convinced, consider a CR Best Buy. The Bosch Ascenta SHE3AR72UC, which costs about $500, offers excellent cleaning performance and energy use. Plus, it gets a score of Very Good for drying.

Some of the latest dishwashers have a wireless connection. So you can find out via an app whether your dishwasher has a leak, needs more rinse aid, or has some other problem. Another perk: If your electric and gas service provider offers time-of-day pricing, some connected dishwashers can track the best time to run a load based on the cost of energy use in your area.