Dishwashers, whatever their cost maybe, do not differ in the basic way they function. Even low-end model perform their core duty that is to wash dishes, perfectly. So buying a dishwasher is largely a question of features that you require and the ones you don’t. A model’s size, its durability and convenience are the factors which make it stand apart from others.
Dishwashers come in all sizes. The smallest models are the ones which can be placed in one half of a double-kitchen sink. There water consumption is far lower and complete a wash cycle in more or less 20 minutes. They may be used as countertop by placing a cover upon them, when you are not using them.
Though standard size is 24 inches but apartment-sized 18 inch models are available as well. A large family may even find a 30 inch model useful. Commercial models are the ones which are even bigger than that.
If you have a small kitchen where there is not enough space for a full size dishwasher, you may find the Dish Drawer useful. These models also use less water and consume far less energy than their bigger cousins. There are double drawer models available as well; they function independently of each other.
Racks and Basins
Models in lower-end range are fitted with plastic basins, while some mid and all high-end expensive units come with stainless steel basins. In lower-end units, food particles settle into dishwasher filter, they must be removed on a regular bases or the filter will get clogged. Expensive models come with self-cleaning filters, so you won’t have to do it manually. Some even come with small grinders which grind large pieces of food and drain them with the water.
There are large numbers of options for dish racks. The expensive the dishwasher, the more flexibility and adjustability it will boast, with folding or collapsible racks, you may also choose removable racks if you want to load dishes outside the unit.
The main extra features which increase the cost of a unit are its controls and cycle types. The low-priced dishwashers come fitted with mechanical controls which use a timer and dial to regulate different cycles. Though push-button controls and computerized timer are expensive but they are no help in dishwashing. Some high-end models offer a plethora of different cycles but three basic cycles are more than enough to cover the dishwashing needs of a common household i.e., light, normal and pots and pans.
Expensive models are stylish; their fronts are usually designed to give the look of kitchen cabinets. If your kitchen is located close to living room, then the noise can be a real problem. In one way high-priced dishwashers are worth their cost as they come with noise suppression function. These models are heavily insulated against noise. But there is one thing which should be kept in mind that the units which have grinders to grind big chunks of food are louder than the other ones.
Water and Energy Consumption
The last thing to consider when buying a dishwasher is its water consumption and energy cost. There is a chart in the U.S governments Energy Star guidelines; it provides comprehensive information on annual energy usage of different models. If you are concerned about your utility bills, this chart will be enormously helpful to you in finding the best model according to your needs and budget.