Consumer Reports: Replacing your dishwasher: Tips to trust

Would you like to get back 9 days per year and save more than $400? Then you might want to consider a dishwasher over hand-washing your dishes. The best ones can help you save energy along the way. Consumer Reports has been testing dishwashers for many years and they combine lab test results, predicted reliability and owner satisfaction into one overall score.

Before you start shopping for a dishwasher remember to measure your space. While conventional dishwashers do have some height adjustability they're designed for spaces 24 inches wide by 24 inches deep.

If you've changed your flooring after you've installed your cabinets that could affect the space that your dishwasher could fit into. New countertops can also affect that space.

Another factor to consider is cycle times because dishwashers can run from 90 up to 200 minutes and this could take about three hours for a cycle to finish.

The recommended Bosch Ascenta may fit the bill. It offers one of the shorter cycle times at 95 minutes. Plus, it earns excellent ratings for reliability, owner satisfaction and washing performance. It costs about $645.

CR says prices vary widely, too. The dishwashers tested cost between $380 all the way up to more than $2,000!

If a quiet dishwasher is important to you, then you'll probably have to spend more than $800 however, consider the Bosch 100 series for $550. It earned a very good for noise and washing performance. Plus, an excellent for predicted reliability and owner satisfaction.

Another tip from the pros at Consumer Reports is not to forget about the filter. Most dishwashers come with filters you'll need to remove and clean manually. You should visually check it about every week, but the need for cleaning will depend on how much food debris accumulates. While this may seem like a nuisance, models with a manual clean filters are generally quieter than models which use a food grinder.
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