By: Rivky Blumenfeld, Lubicom Staff
Imagine this: It’s bill season, the dreaded electricity bill appears right after the heat of the summer when you’ve been blasting your air-conditioner non-stop in every room for the past four months. (Not to mention all the lights that have been left on all day notoriously.)
However, as high as the bills are, at least they were somewhat expected.
What usually takes me by surprise is all the other appliances in my house that are eating away at my savings. For years, I never thought that using an appliance during the day is more expensive than using it at night. Then I discovered a simple money-saving solution and my bills went down like crazy.
There is one insidious appliance that ends up costing us more when we use it during the day. I call it the secret energy muncher, AKA “your dishwasher.”
I have found the perfect solution: Run your dishwasher at night.
Now, before you ask the how’s and why’s, let me explain the reason behind this hack.
During “peak” hours, 8 a.m. to midnight, according to Con Edison (but check with your energy company), utility companies charge more than during off-peak hours. That being said, by running your dishwasher during off-peak hours, you will be saving quite a large sum of money over time. So, instead of piling all the dirty dishes into the dishwasher after dinner and turning it on immediately, wait until off-peak hours to use it, and you will be able to enjoy the savings later.
In addition, while you are using your dishwasher, humidity circulates in the kitchen. If you’re anything like me, this means your air conditioner will be blasting extra strong to make up for the extra humidity that your dishwasher is giving off. Consider that your bill doubled right there.
While every region and city varies, the general rule is that the cheapest time to use your dishwasher is at night, when the grid is less crowded. At night, people begin to turn off lights (every family has that self-designated member who goes around shutting off all the lights half asleep). Elderly people are sleeping after a couple of Jeopardy reruns, and hopefully, the kiddos have put away their newest technology and are fast asleep too. This leaves the smart women (or men!) to finally turn the dishwasher on and enjoy the peace of mind knowing that they are saving money.
An added bonus of running your dishwasher during the evening or early morning hours is the maintenance of your home’s noise levels. Some people have modern dishwashers, but more often than not dishwashers are at least a few years old, and boy do they sound like it!
The swishing and shaking and rumbling and tumbling can really disrupt daytime activities. In some homes, the kitchen is the central chill spot where the family casually hangs out (especially if something yummy is cooking), and the loud noises of the dishwasher can really disrupt conversation. You may have to raise your voice, or maybe the clanging gives you a slight migraine after a long day, but either way, the dishwasher can really ruin the relaxed atmosphere.
By using it during the family’s “off-peak” hours, like after the kids go to sleep or before they wake up, you don’t have to worry about missing something they said. Nor do you have to raise your voice to be heard. Some even find the swishing of the dishwasher relaxing, so if that’s more your style, consider turning it on for the added benefit of white noise. Maybe curl up on the couch with tea and a good book with the soothing sounds of the dishwasher as background noise. You will be glad to know that you are being productive and unwinding at the same time, and who wouldn’t love that?! And if all else fails, you can always use plastic.
It should be noted that, as always, safety is a top priority and you should only run your dishwasher and other appliances like dryers while you are home. You should also avoid running them overnight while you are asleep. This isn’t an issue for night owls who would be up anyways, but if you are someone who likes to go to sleep at an earlier time, it would be worthwhile to run the dishwasher right when you wake up in the morning, and that way you can also reap the benefits of beating the peak hours!