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Choosing an eco-friendly dishwasher

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The right dishwasher adds value and efficiency to your kitchen while removing grunt work and noise. Thanks to new federal energy standards, many modern dishwashers incorporate resource-saving features that can help you to conserve water and energy, therefore saving money on your utility bill. Some products are equipped with soil-sensing systems that can automatically adjust the amount of water used based on how dirty your dishes are. Look for products that are certified by Energy Star, a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy that's designed to identify and promote the industry's most energy-efficient appliances.

According to Consumer Reports, top brands include Bosch, Fisher & Paykel, Frigidaire, GE, Kenmore, KitchenAid, Maytag, Miele and Whirlpool. Prices typically start around $500, with extras like adjustable loading racks (that more easily accommodate large or oddly shaped items) and stainless steel rather than plastic tubs increasing cost.

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