NJ Energy Star Appliance Rebates Ending May 31, 2011

Energy Star Appliances

In cooperation with the federal government, who has allocated federal stimulus funds through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to the states, New Jersey has instituted a program offering mail-in and instant rebates for home owners purchasing new kitchen and laundry appliances.

Upon passing of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the federal government allocated federal funding to be used as an incentive to drive sales or energy star appliances. It was decided that these funds would be allocated to the states who would handle the specific manner in which these programs would function. In our home state of New Jersey, the New Jersey Clean Energy Program is has implemented a rebate program that encourages the purchase of energy efficient clothes washers, dishwashers, and refrigerators.

Rebates are handled in a number of manners. For instance, larger appliances stores like Karl’s Appliance have partnered with the NJCEP to make most of the rebates applied instantly reducing the price of the energy star rated appliance at the cash register. Other smaller retailers, offer the same rebate amounts however they necessitate that the customer mail-in a form and wait for a check to be mailed to their home.

Unfortunately, the program can be difficult to decipher. Even within particular categories of appliances there are different rebate amounts that models can qualify. To further confuse the issue, some clothes washing machines qualify for instant rebates while others qualify for mail in rebates – even at stores that normally apply these instantly.

Clothes washer rebates are based on the energy consumption and water usage. If a washing machine is energy star rated and qualifies for a rebate, the amount will be either $35 instant or $50 mail in at Karl’s. Many machines qualify including front load washers and top load washers.

Dishwashers also qualify for rebates based on energy consumption as well as water usage. Tier 1 qualifying models get a $25 instant rebate and more efficient models qualify for a $50 instant rebate.

Refrigeration units have two levels similar to dishwashers. Models either qualify for a $75 or $100 instant rebate based on energy consumption.

The state has decided to put an end to all instant Energy Star rebates starting May 31, 2011. This includes all rebates related to refrigerators and dishwashers. The $50 mail in rebate on washers that meet the Tier III Energy Star will continue through the end of the year.

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Dishwashers Buying Guide – How to Choose the Right Dishwasher for Your Kitchen

Stainless Steel Dishwasher

One thing is for certain when it comes to buying new appliance – there is more choices, perhaps too many, then ever before. Competition has been growing fiercely in the home appliance industry as both European and Asian manufacturers are bringing their products to the United States. This is especially true when it comes to the built in kitchen dishwasher. This article will try and make selecting a new built in dishwasher simple and easy.

1. Determine your size

Dishwashers come in two standard widths – 18″ wide and 24″ wide. The large majority of dishwashers sold in the U.S. are 24″ wide models. 18 inch wide machines are generally used where space is at a premium or a large dishwasher is not necessary. For instance, city dwellings, home wet bars, or one bedroom apartments are places you will often see an 18 inch side dishwasher. Dacor has recently introduced a 30 inch wide dishwasher available in both stainless steel as well as custom panel ready. However, since they are the only manufacturer for the sake of this article I will not label this as a standard size.

2. Determine your preferred door style

Full Console: The days of all dishwashers looking the same are over. Traditionally, dishwashers all had what I will call a Full Console and these are still available. Full console dishwashers are still popular especially in lower priced models. This type has the control panel at the top of the dishwasher door – usually about 4 inches high. Since a picture is worth a thousand words here is a link to a popular full console dishwashera

Fully integrated: perhaps the most popular style in recent years due to their sleek, clean look – these dishwashers have the controls on the top leaving only a solid door and handle. Cycle options are selected and then the user closes the door which activates the dishwasher to start the cycle selected. Since many new dishwashers are so quiet you literally can not tell they are on, some fully integrated add a small display on the front or a light that is aimed on the floor as visual indicators of cleaning status.

Semi or Partially Integrated: It was mentioned at the beginning of this article that there are more and more choices and the semi or partially integrated dishwasher is one of the newest types to come to market. These are a sort of cross between full console and fully integrated dishwashers having the controls on the top while at the same time having a display or panel in the front.

Custom wood panel ready: These are dishwashers that are designed to accept a custom wood panel to match the kitchen cabinetry and are available in both full console and fully integrated styles with the later dominating the market. Matching appliance handles or cabinet hardware may be used as a means to open the unit. This is a popular choice during kitchen remodels as it allows the designer to “hide” or blend in the dishwasher focusing guests attention to the homes décor.

Dishwasher Drawers or the DishDrawer: The DishDrawer was original designed and manufactured by Fisher Paykel Dishwasher, an appliance manufacturer from New Zealand who holds dominant market share in its home country as well as Australia. These are available in double drawer and single drawer configurations. More recently, dishwasher drawers have been introduced from DCS, Jenn-Air, Kitchen Aid, and Maytag. These are an excellent choice for those who would benefit from running smaller loads more often as the drawers can operate independently.

Other Types:

Portable dishwashers

These are on wheels and are not required to be built in having finished sides. Often used when the cost of modifying cabinetry is not in the budget or when space does not allow a permanent dishwasher. Portable dishwashers may be left freestanding or could be kept in a closet, rolled out, and hooked up to a kitchen faucet and sink as needed.

Conclusion:

While we did not cover the specific features of dishwashers, using this guide to narrow down you selection will save you a great deal of time when beginning the selection process. Remember that nearly any dishwasher you choose will be quieter, more efficient, and offer improved cleaning when compared to your current machine.

Steam Dishwasher Features and Benefits

Steam Dishwasher

Most people by now have heard of using steam in their washers and dryers, but did you know they also make dishwashers that utilize steam? Steam dishwashers are designed to provide a deep cleaning without pre rinsing, sanitize dishes, and also gently clean fine china. This article will explain how and why steam dishwashers work.

Steam dishwashers work by using highly pressurized, high temperature steam to break the bond of hardened food on your dishes, glasses, and silverware. Steam is able to clean so effectively mainly because it can get so hot. When water reaches 212 f it turns to steam. The steam can continue to heat up beyond that point which is why it is so effective at sanitizing things. When water turns to steam, it also expands and covers a lot more space. This allows a tiny bit of water to produce enough steam to clean your dishes even better than a traditional dishwasher. Steam also eliminates the need to use harsh or harmful chemicals on your dishes. Because only water is needed to produce steam, you save money on energy and detergent cost.

Traditional dishwashers often require you to rinse or scrub your dishes before putting them in the dishwasher to make sure they get clean. This time and effort really takes the convenience out of owning a dishwasher. With steam, no pre rinse is necessary. The steam can break down even the toughest baked on food. When steam is generated, it is absorbed by the food which essentially rehydrates it and allows to be easily rinsed off. The high temperature of the steam also kills the bacteria and sanitizes your dishes. Steam is also perfect for your fine china and crystal. As opposed to a traditional dishwasher, no heavy, direct sprays are needed and the steam gently cleans delicate items.

There are a few different steam variations to look for when purchasing a new steam dishwasher. Be sure to look at whether the model you are interested in uses a dedicated steam generation unit or whether it heats water in the tub to produce steam. The dedicated steam can release steam at the right point during various cycles, while steam heated from water generally is used for pre wash or finishing cycles. Another thing to look for is which cycles have the ability to use steam. Some can incorporate steam into various wash cycles, while some dishwashers only use a steam pre wash.

While steam technology in dishwashers is still in its infancy, the benefits are clear. You can save time, money, and energy by using steam in dishwashers.

Dishwasher Care and Cleaning Guide

Dishwasher in NJ

First, never use harsh chemicals, sharp objects, or abrasive pads to clean the outside of your dishwasher. Using these can cause damage, scratching, or permanent discoloration that will not be covered under a manufacturer warranty.

For cleaning control panels, use only a mild detergent and damp cloth and dry quickly and thoroughly.

To clean black, white, or bisque colored dishwasher doors use a high quality home appliance polish wax. Theses waxes are specially formulated for use on kitchen appliances and will clean and give a beautiful shine to the finish as well as leave a protective coating that will help guard against future smudges.

For cleaning stainless steel doors, purchase a high quality stainless steel cleaner. These are designed to polish and protect stainless steel surfaces and remove fingerprints, food stains, and water marks. You will also find that they can leave a beautiful shine and protective finish. Regular use of these cleaners maintains the appearance and makes future cleaning simple. Always use a soft and clean cloth with any cleaner unless otherwise instructed by the manufacturer’s instructions.

Interior of the Dishwasher:

Clean the interior or your dishwasher, as necessary, with a paste of powdered dishwasher detergent and water or straight liquid dishwasher on a damp sponge. Always wait to the dishwasher has cooled down to room temperature prior interior cleaning.

For white spots or films from hard water, use white vinegar. Note to use vinegar sparingly as vinegar is an acid and using it too often could cause damage to the dishwasher. Put 2 cups or 500 mL of white vinegar in a glass or dishwasher safe measuring cup on the bottom rack. Run the dishwasher through a full wash cycle without using any detergent and make sure to choose the air-dry only (note that this be referred to as something else but it is important to turn off heated dry). The vinegar will mix with the water and help to break down any of these residues that may be on the walls of the dishwasher interior. Upon cooling, follow up with the dishwasher detergent cleaning method described above.

Cleaning of Air Gaps

An air gap assists with the draining of the water at the end of a wash cycle. Not all installations require this so your home may or may not have one. If you do have one, periodically check to make sure this is clean and allows unobstructed air-flow especially if you feel your machine is having difficulty draining properly.

Long Term Storage

If you will not be using your dishwasher for extended periods of time you should follow these procedures:

During Warm Weather Months – during warmer months when there is no risk of freezing temperatures it is advised that you turn off the water and power supply to the dishwasher.

During Cold Weather Months – in times when freezing temperatures are a possibility, it is suggested that you avoid potential water damage by having your dishwasher winterized by authorized service personnel.