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Can You Run a Dishwasher at Night? (Does it save money?)

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What time do you usually run your dishwasher? If you’ve been running your dishwasher first thing in the morning, around lunchtime, or even around dinner, there’s a solid chance you’ve actually been doing it all wrong; that just leaves us with nighttime—but can you (and should you) run your dishwasher at night? 

Not only can you run a dishwasher at night—but it is recommended, as doing so comes with multiple benefits, such as saving you money on your monthly electric bill. 

However, there’s more to the story than that. Just like any other major appliance, you should be aware of how to operate it at night as safely as possible. Let’s dive into the different benefits and other important things to consider when it comes to running your dishwasher at night.

Does it Save Money to Run a Dishwasher at Night?

So, let’s start with the most important question: is running your dishwasher at night a surefire way to save money?

While it’s not 100% certain that running your dishwasher at night will help you save some extra cash, it’s probable. It all depends on your energy company and whether or not they charge extra for operating heavy appliances during peak hours—and most do.

Below, we’ll get into the specifics of how you can save money by using your dishwasher at night as opposed to any other time of the day. 

Learn about running a washing machine at night here.

Avoid the Electric Company’s Peak Hours

In most cases, electric companies have what is called “peak hours,” during which it costs more per kWh for you to operate major appliances like washing machines, dryers, and of course, dishwashers (the exact increase in energy cost during peak hours will vary from company to company). This is because demand for energy peaks at certain times during the day when it’s convenient for many people to use their appliances. 

The average peak hours for electric companies depend on the season due to heating and cooling systems. For summer and winter, peak hours are often at these times: 

  • Summer: 10:00 am to 8:00 pm on weekdays
  • Winter: 7:00 am to 11:00 am, and 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm on weekdays

As for weekends and public holidays, the entire day is considered to be “off-peak,” which means electricity costs are the lowest.

Therefore, on weekdays, if you run your dishwasher before 10 am and after 8 pm during the summer and between 11 am and 5 pm (or after 9 pm) during the winter, you’ll usually pay less than you would if you ran your dishwasher during these times—and you’ll pay the least on weekends/public holidays.

However, every electric company has its own peak hours depending on the energy demands and cost of living in the region you live in. So if you want to make sure you’re not paying extra to run your dishwasher, give your electric company a call or visit their website to confirm which hours they consider “peak hours” and avoid running your dishwasher during those times. 

Personally, I use this energy-efficient dishwasher to save more on electricity. Larger versions are also available for big families (Amazon paid links).

a small energy efficient dishwasher

Is it Rude to Run a Dishwasher at Night?

As mentioned above, if you want to run your dishwasher at night to save money, you’d have to run your dishwasher after 8 pm in the summer or after 9 pm in the winter. If you live in a shared space or apartment complex, you may be concerned about whether or not it’s considered rude to run the dishwasher at such late hours.

As we all know, anyone who lives in close proximity to others should make an effort to follow the basic rules of etiquette to keep unnecessary noise from affecting their neighbors. And even if your building doesn’t have “official” quiet hours, there is certainly an unspoken quiet hours rule that most people know to follow. 

Most people generally agree that making unnecessary noise, including running major appliances like dishwashers and laundry machines, after 10 pm is in poor form. This isn’t a fixed figure, but some people agree you should be at least be quiet after 11 pm. 

That said, there is a window in which you can avoid running your dishwasher during peak hours and not upset your neighbors by the noise! Most dishwasher cycles run for about 2 hours on average. If you start your cycle during the summer at 8 pm, you can manage to have finished the cycle by a reasonable time while successfully staying outside of peak hours. In the winter, it may run longer than 10 pm, so you may want to consider running it before 5 pm if you can. 

Can I Run My Dishwasher Overnight?

You should not run your dishwasher—or any major appliance—overnight while you’re asleep or absent from the home; it’s a major fire hazard to leave appliances like dishwashers unattended, especially because dishwashers contain heating elements that get wet—which is a dangerous combination.

If you have an old or broken dishwasher, it could easily start a fire if you’re not careful. If you search online, you can easily find many news articles about cases of faulty dishwashers that have caught fire and resulted in significant consequences, like this dishwasher fire incident in Llangollen. 

Therefore, if you do choose to run your dishwasher at night to save money, make sure you are both present and conscious for the length of the entire cycle to avoid a fire and keep you and your neighbors safe!

More on dishwasher safety here.

Final Thoughts

Not only can you run your dishwasher at night, if you’re smart about it and play it safe, it’s actually the best time to run your dishwasher! 

Check with your electric company to find out when your peak hours are so you can know when to start your dishwasher at night, and make sure you never leave the dishwasher on while you’re away or asleep to avoid a fire hazard. And, of course, if you live in a shared space, don’t run it too late to avoid disturbing your neighbors!

We answer more important dishwasher questions in the next article. You can check it out now to learn more.


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