Best Dishwasher with Air Dry Option for Energy Efficiency

Last Updated on March 29, 2022 by

Best Dishwasher with Air Dry Option

A dishwasher with a natural air-dry option is more efficient compared to one with a heated dry setting. That said, you need the best dishwasher with an air dry option to save energy, and, of course, running costs.

The best dishwasher with an air dry option typically features an automatic release or auto air. This function automatically opens the dishwasher door and draws the racks a few inches, allowing the room temperature to penetrate the dishwasher interior for natural dryness.

Many contemporary dishwashers arrive with the heated dry option. However, you would be saving energy when you disable or disregard the feature for automatic air drying.

You want this to eliminate having to manually open the dishwasher door for fresh air to air-dry your dishes. The only downside is that, although natural, air drying takes longer than the heated dry method.

What does air dry on a dishwasher mean?

Air dry is a cycle in some dishwashers that use pumps to push room-temperature air through the dishwasher to air-dry. Some manufacturers design the dishwasher to auto release the rack to room air.

Compared to a heated drying cycle, air dry leaves some moisture and pools of water in the bottoms of your cups or bowls.

Depending on your dishwasher, you may be able to choose between a delicate wash or express wash cycle. When delicate, the dishwasher opens the dishwasher door a few inches, allowing fresh air to clear the moisture.

Air drying takes a while to dry the dishes but far less energy compared to heated drying.

If your dishwasher also supports a heated dry cycle, it is recommended to use it sparingly. Otherwise, enable the air dry cycle to handle the dishes naturally using your room temperature air when drying your dishes.

The efficiency makes the operation easier on your machine without the force of hot air to quickly dry the dishes.

Air dry feature on Various dishwashers?

You now know that the air dry method is more efficient compared to heated dry, or even the condenser dry since it relies on room temperature. Also, have in mind that room-temperature airing takes off pressure from your dishwasher.

The air dry feature goes by different names. Samsung, for example, describes it as an AutoRelease Dry feature while Bosch refers to it as AutoAir. Many manufacturers each have a way of addressing it but the job is the same – air-dry.

Samsung’s AutoRelease Dry, for instance, is built to enhance the drying performance of your dishwasher by automatically opening the door during the last 5-15 minutes of the wash cycle.

The dishwasher door opens when the temperature falls below 122 degrees Fahrenheit, attracting fresh air to circulate within the dishwasher.

An internal fan may be activated to protect the dishwasher from moisture depending on the model.

Some manufacturers enable the air dry feature by default due to its energy and cost-efficiency. You would have the option to disable the settings for another drying method or manually air drying.

Is it OK to let dishes air dry in the dishwasher?

It is OK to let dishes air dry in the dishwasher. Think about the added efficiency it affords your small or large household.

You could manually air dishes in your dishwasher if yours has no automatic function. Just crack the door open for fresh air to circulate within it. If possible, pull the dishwasher racks a few inches out.

Air drying is typically slower. It is not your go-to solution if you need the dishes immediately. What this method brings to your apartment, RV or dorm includes the following:

  • Energy saving

Compared to a drying method like heated dry, air dry uses less energy. It relies on your room temperature, thus, adding no additional pressure to the dishwasher.

Regarding cost, air dry can reduce energy consumption by up to 15% more energy. You get to pay a reduced bill and invest the money in other significant needs.

  • Dishes protection

Air dry does not add pressure to the dishes, glassware, and other kitchen utensils. In a heated dry cycle, for instance, there is an additional period of heat that can melt or warp delicate items such as woods and plastics.

Air dry does not cause the glassware to develop a hazy film. However, you may get spots, which a good rinse aid can take care of. But then, only a faulty dish will be responsible for this.

Do all dishwashers have air dry?

Not all dishwashers have air dry. However, most contemporary dishwashers arrive with air-dry and heated dry cycle options. Some models refer to the air dry mode as an energy-saver mode.

Dishwashers each have their equipped cycles. Some portables and built-ins even have up to 8 cycles.

You may be able to adjust each cycle to accommodate the volume of dishes you wash. Let’s say you need to quickly serve with the dishes, you turn on the heated dry since air dry takes longer.

Some dishwashers use condensers dry. This method does not rely on a heating element at the bottom of a dishwasher, which saves energy. In condensation drying, a dishwasher employs several dishwashing elements to efficiently dry your dishes.

Condensation drying is also more hygienic and energy-efficient than heated dry, which relies on a heating element.

Best dishwasher with air dry option

A dishwasher may feature air drying but it does not mean it is optimally designed to meet your needs. Consider the following recommended dishwashers with air dry option:

KAPAS Portable Countertop Dishwasher, 5 Washing Programs, Built-in 3-Cups Water Tank, 3D Cyclone Spray, Fruit & Vegetable Cleaning with Basket, High Temperature, Air Drying

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KAPAS does it right in the aspect of drying your dishes efficiently. Other features packed in this reliable dishwasher with air dry option include:

Dry program

The drying time is 60 minutes. It can also store the dishes and allow fresh air into the dishwasher for 73 hours, if selected.

Space and convenience

This is a 12-inch diameter at-angle dishwasher designed to accommodate many dishes. Despite its portability, it guarantees generous space enough to handle more dishes in one load.

It uses built-in light features for convenience. Its portability makes it perfect for small apartments, dorms, RVs/campers, and boats.

Washing programs

KAPAS offers up to 6 washing programs, including strong, standard, quick, dry, eco, and fruit.

The upper and lower spray arms provide the streak-free deep cleaning you need for squeaky dishes.

User-friendly control panel

This dishwasher uses LED Digital Controls for a clearer picture-view of the control system. You also have an automatic water level indicator to know the correct level of water is reached.

Dual water filling channels

A dishwasher that supports up to 2 water filling channels, including a hose and tank. You also get a water hose and adapter in the package.


Installation type

This is a portable dishwasher convertible to built-in.

Accessories included

In the pack, you will get an inlet hose, hose adapter, drain hose, fruit basket, cutlery tray, hose collar, and a cup.


Like any dishwasher, below are its downsides:

Temperature adjustment

You cannot adjust the temperature. Nonetheless, you do not need to adjust the temperature since this dishwasher operates automatically. You simply add the tap water.

E6 error

You may get an E6 error. This could mean clogged washing arms, so they may not be spinning properly. Also, the food particles could have blocked the drainage system.

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NOVETE Store Countertop Portable Dishwasher, NOVETE Compact Dishwasher with 5-Liter Built-in Water Tank, 5 Washing Programs with Baby Care, Fruit Washing, Hot Air-dry Storage

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NOVETE is another reliable dishwasher with an air dry option. It is designed with energy-saving in mind, and this includes its air dry ability.

Below are the features to expect from this countertop:

Zero installations

This is a compact countertop, so no need for installations. It will fit perfectly in your small kitchen, RV, boat, or dorm.

It allows up to 2 water supply modes, including water tank and faucet modes. It uses a 5L built-in water tank for a wash cycle.

Reduced water consumption

Apart from energy-saving, this dishwasher also saves water consumption by 75% per wash cycle.

Dry/storage method

NOVETE supports an optimized dry mode of 72 hours of automatic intermittent ventilation designed to keep the dishes dry, prevent odor and bacteria build-up. It also features a 60-minute hot air drying option.

You can use the dry mode in any washing mode except the fruit mode.

Quality control

This is a countertop that has undergone quality tests from NOVETE. Thus, you will find a little residual water in the unit, which is normal.



You can use any recommended detergent such as Finish. Just make sure to buy a reliable detergent to enhance the air drying.


You have warranty coverage when you buy this dishwasher from a reliable distributor like Amazon.


Yes. Compact enough for RVs, dorms, etc.

Energy saving

This machine has an A grade for energy efficiency. It operates at 900 W.

Water level indicator

There is an automatic water level indicator. This allows you to correctly tell the water level being reached.


The downsides are:

No in-display water temperature

You cannot see a displayed water temperature. But It works well.

No feet

This dishwasher uses little feet. However, the feet do not come off after a long trial. The feet are little rubber circles with space in the middle.

Disabling drying option

You can disable the dry option but this interrupts the cycle.

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How does air dry work on dishwasher?

The air dry cycle on the dishwasher works by using pumps to draw room-temperature air through the machine to dry the dishes evenly.

Whereas heated dry may leave some moisture and pools of water in the bottoms of the cups or bowls after the drying cycle.

A Bosch dishwasher with AutoAir will automatically release the dishwasher door after a drying cycle, allowing fresh air in. Bosch even claims that the AutoAir feature can dry dishes 40% better and with confidence.

Some manufacturers rely on the natural power of condensation to efficiently and effectively dry dishes. You do not have to open the dishwasher door for steam to escape as your dishwasher is designed to handle the process.

This efficiency, coupled with effectiveness, is the go-to solution if you use your dishwasher overnight. It will not only air-dry but sanitize the dishes by the time you wake up in the morning.

As a repeated emphasis, air drying does not rely on a heating element. Some manufacturers, like Samsung, use a fan to force out heavy steam while some others rely on condensers.

How do I make my dishwasher dry only?

The simple solution is to set the mode to any of the drying methods – air, heated, etc. In this case, you want to air dry to save cost.

You could also manually air dry, especially if your dishwasher is heated dry. This means leaving the dishwasher door open after the final rinse cycle when the dishwasher drains.

Do the following:

  • Wait for the final rinse cycle to complete.
  • Open the dishwasher door and draw the dishwasher racks a few inches for fresh air to circulate through them.
  • Allow items to dry. This will take some time.

Your dishwasher is designed to wash dishes as the name implies but some also allow you to store your dishes for several hours.

If your dishwasher is not designed for storage, it will not have an element that protects the interior from moisture. Thus, you want the dishes out of the rack. Store them in an external rack to air dry.

Do not hesitate to get in touch with your manufacturer or refer to the owner’s manual for instructions to set it to dry only, specifically air dry, to save energy and cost.

Final thoughts on Best Dishwasher with Air Dry Option

With air dry, be rest assured that your delicate dishes – woods or plastics – will not get damaged while drying. The interior of the dishwasher is not also exposed to the heat pressure generated by the heating element to heat-dry.

Like heated dry, air dry also works against bacteria. Make sure not to use towels that harbor bacteria to wipe the dishes dry even though it is a faster method. Simply store the dishes in the rack for water to drain off.