The kitchen is the most popular room in the house to renovate according to the National Association of Home Builders. Now that spring is knocking on the door, many homeowners are eager to get started on a kitchen makeover on their own. With a significant number of Americans becoming increasingly concerned about their impact on the environment, aiming to make a home more eco-friendly during renovations is fast becoming a top priority.
One way to ensure that your kitchen is as kind to the environment as possible is by installing eco-friendly appliances. Here are a few things to consider when shopping for a new fridge, dishwasher or washing machine, and cooktop and oven.
Refrigerators can drain a Lot of Energy
In the typical American home, the refrigerator is the second-largest energy drain after only the HVAC system. When replacing your fridge during a renovation there are a number of things to carefully consider. Although a huge, top-of-the-range model might look nice in your kitchen, a lot of energy will be wasted on cooling the entire unit when your perishables only take up a small amount of space.
Similarly, a too-small fridge that is permanently over full will use an excess of energy in an attempt to keep everything cool. Look for a fridge that not only fits in with your vision for your kitchen as far as aesthetics are concerned but is also of the right size. You can help ensure that your refrigerator is as energy-efficient as possible by designing your kitchen in such a way that it is not placed near any heat source such as an oven or cooker top.
Washers must be Water and Energy Efficient
The amount of water appliances such as dishwashers and washing machines use has a huge impact on their green rating. When looking for a new washing machine, keep in mind that the average front-loader uses approximately 13 gallons of water per load of washing as opposed to the 30 gallons used by a top-loader.
If you seek out a high-efficiency model with an Energy Star label you can, however, expect to save considerably on both water and power. While modern-day dishwashers use about half of the water that their counterparts of two decades ago did, it is still important to do some research to find the most eco-friendly option you possibly can. Once again look out for the Energy Star sticker as these models are generally more than 10% more energy efficient than others.
Choose to Cook with Care
When picking a new cooktop and oven, your biggest consideration will be whether to use electricity or gas. While electrical appliances can be energy-efficient when a renewable system such as solar panels is used, natural gas remains one of the cleanest sources of fossil fuel and is also relatively cheap. If you install any gas appliances, remember that good ventilation is an absolute must. Induction cooktops also remain a popular choice among green-minded homeowners.
Where gas and electric cooktops are known to heat the air under the pot or pan, an induction cooktop transfers the heat directly through the pot via magnetism. Very little heat (and energy) is wasted as the heat is generated extremely fast and offers infinite adjustments.
A kitchen makeover is a dream come true for countless homeowners. With a bit of forethought and effort, you can renovate your kitchen in such a way that it is more eco-friendly too.