Remodeling your kitchen can be a very rewarding experience. You will get to design the space exactly how you want it and have full control over the process. A kitchen is like the work center of a home, and in the modern era, it’s the number one energy-draining room of the property.
Reducing energy and water use will yield a big improvement in your kitchen’s carbon footprint, something every responsible homeowner is striving towards nowadays.
Investing in an energy-efficient kitchen remodel can help you save in the long run, and now is the perfect time to consider integrating Energy Star efficient appliances into your kitchen.
Refrigerators, dishwashers, and stoves that are more than 10 years old are inefficient now, and they pollute the environment.
Why not replace old appliances with the most efficient models you can afford?
Green Living at Home
Whether you want a modern or traditional kitchen to remodel, there are many designs and strategies to match your preferences.
With a modern energy-efficient kitchen, you can finally encapsulate what “green living” really means.
Here are several kitchen appliances to consider trading in to complete your green kitchen remodel:
Refrigerators use 15% of a home’s electricity according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
Unfortunately, older refrigerators tend to release CFCs into the atmosphere, known to slow the ozone layer’s regeneration.
It is essential that you replace them with a modern appliance. The most efficient refrigerators of today use 47% less electricity than models made in 1993.
Dishwashers can use up to 80% of their total electricity just to heat the water.
Today’s more efficient models, however, use less than half the water and one-quarter the electricity compared to a 10-year-old model.
For additional water savings, fix any pipe leaks and install flow restrictors on older faucets.
Stove In Your Kitchen Remodel
Gas is cheaper than electricity. This may sound like the best option, but gas emits nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and other harmful compounds directly into your kitchen.
This usually requires more energy use for ventilation.
Installing an energy-efficient exhaust hood above the stove which vents outside will increase fresh air while eliminating fumes.
Electric stoves do not directly pollute your kitchen, but their electricity usage creates more total global pollution.
The latest electric cooktops are more energy efficient than ever. Induction elements transfer electromagnetic energy to cook with. This leaves the stove top cool but only allows you to cook with ferrous pots.
That means you can’t cook using glass, aluminum, or other non-magnetic types of pots or pans.
The bad news is induction elements are still new and tend to carry a high price.
Even though induction elements are 50% more efficient than normal coil element stoves, gas stoves will still cost about half as much to operate.
Lighting accounts for 5 – 10% of total electricity use in the U.S.A. today.
Allocate workspaces near windows or install a skylight so you can benefit from a strategy known as daylighting.
If you need extra light, use individually controlled lights so you won’t waste electricity lighting up unused spaces.
Fluorescent and other forms of energy-saving lights can save enough electricity to pay for themselves.
Despite regulations, lead is still found in drinking water.
Lead affects children most severely, delaying physical or mental development.
It can cause kidney problems or high blood pressure in adults.
If you need to replace plumbing during your kitchen remodel, use only lead-free materials and lead-free solder.
Copper, PVC, CPVC, PEX, and other plastics are commonly used materials and should meet NSF/ANSI Standard 61.
According to Brighton University, copper is environmentally preferred because plastics are very difficult to recycle, are petroleum-derived, and require roughly the same amount of energy to produce copper.
Recycled Green Kitchen
Your new home remodeling project will generate large amounts of waste material.
Reusing the kitchen’s existing material in your remodel will stop useful materials from ending up in a landfill.
You may also be able to find materials such as floor tiles, decorative fixtures, and stone remnants at your local salvage yard.
Make sure to properly recycle old appliances, because selling them will only continue their abusive energy spree.
Change Your Lifestyle With a Green Kitchen Remodel
Going green ideally means making choices based on your lifestyle, budget, and environment.
Some products may be more energy efficient and outlast another product which costs less but performs equally well.
If the products you want aren’t always available, visit showrooms and green home expos. There is an ever-expanding market of green energy products coming out which helps lower costs.
Energy Star Rated Products Guarantee Quality
Using an Energy Star rated product will reduce energy consumption and save you on utility costs.
This you can rely on as Energy Star appliances are tested to be the most energy efficient in any product category.
If you’re lucky enough to be living in the right region, some states and utility companies will offer rebates for purchasing Energy Star products.
So when you’re planning a kitchen remodeling, why not go green?…