Must-Have Updates for an Energy-Efficient and Eco-Friendly Kitchen
Do you want to join the ‘green’ movement and become more energy-savvy and eco-friendly? One of the best places to start is the kitchen. Even though it usually takes up only a small portion of the total square footage of your home, your kitchen wastes a lot of energy and resources! However, having an energy-efficient kitchen that conserves electricity and water is right within your arm’s reach with these easy and practical updates.
The bathroom and the kitchen have the highest water usage in the whole household. Luckily, there are a few easy fixes you can do in order to reduce water consumption and waste. Start with your dishwasher. If you have an old model, the chances you’re wasting a lot of water are huge! Search online for newer models that work more efficiently and make your dishes sparkly clean with only a fraction of water your old washer used. You can also replace your old taps with low-flow ones that reduce the water flow and prevent too much clean water from being wasted.
Improve your insulation
Unless you’re willing to freeze while making your meals, you must heat your kitchen to boost comfort and usability. However, if your kitchen isn’t properly insulated, you might be throwing a lot of that precious heat right through the window! A lot of heat in the kitchen often gets lost with insufficient floor insulation—about 15% of all heat loss in the household, so pay attention to this neglected part of the kitchen. If you’re undertaking a total kitchen renovation, you might also benefit from putting up internal wall insulation to keep your kitchen nice and toasty and your energy bill low.
Make the right choice
Creating an efficient kitchen often involves many choices and making the right one could be a difference between energy saving and energy waste. For instance, do you know which stove is better, an electric one or a gas one? Electric ones might be a bit more practical, but they use a lot of electricity. Gas stoves, on the other hand, involve handling an open flame, but they heat up instantly and provide a great cooking experience (most chefs swear on gas stoves). So, feel free to ditch electricity in favor of gas! However, make sure to hire professionals to check your gas connection and ensure you’re choosing the right provider that will meet your budget and eco-friendly requirements.
Invest in energy-efficient appliances
One of the biggest energy hogs in an average household is definitely the fridge. Refrigerators consume so much energy that some older models account for almost 20% of the electricity bill! So, if you wish to reduce your bills, replace your old fridge with a newer energy-efficient model. It will pay itself off in a few years by minimizing your energy bill, plus it will look so much better in your kitchen! There are also Energy Star labeled microwaves, dishwashers, coffee machines and other gadgets that will save up some energy and make your life more comfortable.
Replace your traditional bulbs
Kitchens need plenty of good lighting, especially when you’re wielding knives, peelers and graters. However, traditional light bulbs and lighting fixtures can be quite inefficient when it comes to energy consumption. But, if you replace them with Energy Star fixtures and put in LED or CFL bulbs, you’ll get a good lighting setup for your kitchen and use almost 75% less energy and create 70% less heat. Also, these bulbs and fixtures have a much longer lifespan, which means fewer investments and less pollution during the manufacturing process.
Boost natural light
Sure, energy-efficient lighting is great, but there’s nothing more efficient and eco-friendly than the sun! So, make sure to design your kitchen in a way that will let the most light inside and give it big windows. And if you’re worried about losing energy, you can invest in Energy Star windows that are double glazed and well sealed. They provide you with natural light without all the heat loss in the winter and cooling issues in the summer.
Creating an energy-efficient kitchen isn’t as hard and intimidating as it might sound. Good appliance choices, careful water handling and a few well-made decisions are often all you need to lower your energy bills and become more eco-friendly and sustainable. Both your wallet and our planet will be grateful!
By Derek Lotts