Energy Efficient Appliances Will Save You Money
This month we’ll take a look at energy efficient appliances and how smart selections can help you save money and reduce your carbon footprint. If you haven’t shopped appliances in a few years, you are in for a treat. The new technology and stunning designs can really enhance your kitchen. Here at Masters Touch, we believe in designing and building happy and healthy living spaces while incorporating sustainable products and methods whenever possible. Here at Masters Touch, we believe in designing and building happy and healthy living spaces while incorporating sustainable products and methods whenever possible. Energy efficient appliances help us achieve this goal for our customers while incorporating innovative ease-of-use technology and money savings.
Energy-efficient appliances are the way of the future. People are finally starting to realize that there are more fun things to spend money on besides outrageously high utility bills. If you are planning a kitchen remodel, chances are you are looking to improve your kitchen in more ways than one. Whether you are looking to increase cabinet storage solutions, attain an open concept space, or improve aesthetics, one thing is for certain: your kitchen needs appliances. Remodeling a kitchen typically leads to new appliances anyway, so why not replace them with high efficiency appliances that may cost you a little more up front, but are going to save energy and (perhaps more importantly) save you money in the long run. Here are a few of the best and easiest ways to up the efficiency in your newly remodeled kitchen.
Refrigerators are the most important of the kitchen appliances, but also one of the biggest energy users. Think about it—they are running 365 days a year. One of the simplest ways to lessen your kitchen energy use is to look for appliances that have the Energy Star label, which means that it adheres to the national government standards put in place by this third party certifier. Look for models without water and ice makers/dispensers; they are also going to be more energy efficient than their “fully loaded” counterparts.After finding a fridge that is Energy Star rated, the next step is to consider the size. If you buy a fridge that is too small and stuff it to the gills, the fridge will not operate properly and will likely use more energy than it typically would. Buy a fridge that is too large, and of course that too will be inefficient as it will be cooling space that does not need to be cooled.Finally, make every effort to keep heat away from the fridge. Make sure it is not placed next to the cook top or range. If there is a fireplace in the kitchen, locate your fridge far from the heat source. Even putting hot foods directly into a cold fridge can affect the efficiency of the fridge, so by just considering these few factors can improve overall fridge energy use.The Energy Star website (https://www.energystar.gov/) can show you the most efficient products available. Here is an example of a great Energy Star rated fridge from LG (http://www.lg.com/us/refrigerators/lg-LFC21776ST-french-3-door-refrigerator) with an estimated annual operating cost of only $46, versus nearly $110 for older or non-Energy Star models. It’s basically a no brainer!
Cooktops are one of the only appliances that you can specify the fuel source. If you have an opportunity to pick or change fuel sources, go with an induction cook top. Induction cooktops use magnetism and special cookware that produces heat directly into the pan, rather than across the whole burner. Heat loss is negligible when using this process. On top of that, the heat is transferred directly to the pot or pan, so the surface is not hot to the touch, making it a safer choice for families. This GE model is an excellent option. http://products.geappliances.com/ApplProducts/Dispatcher?REQUEST=SpecPage&Sku=PHP900SMSS
Dishwashers are another appliance that should be Energy-Star rated. Purchasing an Energy Star dishwasher not only saves you money on operating costs and utility bills, but they also can save tons of water. Literally tons over the course of its lifetime. According to the Energy Star website, a ten year old dishwasher wastes more than 10 gallons of water per cycle. A new dishwasher can save about 1300 gallons in its lifetime. Now some people may say, “I wash my dishes by hand, so I save water compared to a big, clunky dishwasher.” WRONG! Check out this diagram from www.energystar.gov.As stated on the Energy Star website, “If you still wash your dishes by hand, you’re wasting more than just time.” The water savings not only help your water bill bottom line, but also helps protect our lakes and oceans. What a simple way to “do your part” to help our world be a happier, healthier place.Tip: Whether you have an energy efficient dishwasher or not, make sure you always run a full load to ensure no water is wasted! Look for a dishwasher with a third rack to make use of space that is otherwise unused, thus lessening the amount of loads needed.
Microwaves, Ovens, and Ranges:
At this time, there are not Energy Star ratings for these kitchen appliances. However, some things to consider when selecting models:
- Choose the smallest size that will still suit your needs
- If you are contemplating between doing one large oven or 2 smaller double ovens, go with the two smaller ovens. That way, you will not be heating up the large oven to cook a small meal. The option to use a smaller oven will reduce your energy use.
- Look for models that have a convection feature which can reduce cooking time and reduce energy usage by about one fifth.
- According to Michelle Jeresek, a writer on Houzz, look for an oven with a self- cleaning feature. She says, “these models are better insulated, which boosts energy efficiency by maintaining oven temperatures.”
- Don’t forget that the microwave can be your energy-saving friend. They use much less energy than any other heat-producing appliance.
So as you start to consider your next kitchen remodel, think about integrating high performance appliances to save money, energy, and even the earth’s precious resources. When you think about it, what’s there to lose? The answer? Only your high monthly utility bills!
The Masters Touch Kitchen Design Team, located in Holliston, Massachusetts, incorporates high performance remodeling and energy efficient appliances into every project we design and build. And remember, appliances are just one component of a kitchen design. You’ll also want to invest in earth friendly, sustainable cabinetry, high performance LED lighting, and a host of other products that will make you kitchen the envy of the neighborhood and help you reduce your impact on the environment. Contact us today and we can get started on your dream kitchen filled with energy efficient appliances!