As more people embrace a greener lifestyle, renovations are moving towards making homes more energy efficient. When deciding whether to upgrade a home, the homeowner needs to consider if their investment will add value to their home, the value may come from an increase in resale value or reduced energy costs.
Energy Efficient Kitchen Appliances
The first place to start is the appliances. Older appliances use a lot of electricity in comparison to newer Energy Star-certified models. By replacing these appliances, homeowners may reduce their utility bills by 30%.
Refrigerator/Freezer – an Energy Star rated refrigerator/freezer uses 15 percent less energy than a non-rated model and uses 40 percent less energy than models sold in 2001. Models with freezers on top are more energy efficient than side-by-side models.
Dishwasher – an Energy Star-rated model is required to use 4.25 gallons of water or less per cycle. Models that were manufactured before 1994 use more than twice that amount of water per cycle.
At this time, stoves, ovens and microwave ovens are not Energy Star rated. However, that does not mean that homeowners cannot upgrade to appliances that will perform better and use less gas or electricity to operate.
Update Lighting Fixtures
Lighting accounts for approximately 15% of a homes energy costs. Since the kitchen is the most used room in many homes, it makes sense to update the lighting to more energy efficient fixtures. There are Energy Star rated lighting fixtures available that use 75% less energy, produce 75% less heat and can last almost 10 times longer than older lighting fixtures.
It may not be necessary to replace every lighting fixture, they can be made more energy efficient by replacing their bulbs with LED bulbs, These bulbs use less energy and last longer than traditional bulbs.
Take Advantage of Natural Light
Energy costs related to lighting can also be reduced by taking advantage of natural light. Adding skylights, bigger windows or updating patio doors to French doors can allow more light into the kitchen.
While the cost to incorporate energy saving features, and upgrading to more energy efficient appliances will have a high upfront cost, homeowners will quickly experience a return on their investment with savings on their energy bills.
Have questions about remodeling your kitchen? Contact us.