So, you’re excited about remodeling and updating your kitchen. Congratulations! Using one of the top kitchen remodeling contractors to complete a kitchen remodel can be one of the most gratifying investments in your home. At the same time, it offers potential energy savings that can really add up over time. Finally, a kitchen remodel is one of the top-rated home improvement projects for ‘return on investment’ (ROI). That is, a large portion of the cost can often be recovered at a later time when the house is sold.
New appliances are often a part of the effort to update a kitchen. The good news is that major gains in energy efficiency are now possible with contemporary kitchen appliances.
The first and most obvious place to look for savings is the refrigerator. This is one appliance that operates 24/7. Both energy waste and efficiency quickly multiply.
At the federal government’s Energy Star website, one can quickly estimate annual energy savings generated by the replacement or removal of a refrigerator and/or freezer. Estimates are even more accurate if you take a moment to check the cost per kilowatt hour that your local utility charges for electricity. This figure is easily found on your monthly utility bill.
The potential savings can be persuasive. For example, the replacement of a twenty year-old, 22 cu ft refrigerator/freezer with an new Energy Star-rated replacement can save over $500 over five years. That’s based on a national average cost of $0.11 per kilowatt hour for electricity.
The Edison Energy Institute (EEI) advises improving your savings over time by vacuuming the compressor coils every three months or so. Avoid storing open liquids in the refrigerator. Let heated foods cool off before refrigerating them.
Maintain a temperature of 37-40 degrees F in the refrigerator and 5 degrees F in the freezer. Don’t overfill the refrigerator to the point that air cannot properly circulate.
Although cooking with a stove or oven is an infrequent activity, energy use adds up because cooking is much more energy-intensive than cooling. Annually, such an appliance can require a third to a half of the energy required by the refrigerator. Today, cooking by convection, induction, or light energy can inject new levels of energy efficiency into the kitchen.
In a convection oven, a fan circulates hot air to speed cooking time by about a third. Induction cooking utilizes magnetic friction to transmit heat through a stove’s coils to the pots and pans. The stove’s ceramic surface stays cool while the food gets hot. Cooking via induction is very energy efficient. Finally, light energy ovens combine microwave technology with tungsten/halogen lamps to offer energy savings as high as 66-75 percent, according to the EEI. The introduction of the right cooking technology into your new kitchen can save hundreds of dollars over a five-year period.
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At B & R Construction, we specialize in doing kitchen remodels with integrity, creativity, and an eye toward long-term value. For personalized and expert assistance, please contact us.