Tips for Choosing Eco-Friendly Appliances for Your Kitchen Remodel

Ron Nanberg | Mon, Aug 18, 2014 | choosing appliances

Eco-Freindly Kitchen AppliancesThe first step in selecting your kitchen appliances is understanding what your cooking and cleaning needs really are and how they work with the dimensions and layout of your kitchen. Once you've got those basics down, you can focus on the more nuanced aspects of appliance selection: choosing eco-friendly kitchen appliances for your kitchen renovation.

In most cases, these models will cost a bit extra but you will regain that cost back - and then some - in energy and water savings.

Choosing Eco-Friendly Kitchen Appliances for Your Chicago North Shore Remodel

Look for the Energy Star Label. Rule Number One when doing anything related to home remodeling and energy efficiency is to look for the Energy Star symbol. These appliances exceed the current energy efficiency guidelines.

Focus on the Fridge. In the average American home, the HVAC system is the biggest energy drain. The second culprit? The refrigerator. It takes a lot of energy to keep your grocery items frozen and chilled 365 days a year without fail. In fact, it can require as much as 15% of your home's total energy consumption. For that reason, choose your refrigerator wisely.

  • Size: Do you really need the biggest model? Bigger isn't always better, and in an era where fresh and sustainable foods are the focus, things shouldn't sit around in the fridge for weeks on end anyway. Consider choosing a smaller version of your favorite model and enjoy greater energy savings.

  • Compare configuration efficiency. Your refrigerator's configuration makes a major difference in space efficiency, which in turn translates to better energy savings if you make the right choice. The best overall configuration is a top freezer model (80% usable space), followed by bottom freezers (57%) and last are side-by-side-models (63%). We should point out here that side-by-side refrigerators use as much as 20% more electricity than other models.

Cooktops and Ovens. Electric or gas - that is the question. Here's our feedback:

Electric: If you have a renewable energy system, these are the most efficient. If you don't, the coal burned to provide electricity is causing serious pollution problems, and 70% of the energy generated by coal is lost en route to your home.

Gas: Most serious cooks will only consider gas for cooktops and natural gas is the most efficient fossil fuel source. However, you need to have a high-quality ventilation system in place to protect your indoor air quality as combustion by-products consist of some serious pollutants.

As with any appliance, smaller is more efficient so only purchase the size you really need. Convection ovens are another smart, energy-efficient option.

Dishwashers. The less water required to wash, the more efficient your dishwasher will be. Dishwasher drawers are a nice option because they wash smaller loads more efficiently. Look for models with various cycle and drying options for further energy saving options. The bulk of the energy consumed here is for heat so opt for models with a heat booster.

Contact Kitchens & Baths Unlimited to begin choosing eco-friendly kitchen appliances for your Chicago kitchen remodel.

Kitchen Renovation Cost Guide