Build in Future Savings with Your Kitchen Remodel
For many of us, kitchens represent a major hub of activity in our homes. Not only do kitchens offer the potential for endless nourishment, they also have a way of becoming the epicenter of social interaction. Kitchens draw us in with their aromas, edible resources and technological utility. It's no surprise that the kitchen is the single most energy-intensive room in our homes, often representing as much as 15 percent of our home energy use.
This is good news for those of us considering a kitchen remodel, whether large project or smaller renovation. Updating your kitchen offers the opportunity to eliminate unnecessary energy use and reduce your utility costs without compromising the functionality of your appliances and workspace. Many newer kitchen appliances use two-thirds less energy than products purchased within the last decade. Higher up-front costs on ENERGY STAR appliances are generally offset by the lower cost of operation during the first few years of use.
Incorporating energy efficiency strategies into your kitchen remodel helps the planet, and reduces the overall cost of operating your kitchen for years to come. Be sure to think about energy use when considering the purchase of new appliances and light bulbs. Consider that new ENERGY STAR refrigerators use less than a 60 watt light bulb (run continuously) and 60 watts of traditional incandescent light can be produced by an LED light bulb for a mere 6 watts!
The moral of the story: leverage energy efficient technologies to help alleviate the overall cost of your kitchen remodel. Even if the savings seem incremental on first glance, remember that energy costs are not fixed and that these expenses add up quickly over time.
If you have any questions or want to learn more about how to maximize the efficiency of your kitchen project, join your neighbors at RCPC's biennial Rockridge Kitchen Tour in September. Early Bird tickets are on sale now at www.RockridgeKitchenTour.org.
Here are some more fun facts and energy tips you can share with your friends and family:
- A 6" pot on an 8" burner wastes over 40 percent of the burner's heat. Using the right size pot can save about $36 annually (electric range), or $18 (gas).
- Blue flames mean good combustion; yellow flames mean service may be needed to ensure gas is burning efficiently.
- Hot water leaking at a rate of 1 drip per second can waste up to 1,661 gallons of water over the course of a year, costing up to $35 in electricity or in natural gas.
- ENERGY STAR qualified lighting provides bright, warm light while using 75 percent less energy, lasting up to 10 times longer than standard lighting.
- Eighty percent of the energy used by dishwashers is used to heat the wash water. Choose the model that is energy-efficient and has low water consumption.*