Boost The Energy Efficiency Of Your Kitchen Remodel Using These Tips
When it comes to remodeling, kitchens are usually a room many homeowners think about upgrading, and luckily there are many opportunities to save on your costs, and your energy. Kitchen’s are almost every home’s center. It’s the place families and friends gather to cook, share meals, and discuss their daily happenings. It’s a personal space that means remodeling a kitchen is both challenging and exciting because it’s such an important room.
However, if you are interested in making your home more energy efficient, it’s the perfect place to begin the remodeling process. Kitchen remodels done with energy efficiency in mind can increase your home’s value, lower your energy costs, and deliver a room that’s much more comfortable over the long run. In fact, when you decide to sell your home, the cost of the kitchen remodel can be recovered up to 90% once the new energy efficient kitchen is in place.
You’re probably wondering how to approach the remodel of your kitchen in a way that is energy efficient. So we’ve put together a few pointers, that while not earth shattering – they’re still good places to start.
Appliances that are energy efficient are the easiest place to begin:
Energy Efficient Refrigerators
Any refrigerator that is more than two decades old should be recycled and replacement. Over the lifetime of a new Energy Star refrigerator, you can expect to save up to $300 in energy savings once you replace your old refrigerator. There are some important features you’ll want to consider when making your selection. For example, does your refrigerator door really need a cold water dispenser or an ice maker? Yes, its convenient to have but you will save money in energy costs as well as in the original purchase price by opting out of this. I don’t personally like the water that comes out of most refrigerators and get my water elsewhere, so for me its an easy decision. We’re all different however, and our goal is for you to choose what’s best for you and your home. So evaluate each of the features to see what your actual needs are and think carefully about the size you require before you make a purchase. And your old refrigerator should always be recycled.
View Your Home As A System
Buildings are largely self-contained systems and your home is no exception. Included are many subsystems such as ventilation, cooling, heating, electrical, plumbing, insulation, windows, roof and the walls. These subsystems were viewed on an individual basis for many years by builders and designers. Now, they realize that a complete system is formed when these subsystems interact with each other. The entire system should be designed to control the flow of air and heat, minimize damage from moisture and energy waste, and maximizing health and comfort. You can affect many of the subsystems in existence in your home when you remodel or add a bathroom or kitchen or add a living space in your basement.
Also, look for microwaves, ovens, ranges, and dishwashers that are more energy efficient to find one with a lower cost of operation. You can save money by switching to a range that uses natural gas. The cost of operating an electric stove is double the cost of a gas stove.
In addition, conventional ovens use more energy than convection ovens. However, you may need to purchase a separate cooktop when you buy a convection oven, plus they cost more.
Odors and excess moisture is moved outdoors by exhaust fans. Air conditioners don’t have to work as hard when the moisture and heat are removed from the home. A minimum capacity of 150 cubic feet per minute (CFM) work best. For quiet operation, look for a sound level rating lower than 1.5 as well as one equipped with spring loaded dampers. To keep attics moisture free, vent exhaust fans outdoors. Downdraft vents are the least effective while range hood vents are the most effective type of exhaust system. Recirculating range hoods should be avoided in particular for gas ranges.
Lighting is responsible for up to 15% of your energy costs in your home. Because the kitchen lights are used so often, they are responsible for a large percentage of the total bill. Use LED or compact fluorescent bulbs in place of the regular light bulbs. Lighting fixtures that are certified by Energy Star produce warm and bright light while lasting 10 times longer than standard lighting and generating up to 75% less heat and using less energy.
Include Natural Light As Much As Possible
Your heating and lighting costs will be lower when you make use of natural light in your newly remodeled kitchen. Let in more light by adding French doors and skylight and enlarging windows.
In order to get a permit for any electrical service, you will need to have an electrical inspection done. To obtain one, head to the local inspection office in the township, village, or city in which you live.
Information On Moving A Gas Line Or Gas Meter
Each municipality has different requirements to obtain a permit. Head to your local building inspection office to get the necessary information. It is best to make contact early in the process. We might be able to save you some money by coordinating with your contractor by arranging to have any trenches dug when they have the needed equipment already onsite. Before you need the service performed, we require a minimum of two weeks notice.
Call EcoBuilt today for information about scheduling service.
Once you have received your permanent electrical inspection permit, your electric service will be turned on by your utility. The permit must be requested by the electrician at the office of the electrical inspector.
Gas service requires the following before service can be turned on:
* Gas appliances are vented after hook up.
* A gas space-heating permit has been supplied to us for your home.
For more ideas on how to make your kitchen more energy efficient, contact your local EcoBuilt Energy Efficient contractor.