Energy-efficient and eco-friendly kitchen designs are becoming the norm, as more and more homeowners are embracing a greener lifestyle. Along with being good for the environment, saving energy in the kitchen also saves you money on your utility bill. It’s a win for the environment and your wallet!
1. Use LED or CFL lighting in your kitchen.
There are all different levels of energy-efficient kitchen designs, but a small step every homeowner can take is changing out their light bulbs. In fact, the old-school incandescent lighting is actually in the process of being phased out, and will no longer available on store shelves.
When the last of your incandescent bulbs burn out, make the change and replace them with energy efficient lighting. You have two types of energy-efficient bulbs to choose from: LED (Light Emitting Diode) and CFL (Compact Fluorescent Lights). One is not necessarily better than the other, but they are different.
LED lighting costs more but lasts longer. They also work better for directional lighting (task or accent lighting) rather than general lighting (ambient lighting). Think under kitchen cabinets or track lighting on the ceiling.
CFL is a smaller version of your standard fluorescent lighting, which means it is very similar to the quality of light you are likely used to, and therefore the logical choice for general lighting.
2. Buy smart kitchen appliances.
Old appliances can take away from the look of new kitchen designs — and they also use more energy. Upgrade your refrigerator and dishwasher to newer models that will preserve water and electricity. How much of a difference can new appliances make? Here are some stats from Energy Star:
- A dishwasher built before 1994 wastes more than 10 gallons of water per cycle.
- If you have a dishwasher made before 1994, you’re paying an extra $35 a year on your utility bills compared to an ENERGY STAR certified model.
- By properly recycling your old refrigerator and replacing it with a new ENERGY STAR certified refrigerator, you could save more than $270 over the next 5 years.
In addition to large appliances, ceiling fans, kitchen hoods, ventilation fans, and skylights are just a few of the other energy-efficient elements that can be added to kitchen designs.
3. Install low-flow faucets.
Low flow faucet models can drastically decrease the water usage in your kitchen and you’ll hardly notice the difference. When shopping for faucets, shop by feature and look for “water saving faucets” or those with an “adjustable flow rate.” This will help you find a model that is eco-friendly and will reduce the water usage in your home.
4. Be mindful of your energy usage.
Eco-friendly kitchen designs are one way to make your home more energy-efficient, but there also day-to-day activities that you can do to cut your usage. Here are a few examples:
- Unplug small appliances like toasters, blenders, and coffee makers when not in use.
- Use the right size burner for the pot or pan you’re using.
- Use lids when cooking to boil water faster and reduce cooking time.
- If you’re reheating just a serving of food, use a toaster oven or microwave rather than the oven or stove.
- Don’t open the oven when you’re baking. It’s tempting to peek in, but try not to! It can slow down cooking time.
At The RTA Store we help make your dream kitchen a reality with RTA (Ready To Assemble) and Pre-Assembled kitchen cabinets, and accessories with the same (if not better) quality you would find at any retail store but for a fraction of the price. Stop by our website or give us a call and let us make your kitchen dreams come true with the help of our free kitchen design tool!