Is it time for a kitchen remodel? Perhaps your decades old refrigerator has finally cooled its last soda. Whatever the case may be, it’s time for a new appliance or multiple appliances. It makes good sense to choose those that are both energy efficient and Eco-friendly. Do you know how to choose?
Browsing through the plethora of green information that has taken over the internet can be confusing at best. We’re here to help you take the guess work out of your new purchases. The following are the top five Eco-friendly appliances for your green kitchen:
You may think, like many people do, that washing dishes by hand is a more efficient method of getting your plates and bowls clean. You, like many others, couldn’t be more wrong! Assuming that you only run your dishwasher when it is full and use the air dry option rather than a heat dry cycle, you will not only reduce your energy bills but your water consumption as well.
Washing dishes by hand wastes about 5,000 gallons of water per year. Think about it: do you leave the water running on the opposite side of the sink so you can rinse? Most people do. By using your dishwasher, you will consume about five gallons of water, compared to the approximately 25 gallons most people use to wash dishes by hand.
If you’re oven has cooked its last casserole, you may want to consider replacing it with a convection oven and an induction cook top. An induction cook top requires far less energy and actually cooks your food more quickly. The only drawback to this type of cook top is that it requires magnetic cookware. Not a bad deal, though, if you’ve been looking for a reason to buy a new set of pots and pans.
A convection oven will take a bit of time and practice to get used to, but it is a great energy saver. Convection ovens cook at temperatures about 25 degrees cooler than a traditional over and takes away a fourth from your cooking time. If you purchase a convection oven, be sure to buy one that has a third heating element for optimum energy savings.
If you need a new fridge, look for one like mom used to have: with a freezer on top. Side-by-side models are nice and freezers on the bottom can be convenient, but traditionally built refrigerators are more energy efficient by design. Before making your purchase, calculate the size fridge that you really need. If you buy an enormous refrigerator, you will use more energy as you will have less to fill it with. A smaller, full fridge will have to work less to keep your items cold. As a side note: open the door of the fridge in the show room and look for the Energy Star rating; you can realize a ten to 50 percent energy savings depending on the model you choose.
Did you know that microwaves do not come with Energy Star ratings? This can make it difficult to know which to choose. In general, the smaller the microwave, the more energy efficient it is. That said, if you have to cook your food twice as long because you’ve chosen a microwave that’s too small, you won’t realize any savings. Do your homework and know the size microwave you need.
Some families find that they need an extra freezer to store their frozen goods. If this applies to your family, be sure to look for the Energy Star label and to choose a vertical, rather than a horizontal, model. Chest freezers use more energy than their stand-up cousins.
All kitchen appliances have Eco-friendly selections; the brand you purchase is up to you. Do your homework before you buy and buy the best you can afford! And don’t forget: donate or recycle your old appliances to keep them out of the landfill.
Nancy Porter is an interior decorator and blogs on behalf of RefrigeratorHeadquarters.com a site where you can find all sorts of helpful reviews on various brands and models of refrigerators!