Go Green with a New Kitchen
10 Remodeling Makeover Ideas To Save Energy
You can go green with a new kitchen and save energy at the same time with these remodeling makeovers. A new or remodeled kitchen is probably at the top of your home to-do list. Now you've got an opportunity to go green, support the environment and save energy on your kitchen makeover when you use new efficient products and materials.
If you want to go green in your home, the best place to start is the kitchen makeover. The new kitchen cabinets, flooring, countertops, faucets and appliances are designed to use sustainable materials and to save energy. Here are 10 important home remodeling makeovers for the kitchen to save energy and be green.
Green Kitchen Cabinets. A complete kitchen remodel or makeover starts with the cabinets that meet your needs for style, functionality and durability. If you choose wood cabinets, look for ones made from FSC wood. FSC is the Forest Stewardship Council, and certifies wood from a forest managed with high environmental standards. Also the KCMA Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association has an Environmental Stewardship Program to make sure your cabinets are made with environmentally friendly materials and production processes.
Kitchen Cabinet Makeover
For kitchen cabinets, bamboo is also a durable green material with a high environmental rating. Bamboo grass is rapidly renewable because it matures in 6 years and reseeds itself automatically for its next growth cycle. Since most bamboo is grown and harvested in other countries, the long-distance transportation impacts the environment negatively. But it is still a great choice for all the other reasons. Other green alternatives to wood cabinets are salvaged wood or metal cabinets.
Green kitchen countertops and backsplashes come in the same green materials that are used for floors. Countertops can be cork, bamboo, wood, stone, concrete, or tile. These surfaces are often made from recycled and salvaged materials. It takes a lot of energy and resources to retrieve, manufacture, ship and sell a product, while recycled and salvaged materials can greatly reduce these costs.
Granite Kitchen Countertop Makeover
Recycled glass countertops and backsplashes are a designer's dream. Surfaces of Vetrazzo and IceStone contain up to 100% recycled glass and concrete. The recycled glass often comes from items like bottles, windshields and old traffic lights. With all the designs and colors available, you don't have to sacrifice style when you go green in the kitchen.
Green flooring in the kitchen. With so many viable and sustainable options, all of which are green in their own way, it could be difficult to make a final selection. Wood, bamboo, concrete and cork are some of your choices. Wood flooring can be certified green by the FSC Forest Stewardship Council. Bamboo is an ideal choice for flooring as well as cabinets. Stone for kitchen floors is considered green if it is quarried locally. Concrete used for floors retains heat well and can be mixed with recycled content such as fly ash, which is a by-producct of coal-burning power plants.
Cork Kitchen Floor
Cork kitchen floors are also popular when you go green. Cork is a warm and natural and sustainable material that comes in easy-to-install tiles or planks. With a natural give to it, cork is very easy on the feet. The surface isn't slippery, and itís easy to clean. Cork is stripped from the bark of the cork oak tree without harming the tree, which regrows its cork bark for another harvest in about ten years. Cork is not sourced locally, but some cork products use the recycled content from the wine-stopper industry.
New dishwasher for the green kitchen. New dishwashers clean better and use less than half the water, half the detergent and half the energy as an older unit. Dishwashers that meet Energy Star standards are one of the most efficient appliances in the kitchen. Energy Star dishwashers can save you $40 a year on your energy bill and save 1,300 gallons of water over its lifetime.
When you go green in the kitchen, housekeeping habits are important. You can save money and resources by running the dishwasher only when it has a full load. Skip the pre-rinse cycle in the dishwasher. You can also skip the hand pre-rinsing to save your time and water. Use your disheasher and other electric appliances on off-peak utility hours, when electric rates are lower.
Drawer Style Dishwasher
- Lighting for the green kitchen. The easiest makeover to save energy in the kitchen is a no-brainer. Start by replacing the light bulbs. The new light bulbs, CFL Compact Fluorescent and LED Light-Emitting Diode, are significantly more efficient than the traditional incandescent bulbs and fit your existing light fixtures. As part of your green lifestyle, you remember to turn off unneeded lights in every room.
Lighting options when you remodel the kitchen include chandeliers, recessed lighting and lamps that brighten a wide expanse. You'll also look at pendant lighting to accent a task area. For countertop lighting, Direct Wire LED 9.3 watt lamps mounted under the top kitchen cabinets should last up to 40,000 hours.
Water faucets for the kitchen makeover have also gone green. The most cost effective way to save water in the kitchen is to install low-flow aerators in the faucets and spray heads. An aerator reduces the amount of water that flows out of a faucet by mixing air into the water stream, and still provides an even stream.
New Kitchen Faucet
Low-flow faucets use water efficiently. Look for the WaterSense label when you replace showerheads, faucets, landscape irrigation and toilets. WaterSense is an EPA partnership program that endorses and certifies water-efficient products. Products that earn the WaterSense label are certified to be at least 20% more eficient without sacrificing performance. The rate of water flow is printed on the side of the faucet. in gallons per minute, gpm. If it is over 2.75 gpm, you can save by replacing it. The cost of a WaterSense faucet aerator is under $10.
When you go green in the kitchen, it helps if you can use tap water rather than bottled water. In most places one is as good as the other. Using a faucet water filter is another option to replace bottled water. You won't have to waste energy storing plastic bottles, cooling them or sorting the empties for recycling.
- A new efficient hot water heater will save energy while it heats all the hot water that is used in a home. Whenever a faucet is opened, heated water is money going down the drain. New hot waters can be so efficient that they use half the energy and less space than the old ones. A more efficient unit can save you thousands over the life of the product.
Hot water heaters come in many varieties. Natural gas water heaters are available as high-efficiency gas storage, gas tankless and gas condensing appliances. For electric energy, heat pumps are an option. If your house has dependable sunshine, a solar water heater can replace purchased energy. Some hot water heaters will cost more to buy, but they reduce water heating bills and recover their cost in the long run.
- A new kitchen refrigerator can be a green, energy saving purchase. Your refrigerator runs and consumes energy continuously. And if your second refrigerator is an older model, it is an energy hog. Some new refrigerators use only as much energy as a light bulb. You'll find refrigerator designs with top freezer, bottom freezer, side-by-side, french door, counter depth, compact and wine/beverage coolers. There are also new refrigerators that notify you if the door isn't shut tightly.
As with other kitchen appliances, Energy Star is the eficiency standard for new refrigerators. According to Energy Star, appproved refrigerators use at least 15% less eneregy than other models. By replacing your refrigerator you could save between $200 to $3,000 on energy costs over the course of its lifetime. For the exact savings for your model, use the Energy Star Refrigerator Retirement Savings Calculator at their webside. Refrigerator Energy Savings Calculator
- A new stove is an energy-saving green investment. New kitchen stoves, cooktops and ovens are also certified by Energy Star. They heat more quickly, and ovens don't require pre-heating. When you use a microwave instead of the oven, you can reduce cooking energy by as much as 80%.
Induction cooktops uses induction heating to heat a cooking pot directly. It is more efficient thant the traditional stove that uses heat transfer from electrical coils or burning gas to cook food. You may need some new pots and pans, but an iduction cooktop is faster and more energy efficient. The efficiency of energy transfer for an induction cooktop is 84% versus 74% for a smooth top non-induction electrical unit.
I hope life brings you much success.
I wish you a very happy day.
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