Save energy, money with kitchen renos - May 23rd 2013
Remodeling your kitchen to be more eco friendly and energy efficient doesn’t mean sacrificing budget and style. Many manufacturers of kitchen flooring, countertops, appliances and other accessories have created products that not only save you energy dollars and make your space more comfortable but also add a whole new look to your space. It goes without saying that a kitchen remodeling project starts with a well designed layout taking everything into consideration including your lifestyle, budget, utilizing the existing space and identifying what you would like to gain from your new kitchen.
For many people, embarking on a kitchen makeover, many homeowners plan for the future as well as the present, making remodeling decisions that are flexible to adapt to changing needs of their families but also keeping in context that they may not always be the owner of the home. Some details to consider include countertop and cabinet heights; doorway widths and plumbing and electrical upgrades – (some older kitchens don’t have enough electrical outlets and circuits.) More attention is being given to create user friendly kitchens such as ergonomic design with more practical designed cabinetry and hardware such as pull out shelving and drawers. How much storage and workspace will you require and do you desire more space for entertaining? Sometimes a simple reorganization of the space is all that is necessary or you may require an addition to suit your family’s needs.
If your remodeling plans include opening walls, you could improve the energy efficiency of your home by adding insulation and draft sealing. Older kitchens can have inadequate ventilation or heating systems and may be poorly insulated leading to a lot of wasted energy. For instance, if your renovated kitchen is over a crawl space you may want to consider adding reflective foil insulation under the floor between the joists. This will help keep your floors warmer.
When it comes to appliance upgrades, Energy Star-qualified appliances incorporate advanced technologies that use 10 to 50 percent less energy and water than standard models.
Ambience-enhancing features such as kickboard and cabinet lighting can now be installed using energy-efficient LED light fixtures. Make use of natural light wherever possible with well-positioned windows and skylights that let in enough light for solar heat gain during winter months. If replacing windows, install those with the Energy Star label, such as windows with Low-E Squared double-paned glass insulated with argon gas. Other popular items in the modern kitchen are warming drawers and heated countertops, ideal for serving islands to keep food warm while entertaining instead of using the oven. This feature is available using NuHeat which is installed between the plywood sub-strate top and the stone, slate or ceramic tile top.
Temperature-controlled faucets eliminate the waste of hot water by introducing mixer valves on the faucets and are available in attractive wall-mount styles. Installing an instant hot water dispenser for hot drinks will eliminate the need for electric kettles or the stove element to boil water. Also, consider installing a circulating hot water supply feature to ensure instant hot water at your kitchen tap. More homeowners are purchasing in home water-filtration systems out of concern for sending plastic containers to landfills. There are plenty of options – from whole home filtration to systems that are integrated into the refrigerator or under the sink.