Revamp your kitchen and reduce your energy costs
Are you ready to renovate your kitchen? Why not rethink your energy usage and reduce your electricity bills in the process? It’s a smarter way to live – for you, your home and the environment! Here are some tips to get you started on creating an energy efficient kitchen.
Take a moment
Think about what you really need from your kitchen. Do you need a larger space or are you restricted by a less flexible floor plan? Good design can make a small space appear larger and increase the value of your home. Remember that it pays to consider how much space you really need – more space will only cost you more to heat, cool and furnish in the long term.
Let there be light
Lower your energy costs by flooding your kitchen with natural light. Can you install north-facing windows or a skylight? Does greenery block the elements from brightening your home? Allowing more sunlight into your kitchen will reduce your heating and lighting costs. Installing high windows and skylights will also help release rising hot air during summer.
A gentle cross-breeze can cool your home naturally, so consider installing windows that open on more than one side of the kitchen. Be sure to choose energy-efficient windows. Ordinary windows can let in or leak away up to 40% of your home’s heating or cooling energy. Choose double-glazing and a timber or insulated frame for added protection.
Build to last
The decisions you make about building products can impact the quality, comfort and cost of maintaining your home for years to come. Choose timber from certified sustainably managed forests or plantation timbers made from sawdust and recycled plastic. Be sure to seal timber floors to prevent air leaks in winter.
The perfect palette
Did you know that paint colours impact your lighting and heating bills? Choose light-coloured paints to improve daylight levels in your kitchen, reducing the need to flick on the lights. If you’re renovating a pre-1970s kitchen, research how to remove lead-based paints safely and choose low-emission paints to eliminate toxic fumes and nasty headaches.
Choose the highest Energy Star-rated appliances that you can afford. An oven with triple glazing will be more energy efficient, but if you decide to stay with an older-model oven remember to check the door seals for any leaks. Turn off appliances when not in use – your microwave uses more energy in a year to fuel its digital clock, than it does to heat your food.
There’s a sink-load of options when it comes to integrating recycled materials into your kitchen revamp – windows, doors, dishwashers and tiles for starters. Using different recycled products in a reno – so long as they’re installed with efficiency in mind – can provide a dash of charm and a dose of relief that you’re not creating more waste for the planet.
Don’t forget to ask your builder if they have a waste and recycling plan. Together, you’ll be reducing landfill and ideally you’ll be sharing your knowledge of how to build an energy efficient kitchen too.
Advice provided is indicative only and individual circumstances will affect results. For further information on energy saving tips, please visit the websites listed below.
18 November 2014
Category: Energy Facts