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Designing an Eco-Friendly kitchen

If you are re-designing your kitchen or having a new kitchen built, you may want the kitchen to be as green and cost efficient as possible. With technology fast advancing and more and more people looking to live greener it is getting a lot easier to do so. Here are a few ways to make your new kitchen greener.

Kitchen using LED's for lighting

Lighting:

It’s 2012 and halogen lights are fast becoming something of the past. With LED lighting fast advancing and becoming cheaper to the general user, right now is the time to switch to LED lighting! Halogen lighting may be initially cheaper to purchase than LED lighting but the low energy consumption and long life will certainly pay you back several times over. It is estimated that by switching to LED light bulbs from halogen bulbs you will get your return within 3 years and anything after that is pure saving! LED light bulbs use as little as 10% energy of that of halogen light bulbs, making them ideal if you are looking to live green. LED light bulbs can last up to 15 years continuous use. There are many different types of LED lighting you can use to save energy from LED light bulbs to LED Tape.

Appliances:

The appliances we use for storing food, washing and cooking account for nearly half of the electricity used in a typical home. With technology fast advancing, appliances are getting a lot more energy efficient. Make sure when purchasing new appliances you look at the energy rating for the most energy efficient. This should be easy to see as most countries now require an easy to understand Energy Rating guide on each electrical item for sale.

Appliance Energy Rating

Insulation:

When renovating or newly installing your kitchen this is the perfect time to upgrade your insulation. Having good insulation can save a lot of energy by not having to heat up the room as much.  For the kitchen the best insulation choices are either spray cellulose or spray foam. When choosing insulation it is best to choose it with the highest R-value. R-value is the measure of insulation’s effectiveness at slowing the movement of heat. Warning: Fibreglass is a poor choice of insulation as it has a tendency to allow air to flow through it that contains moisture which could lead to mould problems. 

Laying down loft insulation

Taps:

You can save both energy and water by fitting your kitchen with a tap with a sensor. These will only dispense water when your hand or another object is placed underneath the tap. This meaning there is no way the tape can run on for longer than is absolutely necessary. You will use only as much water as you need at any given time. You can set the temperature too from cold, warm or hot. There are now water efficiency rating guides in some countries similar to the energy rating guide on electrical appliances.  For example in Australia and New Zealand it is now compulsory to display a WELS rating on all water dispensing products.   You could also insulate the pipes that lead to your tap; this would save on water and energy not having to wait for hot water to come through the tap.

Energy Monitor:

An energy monitor is a must not just for the kitchen but for the whole home if you are looking to live green and reduce the amount of energy you use in your home. A simple device with a LCD screen to show you how much energy you are using in your home can show you where and when you are using the most energy in your household. This can help you suss out which are the high energy consuming appliances. The little device tells you how much energy you are using across the whole house, how much money it is costing you and how much CO2 you are using.