This is a guest post by Rose Marie Baker. If you want to guest post on this blog, check out the guidelines here.
With families becoming more eco-conscious, energy-saving kitchen appliances are exploding in appeal. Although such appliances are still a little on the expensive side, families are attracted to conserving electricity and gas, generating less pollution and protecting the environment. Furthermore, the U.S. government, at both the state and federal levels, entices families to buy energy efficient kitchen appliances by rewarding them with incentives, such as rebates. These coveted appliances can reduce the amount of water families use, shrink electricity bills and even help manufacturers use less new construction materials because a high percentage of energy-saving appliances use recycled materials and sustainable materials.
Here’s a look at the five most popular eco-protective kitchen appliances.
Traditional dishwashers are water and energy hogs, but energy-efficient models save on both of these resources. They use special technology like soil sensors to assess how dirty glasses and dishes are so that just enough water and force will be used to clean them. The high-tech dishwashers also rely on high-grade water filtration systems that clean and rinse dishes better, no matter how much detergent is used. Energy-saving dishwashers have unconventional racks that arrange the dishes so better cleaning occurs. Lastly, they tend to have not only more jets but jets of higher power, resulting in improved cleaning and a reduced need for detergent.
If you opt for an energy-efficient refrigerator, get ready to save between 15 and 20 percent on the electricity used to keep your food cool or frozen, according to energy experts. These special refrigerators save money by using state-of-the art insulation and better compressors than mainstream refrigerators and older refrigerators. When buying, some families think bigger is better for refrigerators since they have to hold all those snacks, cans, produce, drinks and a host of other food. However, the real energy savers are the smaller refrigerators that measure less than 8 cubic feet; however, even fridges that are 16 to 20 cubic feet can save some money. Steer clear of those extravagant 25 to 36 cubic feet models. Also, while bottom-mounted freezers with double drawers are in fashion, fridges with top-mounted freezers save much more energy, Energy Star experts say — up to 25 percent more!
Throwing out your old freezer and purchasing an energy-reducing one to store the overflow of frozen meats and vegetables can save you 10 percent on the cost of operating your appliance. For any family that buys in bulk during a sale, a freezer to go alongside the refrigerator or out in the garage is must. Like fridges, eco-freezers benefit from the latest improvements in compressors and insulation. The most efficient freezers are small, taking up a footprint of 7.75 cubic feet or less.
Energy-saving water coolers
They’re not just for offices. For people who want steeping hot or ultra-chilled water on demand, water coolers are a great investment for tea, coffee or just a refreshing cup of drinking water. Energy-efficient coolers can save families the most electricity of any of the big appliances — up to 45 percent. The reason eco-models can halve electrical costs is because they use upgraded insulation that can more easily prevent heat transfer from the hot side to the cold side. Plus, they utilize top-of-the-line chillers.
Energy-saving kitchen lighting
A beautiful kitchen can still look like a dud without appropriate lighting. Lighting, however, which children and absent-minded adults can leave on all the time, can result in a high electric bill. There are energy-saving models, though, that can counter the waste caused by bad habits. Lights that operate with timers or dimmers can reduce lighting expense significantly. These can be programmed to turn on and off at specific times or turn lights on at a low intensity to save money. Save even more by investing in fluorescent lights, recessed lighting or simply those spiral-shaped energy-reducing light bulbs.
In case you’re wondering…
If you’re curious about where the stoves are, they currently are not as popular as other five energy-saving kitchen appliances and many manufacturers do not offer eco-friendly full-sized stoves. However, there are some money-saving options, such as portable electric stoves, wood stoves and gas tabletop models.
Rose Marie Baker is a freelance writer who loves all things culinary. When she’s not in the kitchen, you can find her reviewing spices for The Spice House.