Renovating a kitchen can be a major project that takes a lot of time. If you are embarking on the remodeling journey, consider going green while you’re at it. An eco-friendly kitchen design will reduce both energy costs and your carbon footprint. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Kitchens can be large areas, which require several light fixtures. This is a good thing. To cut down on the amount of energy you use to illuminate your kitchen, create zones. This will allow you to turn on the lights only in the needed area. Break down your kitchen into separate functional sections. For example, the sink could be one zone, while the island is another. When you need to wash dishes, you will only have to turn on lights in that small area. Rather than illuminating the whole kitchen for one task, you can isolate areas to be more energy efficient. To further reduce your energy usage, install dimmer switches for each light zone. Choose compact fluorescent bulbs or LED lights to decrease your environmental impact.
Many kitchens only have small, double-hung or gliding windows sitting over the sink. To get the most use out of Mother Nature, add more window exposure and let the sun in. If you still only want windows over the sink, opt for bay, bow or garden windows to welcome in more light. However, the more exposure, the better. If you have the space in your kitchen, install large windows.
During the warmer months when the sun drains your air conditioning, you’ll want to control the amount of light entering the kitchen. Phantom Screens’ retractable window screens are perfect for this situation. Screen mesh blocks UV rays, keeping your home cool. These custom installed retractable screens can be designed to fit whatever windows are in your home. If you want to shut off your air conditioning altogether and let in natural ventilation, you can. Your screens will keep out insects while maintaining your view. Go the automated route when choosing your retractable screens. Sun sensors automatically deploy the screens when the sun reaches the sensor. This way, you’ll never have to worry about wasting energy on air conditioning because the sun heated your home.
Certain woods are better for sustainability. When choosing your cabinets and flooring, go with formaldehyde-free woods like cherry, maple, oak and alder. Be aware that only the Forest Stewardship Council certifies woods as green. When you choose a wood, you can be sure your retractable screens match. Phantom Screens offers a variety of wood veneers so that the screens’ housing will match the design of your home. The selected wood finishes can also be stained to achieve the desired shade. When not in use, the screen will disappear from sight, allowing the sun to stream in. Your kitchen cabinets will match your retractable screens for the best in design and function.
When shopping for appliances to use in your kitchen remodel, look for those awarded with an Energy Star. These appliances use 10 to 15 percent less water and energy than other devices, saving you money and reducing your environmental impact. When you use an energy efficient dishwasher, do not rinse the dishes beforehand. Instead, use a sponge to scrape tough food away. This reduces the amount of water you use while still ensuring that food won’t stick.
Water-efficient faucets are also available. Choose one of these models to further decrease your water consumption.
The paint you select for your renovated kitchen matters. Choose paints that have no or low volatile organic compounds. Rather than releasing carbon into the atmosphere – which you then inhale – these paints are high quality and prevent odor and mold.