01 October 2009

Green Your Home - One Room at a Time

Lets start with the Kitchen. We all spend a lot of time in this room. Most of my time in the kitchen is spent talking to my husband while he is cooking or cleaning up after he has cooked a fabulous meal. Are you getting this? I don't cook! Anyway........

Between the refrigerator, oven, microwave and lights, kitchens can consume a lot of energy, but here are some ways to reduce your kitchen’s energy usage and save some $money$:

“Right size” your appliances: The larger your appliances, the more energy they consume. And, large appliances take up more space, meaning you’ll need to heat and cool additional square footage to accommodate them. Finding the “right size” appliance to fit your needs—instead of just buying the largest one available—can help you to save energy.

Replace old refrigerators: If your refrigerator is more than 10 years old, it might be time to consider replacing it. Old refrigerators can account for up to 15 percent of a home’s energy consumption. Newer refrigerators, especially ENERGY STAR ones , consume significantly less energy than older ones—sometimes as little as one-quarter of the energy. And try not to be tempted to keep the old refrigerator running in the garage—running two refrigerators will just increase your energy costs! Many local utility companies offer rebates to pick up your old refrigerator if it’s still operational.

Use your dishwasher: Although dishwashers are energy intensive, they also use less water than hand-washing, so as long as you use your dishwasher wisely, running the dishwasher can be a good thing. Dishwashers today are built to handle food remnants, so resist the urge to pre-rinse before putting your dishes in the dishwasher—basically you are just doing double-duty (and increasing your water bill). Also, always make sure you run a full load—dishwashers always use the same amount of water, so the more dishes you can fit in a load, the more energy efficient it will be. As with a refrigerator, if your dishwasher is old, consider replacing it—replacing a pre-1994 dishwasher with an ENERGY STAR model can save $30 a year on utility costs.

Cook smart: Making small changes to the way you cook can definitely increase your energy efficiency. For example:
* Put a lid on pots and pans: it will decrease time on the burner.
* Unplug appliances: Even when not in use, some appliances may still be consuming standby energy.
* Size matters: If you are making a meal, think about using a toaster oven or the microwave—both consume significantly less energy than a regular oven.

Don't forget to also check your light bulbs. CFL or LED bulbs are energy efficient.

I hope you find this helpful. Please check back for more Green updates for your home.

Your Realtor,

Source: C.A.R's Green Web Site