Kitchen Design - considering energy savings

For many of us, the kitchen is the heart of the home, the command center and a place to gather. It is also the place where lots of the energy is used; primarily electrical power, but also gas in some homes. Thus, the way the kitchen has been designed will have a great impact on your energy bill. I have gathered some points to consider for having a lower energy bill while still not sacrificing how the kitchen works and looks.

It is a no brainer not to place the oven or stove next to the fridge/freezer.The cooler drawers are great to fill with fresh vegetables, lettuce etc. They are very energy efficient. Consider how big the fridge should be. Smaller fridge with a freezer with two doors may often be sufficient. Properly sized tall freezer with drawers is great if you need more capacity. You can actually find what is in there.

The dishwasher is the energy hog of the kitchen because the water is warmed up with electricity if connected in cold water. The less often you use the dishwasher the more energy you save. Choose a dishwasher with well-designed racks so you can fit up to 12 people dinner sets.

An induction cook top is a cool feature but also very energy efficient and safer than a traditional cook top. In ovens, it is the inside that counts. Good quality, smaller 24" ovens are what most families need. They will warm up quickly, bake effectively and evenly and yes they fit 15 lbs turkey.In my opinion you should not compromise when selecting this appliance.

Using automated timer like in ovens, dishwashers etc. allows you to use them when electricity is cheapest: currently saving is 9.5 c/kWh!

The kitchen lights we tend to use a lot, therefore, switch to led lights. There are replacement bulbs for the under the cabinet halogen lights, also.

To save on hot water it is possible to do the plumbing in such a way that you can get hot water immediately.

Recirculating exhaust fans are good in theory but an outside venting hood fan is the best in practice. The exhaust fan should be properly sized and installed. The vent ducting needs to be correctly dimensioned (length and diameter) and insulated. If not, there will be heat loss during wintertime and even accumulation of condensation in the ducts. Features that easily turn off the vent when not needed and also close the damper flaps make good sense. Make sure that the duct flaps are closing and opening properly. There may be one inside the hood unit and another one outside the exterior wall.

Some of the points listed can be done when you renovate your kitchen. Some, however, you could adopt without delay.