The kitchen is where many household appliances are situated so the choices made here can have a significant impact on your energy bills.
It’s not just about the energy ratings, although they are very important.
Here are a few tips to help you choose the right appliance for the job.
Danielle King is the Founder and Director of Green Moves Australia, a private company created to provide householders with a selection of sustainability services designed to help minimise a home’s running costs while reducing the environmental footprint. Danielle has an MBA, Dip. Management and Certificate IV in Training and Assessment. She is also a fully qualified Home Sustainability Assessor listed with Sustainability Victoria and ABSA, and is BDAV Accredited.
The right size for the job
Large families will need a larger refrigerator. But if you’re in a 1 or 2 person household, a smaller refrigerator would be more suitable. The same applies to dishwashers, ovens and cooktops.
Reach for the stars
Especially for refrigerators because they are on 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Get the most energy efficient one you can. You can check energy ratings on the Federal Government’s website at http://reg.energyrating.gov.au if you can’t find the label on the product.
If you know how much you pay for your energy (how many cents per kilowatt hour, currently around .25c) then you can calculate how much it will cost you to run. For example, if the label says that the refrigerator will use 505 kWh per year, then just multiply 505 kWh x .25c = $126.35 per year.
Currently there is currently no energy rating system for cookers. However gas has a lower greenhouse gas emissions factor than electricity so is considered a cleaner fuel choice (if you’re not running on renewable energy that is). Fan forced ovens are around 30% more efficient than conventional units. Look for ovens with high levels of insulation and triple glazed windows for safety.
Induction cook tops are generally more efficient than other electric cook top models if you are going electric. If you haven’t tried a portable convection oven give them consideration.They are very efficient for cooking, use less power and cook in half the time, there’s also no pre-heating required! Great for caravans, holiday homes or a home without a kitchen (because it’s being built!).
All exhaust fans and range hoods should be externally vented, ideally have self-closing dampers, have easy to clean filters and provide a good air-extraction rate.
Good Quality Appliances
are well worth the extra money at the outset. You’ll get an appliance that gives you years of good service and costs less overall. Look for appliances with good warranties, check for ‘eco’ cycles (particularly with dishwashers) and some manufacturers are now mindful of creating products that have a lighter environmental footprint during the manufacturing process.
You’ll find that information on their websites if you’re inclined to take a look.
By choosing wisely, you’ll enjoy your kitchen and know that it’s as energy efficient as it can be, while saving money for other things in life.
For more sustainable solutions, visit greenmoves.com.au