I hate to say it, but, Thanksgiving in about 11 weeks away, which means that Christmas is about 14 weeks away. Yikes! This is the time of year when many people start thinking about updating or making small changes to their homes. If yo are then now is the time to start that process because anything custom or semi-custom is going to take a few weeks to get fabricated. And then there is installation. Schedule that now.
For the time being, lets start with some kitchen planning ideas:
The kitchen is the energy beast of the home. Refrigerators are typically the primary culprit, second only to your HVAC equipment when it comes to home energy use. Throw in your microwaves, dishwashers, ovens, etc. along with your other small countertop appliances and it is easy to see how your energy bill is impacted. Energy-star appliances offer much needed help, with efficiencies ranging from 30-70% over standard appliances. Don't forget Energy-Star lighting options too!
Decreasing energy use isn't the only way to make your kitchen green. You can also improve indoor air-quality, use recycled or renewable materials, reduce water usage and select cabinets, countertops, flooring and finishes with low environmental impact.
Don't rely on products alone though! Simple design decisions can have a noticeable impact on your goal of an eco-friendly kitchen. Recycling centers can help make recycling easy and efficient. Designing to maximize natural light can help save on lighting and energy costs. And an efficient work triangle in the kitchen can help economize movement and maximize flow.
And when it is all said and done, don't forget to have a plan to put your old cabinets, appliances and other materials to good use. Reuse programs are everywhere and companies are eager to take your old wares. Contact your local Habitat for Humanity as a starting point or use the internet to search for local companies. You will be amazed at how easy it is and in most cases you get a tax deduction for your donation, which means a lower price for your remodel!