THE INSIDE SCOOP
GREEN BUILDER RECOMMENDS
Lifestyle has as much to do with conserving energy and water when it comes to appliance use as selecting products. Manufacturers include operating instructions for care, use, and general operation of their products, and consumers can greatly reduce their resource use by simply reading and following the suggestions provided. This includes washing all items except bedding in cold water, making sure dishwasher loads are full before running, and keeping the refrigerator door closed as much as possible.
Induction cooking creates a magnetic field that concentrates the heat on the pot, keeping kitchens cooler and saving energy.
WHAT TO KNOW
> Dishwashers have two EnergyGuide cost labels: one for consumers who use electric water heaters and one for natural gas users.
> Boost heaters generally increase the cost of the unit, but the energy savings can pay for the upgrade in about one year.
> Dishwashers fall into two categories—compact and standard.
RANGES AND OVENS SMART COOKING SAVES ENERGY
Refrigerators, dishwashers, and laundry units may be considered “major” appliances, but they aren’t the only units you may have to purchase or replace. Thoughtful selection of ranges, ovens, cooktops, microwaves, and range hoods can help reduce energy use while improving the quality of life around your home.
Ranges. The kitchen range is a dual oven/cooktop and is available in electric, natural gas, and dual-fuel. The benefit of a dual-fuel range is that it has the benefits of gas burners on the cooktop but offers the even oven cooking of electricity. Cook-tops are also available using electrical induction, which creates a magnetic field that heats pans. With induction cooking, the pot or pan heats up directly as opposed to traditional electric resistance coils, which use conduction to transfer heat.
Microwaves. Often an afterthought when finishing a kitchen, microwaves can create a more energy efficient and comfortable kitchen when used properly. Energy consumption can be reduced by up to 80% when smaller portions are heated up in the microwave instead of the oven. Also, using a microwave instead of the oven will re- duce the amount of heat generated in the kitchen.
Range Hoods. These are important in the kitchen for several reasons. First, the ventilation removes unwanted moisture, which could lead to mold issues in the home. Second, along with the moisture, the hood also extracts heat and un-wanted cooking odors from the home. Third, the range hood can (and should) offer task lighting above the range, which will increase safety around hot burners. (Task lighting above food preparation may also make you a better cook.)
WHAT TO KNOW
> Induction ranges are more energy efficient than traditional ranges but can only be used with ferrous (steel or iron) cookware.
> Flat cooktops are not necessarily induction ranges.
> Most flat-surfaced cooktops simply use electric resistance heaters under a ceramic cover.
> There is no Energy Star label for residential ovens.
GE MONOGRAM FIRST HFC-FREE HOUSEHOLD REFRIGERATOR
Hoping to help curb greenhouse gas emissions, GE is engineering its Monogram 30” refrigerator to use isobutene as the primary refrigerant. If approved by the EPA, the Monogram would be the first domestic refrigerator to switch from HCFC-based refrigerants and have a lower global-warming impact. The Monogram boasts LED lighting. The refrigerator has two separate sealed refrigeration systems to help control humidity, reduce food spoilage, and minimize odors. www.monogram.com
KITCHENAID SUPERBA EQ DISHWASHER
Using the Whisper Quiet EQ Sound Insulation System, the KitchenAid Suberba EQ creates only 41dB during operation making it one of the quietest dishwashers available today. New spray jet design helps remove difficult foods, and sensors adjust the wash cycle to ensure dishes are cleaned. The appliance is Energy Star qualified and has an optional heat dry cycle to allow for reduced energy use. www.kitchenaid.com