Who hasn’t oohed and ahhed when watching home improvement shows or thumbing through the latest home design magazines? Perhaps no room gets more attention than the kitchen, and deservedly so. It’s where the family gathers for all kinds of reasons – not just cooking and meals, but homework, bill paying, TV watching, and everyday conversation. But beyond the cosmetic improvements everyone talks about, there is real opportunity in upgrading your kitchen appliances. They’ll look great, work better, and save you money and energy over time.

Not only does a new refrigerator or dishwasher change the look of the kitchen, advances in energy saving technology mean that these appliances are more efficient than ever and can save both energy and money. For proven energy efficiency, look for Energy Star rated appliances, which are available at almost all price points. In order to meet Energy Star qualifications, a new refrigerator must use at least 20% less energy than non qualifying units. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, replacing a refrigerator from the 1980s – and yes, there are plenty of those still out there – can result in savings of more than $100 on your utility bill each year. That adds up quickly over just a few years. And while you may be tempted to put that old unit in the garage for extra refrigerating capacity, this defeats the purpose of upgrading the first place. Most appliance retailers will remove and properly dispose of your old refrigerator; in many communities the components are recycled to avoid contributing to landfill mass.

The dishwasher is another appliance that lends itself to upgrading. Newer Energy Star qualified dishwashers not only save energy, but use far less water than their older counterparts. EPA figures show that a dishwasher built before 1994 wastes 10 gallons of water per cycle. Switching to a new dishwasher will help that, but choosing an Energy Star qualified model means use an average of 33% less water than new, non-qualifying dishwashers. Think washing by hand is a better way to go? Consider this: using a fully loaded Energy Star dishwasher instead of hand washing can save more than 5,000 gallons of water each year!

With some research and solid information in hand, you can make smart choices for replacement appliances that will save you time, energy, and money in the long run.

Questions? Comments? Looking to buy a house in Miami or Sarasota, Florida? Contact Kijner & Sons International Realty at info@kijner.com

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Source18th Edition of CRS Chapter Newsletter (June 30, 2012) - CRS-Pillar To Post Partnership - Article courtesy of Pillar To Post Professional Home Inspection