Green kitchen remodeling, green kitchen renovation- the best ideas
Green kitchen remodeling is very important since kitchens are for many people, the heart of the home. Green kitchen is also where families and friends mingle. The objective of green kitchen remodeling should include natural lighting, good ventilation, low-toxicity finishes, energy- and water-efficient appliances.
The goal should also include surfaces that are durable, cleanable, and, of course, looks good. The objective of green kitchen remodeling will be achieved if the following recommendations for the design, materials specification, construction process, and use of your kitchen are followed.
Green kitchen design for reduced resource use
There are green materials and design resources to match any kind of green kitchen design that a person wants. Green kitchen remodeling, like green bathrooms, offers the biggest environmental impact when reducing water and energy use are one of the principal objectives. That means that during green kitchen remodeling, we use refrigerators and dishwashers that are most efficient in conserving energy and water. So here is a good time to replace old appliances that are not water efficient with new ones.
According to U.S. Department of Energy, refrigerators use 14% of your home's electricity. The refrigerators that are manufactured today use 47 percent less electricity than the ones that were made in 1993. During green kitchen remodeling, more efficient energy saving refrigerators should be installed.
Dishwashers use up to 80 percent of their electricity to heat water. Today's more efficient models use less than half the water and one-quarter the electricity of 10-year-old models, according For additional water savings, fix pipe leaks and install flow-restrictor aerator heads on older faucets (new faucets often come with aerator heads).
Lighting accounts for 5 to 10 percent of total electricity used in U.S. homes. The best way to reduce your power use is to locate areas where you work near windows or install more windows or a skylight so that you can take advantage of daylight (a strategy known as 'daylighting'). Where you need extra light, use individually controlled task lighting so you won’t waste electricity illuminating more space than you need, and install fluorescent bulbs. Fluorescent lighting saves enough electricity to pay for its extra cost in a matter of years, depending on your electricity price,
Design for improved indoor air-quality environment
Air quality and ventilation are the most important health issues in your kitchen. Consider design strategies such as creating cross breezes through your kitchen and locating workspaces near windows.
Green your exhaust hood
Install an energy-efficient exhaust hood above the stove that vents to the outside to remove fumes and increase fresh air. According to the U.S. EPA , a fan that can move 100 cubic feet of air per minute is appropriate for an average kitchen, but your needs will depend on your stove and the size of your kitchen. Sealing leaks around window frames with low-VOC (volatile organic compounds) caulk or weather stripping will give you more control over ventilation and air quality.
Gas stoves emit nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide and other harmful compounds directly into your kitchen, requiring more energy for ventilation and for heating or cooling to condition replacement air. Electric stoves do not directly pollute your kitchen, but their electricity use creates more total global pollution. Gas and electric stoves have roughly similar energy efficiencies when electricity transmission losses are considered. New electric stoves are getting more energy-efficient (convection ovens and induction-element ranges are the most efficient), and electricity sources may get cleaner.
Lead is still widespread in drinking water, despite regulation. Lead affects children most severely, delaying physical or mental development, and can cause kidney problems or high blood pressure in adults. It is used mainly in solder to connect pipes, and in plumbing pipes themselves in houses built before 1930.
If you need to replace your plumbing due to lead in your pipes, use only lead-free materials and lead-free solder. Copper, PVC, CPVC, PEX and other plastics are commonly used materials and are environmentally safe.
Remodeling materials for your green kitchen
As a work center, the particular challenge in the kitchen is the interaction of building materials with water and food preparation. Select materials that are easily cleaned and resistant to water damage.
Greening your flooring
Carpeting in the kitchen is a bad idea; smooth, hard surfaces like linoleum and wood are recommended.
Greening your cabinets
Cabinets are commonly made of particle board, medium-density fiberboard (MDF) or compressed wood products. These materials often contain formaldehyde and adhesives that may off gas for years after installation and cause lung, head or eye pain. Alternatives include formaldehyde-free MDF and panels made of compressed agricultural plant material (such as wheat board or strawboard).
Greening your countertops
Countertops take a lot of hard use in the kitchen, and are a specialty of their own. In contrast to appliances, the majority of a countertop's environmental impact occurs during the raw material extraction and manufacturing processes. Because of these early impacts, reclaimed materials are environmentally preferable to their new counterparts. In addition, reclaimed materials have usually finished off gassing long ago.
Green kitchen and landfills
Your project will generate large amounts of waste material. Reusing the kitchen’s existing materials in your remodeling project will divert useful materials from the landfill. Make sure to properly recycle old appliances rather than selling them and having them continue to use electricity inefficiently. Coolant in older refrigerators may release CFC's that will slow the regeneration of the ozone layer if not handled properly.
How to maintain and use your green kitchen
Now that you have created a greener, healthier kitchen, you’ll want to keep it that way. Among the priorities are prolonging the life of the appliances and materials you’ve installed, using them in the most efficient and healthy way possible, and reducing the volume and toxicity of wastewater and garbage sent to landfills. Here are the most significant steps you can take:
You can prolong your refrigerator’s life and prevent electricity waste by unplugging it and wiping off the condenser coils at least once a year, and, if you have a manual defrost freezer, defrosting it according to the manufacturer’s specifications to keep the compressor from overworking.
Save electricity by keeping your refrigerator between 36 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit and your freezer between 0 and 5 degrees Fahrenheit. Keeping them colder will do little for your food but will waste electricity. Use a thermometer to confirm the temperature.
You can reduce your dishwasher’s electricity use by 15 to 50 percent by washing only full loads of dishes and using unheated air to dry your dishes. Use wash settings appropriate to the types and dirtiness of the dishes you are washing to avoid excess soak cycles that would waste water.
Floors and counters
To protect floors and counters from hard daily use, porous materials like wood, stone and grout should be resealed periodically to prolong their life and prevent water damage. Use nontoxic sealants to preserve air quality.
When using your exhaust hood, prevent mold and soot from entering your kitchen by opening windows wide so enough replacement air can enter; otherwise, air may be drawn into the kitchen through the chimney or up through the basement. Regularly check the vent opening for grease buildup, and have the duct cleaned if it is dirty.
If lead is a concern and you do not have a water filter, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recommends using only cold water for drinking and food preparation, and letting the tap run until the water is cold if you have not run the faucet in the past six hours.
Cleaning products can introduce dangerous compounds into your kitchen. Look for safe substitutes to the toxins in common consumer products. Keep toxic cleaners out of your wastewater and landfills by disposing of them properly; the EPA provides useful information on hazardous household waste.