A kitchen is much more than just a room in which you store and prepare your meals. It's often the center of activity in your home -- the place to entertain, a gathering place, a spot to hang your children's latest work of art with a fridge magnet, and yes, the spot where you cut, chop, grill, saute, bake, broil, fry and freeze your delicious creations. Finally, the kitchen is also the place where couples endlessly bicker over who's going to put the dishes in the dishwasher.
When you're selling your home, the kitchen commands much of the attention. While potential buyers may peek in the closet, check out the dining room, and open the door to the garage, they'll undoubtedly spend much of their time poking around the kitchen. They'll open the refrigerator, test the icemaker, turn on the stove, open each cabinet, run the sink faucet, and see how much space there is in the dishwasher.
If you are planning to sell your home (or planning to live in it for a while longer), there are some important things to consider when replacing your kitchen appliances, particularly refrigerators and dishwashers.
The U.S. Department of Energy has some valuable resources on their website at www.energysavers.gov. I also recently reviewed some literature they've published with helpful information which I've summarized below.
- Consider buying a refrigerator with a top-mounted freezer -- they use 10 to 25% less energy than bottom-mounted or side-by-side models.
- Replace pre-1993 refrigerator as soon as possible -- new ENERGY STAR-qualified units cost only half as much to run as pre-1993 refrigerators.
- Skip the ice-maker and dispenser -- while convenient, automatic ice-maker and through-the-door dispensers increase energy use by 14 to 20%. They also raise the purchase price by $75 to $250.
- Purchase an appropriately sized unit -- most energy-efficient full-size refrigerators with freezers are typically 16 to 20 cubic feet.
- Choose the right size for your home -- compact models hold up to eight place settings and six serving pieces; standard models hold more. If you operate a compact model frequently, you may use more energy over time than you would with a standard model.
- Choose a dishwasher with several wash cycle options -- energy-saving wash cycles use less water for a shorter period of time.
- Did you know? Washing dishes by hand costs about $40 per year more in utility costs than washing them in a fully-loaded dishwasher.
Of course, when choosing replacement appliances you'll want consider the color scheme (white, black, stainless steel, etc.). Word of advice: stay away from the ugly green refrigerators!
You'll want to look for the ENERGY STAR label because every appliance has two price tags: what you pay to purchase it, and what you pay for the energy and water it uses. ENERGY STAR refrigerators use 20% less energy and dishwashers use 10% less energy and 18% less water.
Currently, all states have an ENERGY STAR Appliance Rebate Program. To learn more about each state's program click on the map at www.energysavers.gov/rebates. In Virginia, there's a $50 rebate for the purchase of an ENERGY STAR dishwasher and a $60 rebate for the purchase of an ENERGY STAR refrigerator. Here's a PDF showing all the qualified rebates through this program in Virginia.
Thank you for reading my blog post. If you like what you’ve read, then please: