Product Lifespans, Efficiency Key in Kitchen Remodels
In celebration of May as Remodeling Month, NAHB Remodelers is offering consumers guidance on the lifespans and energy-efficiency of products and appliances that can be used to make smart choices in a kitchen remodeling project.
"With a few simple steps, home owners can turn a kitchen renovation into a green renovation," said NAHB Remodelers Chair Mike Nagel, CGR, CAPS, a remodeler from Chicago. "These upgrades can significantly reduce utility bills while looking great for years to come."
The kitchen rundown includes:
- Refrigerators — Average life-span: 13 years.
Energy-efficient fridges only save about $6 to $9 a year over other models because refrigerators overall are much more efficient than they used to be. However, more than $100 a year can be saved by replacing a fridge 10 years and older.
- Dishwashers — Average life span: nine years.
Energy Star®-rated models use 41% less energy than other dishwashers, saving up to $90 over the product's life. However, when replacing older dishwashers, home owners immediately reduce their energy bills by $30 a year.
- Microwave Ovens — Average life span: nine years
Microwaves can cook much faster than conventional ovens, while using up to 80% less energy. While microwaves are not appropriate for all cooking, using them can save time and money.
- Oven/Ranges — Average life span: 13 to 15 years.
Gas burners use 55% of the energy produced compared to 65% for electric cooktops and 90% for induction cooking. Convection ovens can save up to 20% on energy use compared to non-convection models. Additionally, self-cleaning ovens tend to have more insulation, making them more efficient as well.
- Kitchen Cabinets — Average life span: 50 years.
Recycled or reclaimed wood should be considered when replacing cabinets. Particleboard offers another economically and environmentally friendly alternative — though it can be less durable than solid wood products.
- Countertops — Average life span: lifetime of home.
Counters come in all shapes and sizes, but recycled glass and concrete have a great modern look and give these old materials a new life. Many of these same products also work as kitchen tiles.
- Flooring — Average life span: 10 years to lifetime.
Carpeting only lasts up to 10 years and linoleum up to 25 years, while wood floors last a lifetime. Renewable flooring like cork or bamboo should be considered. These flooring options offer easy maintenance with a long-lasting natural look for the kitchen.
For more information about remodeling, click here (nahb.org/remodel).