HOME IMPROVEMENT – Kitchen upgrades that will save you money for years to come

Today we share with you some kitchen upgrade ideas that will save you money for years to come – from Consumer Reports. Enjoy!
– Kurtis Kitchen and Bath Centers

Even a minor kitchen remodel can cost you $20,000 and if price is no object, you can easily spend $100,000 or more to get the custom kitchen you want. By including some smart upgrades in your plan you can build in energy efficiencies that will save you for years to come. For starters, buy Energy Star-rated appliances, which are 20 percent more energy efficient than non-Energy Star versions. Appliances with Energy Star’s “Most Efficient” designation are another 10 percent more efficient. Here are more ways to save.

This Whirlpool Gold is an energy miser.

This Whirlpool Gold is an energy miser.

Replace the refrigerator. Trade a 10-year-old refrigerator for an Energy Star-rated model and save about $100 a year.

Switch to CFLs. Compact fluorescent light bulbs can amount to annual savings of $24 a year just in your kitchen (based on four light fixtures). CFL bulbs each save about $6 per year in electricity, so if you have 30 bulbs in your home, that’s $180 per year in your pocket. CFLs produce 75 percent less heat than traditional incandescent bulbs, so your home will be cooler in the bargain.

Ditch your dishwasher. Save around $40 a year (and 10 gallons of water per cycle) by replacing a pre-1994 dishwasher with an Energy Star model.

Install new windows. Time to replace your windows? You’ll save some $95 per year by installing ones with the Energy Star label. As with all windows, proper, gap-free installation is a must.

Lead with LEDs. Choose LED (light-emitting diode) bulbs for under-cabinet lighting to save even more money. They cost $25 to $200 per unit, but Energy Star versions should last 22 years based on three hours of use per day.

Right-size your cookware. Save $36 a year for an electric range and $18 annually on gas simply by using the right size pot for cooking. A smaller pot will require less energy to heat its contents, something to remember next time you consider using a 10-quart stock pot to heat up a small package of peas. Also, keep those pots covered: You’ll cook more efficiently and keep the kitchen cooler, to boot.

Source URLhttp://news.consumerreports.org/home/…/kitchen-upgrades-that-will-save-you-money-for-years-to-come.html
Adapted from Consumer Reports Kitchen Planning & Buying Guide

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