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Designing an Energy Efficient Kitchen and More Energy Saving Tips

Designing an Energy Efficient Kitchen and More Energy Saving Tips

Designing an Energy Efficient Kitchen and More Energy Saving Tips…
With energy bills rising and the cost of living hitting record highs, we’re all feeling the pressure on us to try and reduce our costs. That’s why we’ve put together this handy blog to help you reduce your energy bills and to help you create an energy efficient kitchen.

We’ve split our tips into 2 categories, so you can easily find what’s right for you:

  • Section 1: Our designers’ top tips to design an energy efficient kitchen
  • Section 2: 30 Handy everyday tips to reduce energy consumption in your kitchen and home

Section 1: Smile Kitchens designers’ top tips for designing an energy efficient kitchen

Designing an Energy Efficient Kitchen and More Energy Saving Tips…
Smile Kitchens designers’ top tips for designing an energy efficient kitchen

We spoke to our team of kitchen design experts and asked for their top tips and advice when it comes to creating a new kitchen that is energy and cost efficient. Here’s what they had to say…

Designing an Energy Efficient Kitchen – Appliances

When creating our new kitchen think about your appliances and specifically look at how energy efficient they are. All appliances are rated from A+++ to G, with A+++ being the most energy efficient and G being the least energy efficient. You can use this handy tool to check how energy efficient your appliances are. Energy efficient appliances might cost a little more initially but they pay for themselves in the long run!

It’s not only about picking appliances that are energy efficient though, but also about picking appliances that meet your needs correctly. For example, if you only need a small single oven, don’t go out and purchase a huge range oven. Not only will you be spending more money for something you won’t use, but you’ll also regularly spend more money heating it.

Another important thing to consider when thinking about your appliances is the space they require. For example, a fridge or freezer should have a 10cm gap on every side to allow heat to escape – this will prevent it over heating and having to work harder to keep its contents chilled.

When looking at what hob is right for your new kitchen, consider an induction hob. Induction hobs have 90% efficiency versus a gas hob which has just 60% efficiency.

Fnissa in Tusk

Small Appliances

When thinking about your appliances it’s important to think about your small appliances too. Don’t forget to invest in energy efficient kettles, microwaves and toasters too. These items are likely to be used every day, so think about how much energy you could be wasting with an old or ineffective one! Also think about what capacity you need – do you actually need a four slice toaster, or would a two slice toaster work for your needs?

Don’t forget, as a Smile Kitchens customer you get an exclusive 10% discount on appliances at AO.com. Speak to a designer today to find out more!

Recycle Your Old Kitchen

When designing your new kitchen, think about what you could do with your old one! Does it really need to go to landfill? If it’s still in good condition look to recycle, donate or sell it. There are companies and charities that specialise in this area and would be happy to help you, one great option for this is The Freecycle Network.

What’s more, think about how you can recycle elements of your old kitchen into your new one – can you reuse anything? Not only will this be great for your waste reduction, but you could also save yourself a small fortune. A simple uplift for your kitchen could even be to swap out your handles or paint your doors. This would give you a fresh look in a much more energy and cost-effective way.

Reducing Food Waste

A great way to ensure your kitchen is designed to help you reduce waste is through storage solutions. Clever design and easy access to each cabinet can help you save hundreds of pounds a year in food waste. Say goodbye to that yearly clear out of out of date jars, packets and tins. Check out our full range of storage solutions and see what could work best for you. Why not consider our Corner Optimiser, seen below.

Another great way to help with food waste is through the great app: Too Good To Go
They connect restaurants with consumers and help them sell off their food for cheaper to prevent it going to waste. A great opportunity to save some money and help the environment!

Designing an Energy Efficient Kitchen – Lighting The Way

Be savvy with your lighting – replace old light fixtures and bulbs with more energy efficient ones such as LEDs. LED lighting is particularly good for spotlighting under or above cabinets.

Where possible increase the amount of natural light coming into your kitchen, so less lighting fixtures are required. If you’re extending your kitchen, think about adding a skylight, additional windows or glass doors to allow light to pour into your space.

If you’re looking for ideas for your new lighting, our friends at Made.com have a fantastic range of lighting, plus as a Smile Kitchens customer you get an exclusive 10% off everything! Speak to your designer today to discuss which products will work best in your space and to unlock your discount.

Ilaria – Flush Light, Large, Multi Glass & Brass from Made.com

Designing an Energy Efficient Kitchen – Colour Can Help

Choosing lighter colours and textures within your kitchen can make a huge difference when it comes to lighting. If you want to reduce the amount of additional light you need, think about having light cabinets, worktops, tiling and doors, this allows the light to bounce around the space more than darker colours. A great example would be our Jasper range in Chalk – the white handleless finish would allow light to spread around your space really easily.

Jasper in Chalk

Water Efficiency

A lack of water efficiency is one of the biggest issues any home faces when trying to reduce energy consumption. And whilst there is an obvious solution – turn the tap off and use it less – here are some great ways to design your kitchen to help improve your water usage…

Water Efficiency – Quooker Taps

Invest in a boiling water tap from Quooker. Quooker are the market leaders in boiling water taps in the UK and they’re growing massively in popularity. Not only are they super handy and time saving, but they’re also much better for the environment as they require much less energy than a kettle. Plus, you can dispense the exact amount of water you need each time, rather than filling up your kettle. Speak to your designer today to look at adding a Quooker tap to your kitchen design.

If a Quooker tap isn’t right for your needs or budget, consider adding an aerator to your tap. A water efficient tap fitted with an aerator might discharge 2 litres of water per minute versus a regular tap which might discharge up to 18 litres per minute! You can pick up an aerator for your tap for as little as £5 on Amazon.

Choose a kitchen company that is committed to reducing their carbon footprint

Here at Smile Kitchens, we’re always looking for new ways to reduce our carbon footprint. We regularly reduce the amount of lighting we use in the office, we have team members who work from home full and part time to reduce their travel and we plant five trees for every kitchen we sell, plus another one on the kitchen’s one year anniversary, all in partnership with our friends at One Tree Planted.

Section 2: 30 Handy everyday tips to reduce energy consumption in your kitchen and home

Designing an Energy Efficient Kitchen and More Energy Saving Tips…
30 Handy everyday tips to reduce energy consumption in your kitchen and home

Not all of us are in a place where we can redesign our kitchen and make significant changes to our home in order to be more energy efficient. That’s why we’ve put together this helpful list of everyday tips to help you reduce your energy consumption and make your home (and kitchen specifically) more energy efficient.

Our 30 Top Tips

  1. Cover your pots and pans whilst cooking to prevent unnecessary heat escaping
  2. Turn off your oven a few minutes early – if you keep the door closed it’ll stay hot and continue to cook your food
  3. Don’t preheat your oven – unless you’re baking cakes or bread, there’s no need to fully preheat the oven – but remember to add a few minutes onto your cooking time and always check your food is thoroughly cooked before eating
  4. Don’t run your dishwasher until it’s completely full and don’t rinse all of your plates before you put them in
  5. Run your washing machine and dishwasher on a lower temperature – with the right cleaning products you shouldn’t need to have them on high heat
  6. Defrost food rather than cooking it from frozen
  7. Use the right burner on your hob – do you really need the biggest burner for a small pan?
  8. Measure your water more efficiently – do you need to fill the kettle for one cup of tea?
  9. Portion control and batch cooking – only cook what you need, but if you do cook a lot – freeze it and use it for another meal at a later date! Or think about cooking in bigger batches and freezing – this means you only had to cook once for multiple meals
  10. When you’re not using your small appliances, turn them off at the wall, don’t just leave them on standby
  11. Turn off your lights when you don’t need them – 15% of all energy wasted is from lighting
  12. Invest in refillable spray and cleaning bottles – this way you will waste less bottles
  13. Adjust your thermostat – reducing your home’s thermostat by one or two degrees can make a big difference to your bills but you likely won’t notice the temperature difference
  14. Bleed your radiators every six months – this helps them run smoothly and efficiently
  15. Adjust the temperature controls on your fridge and freezer – your fridge should be between 2.5 and 4.5 degrees C and your freezer should be between -18 and -15 degrees C. This adjustment could save you up to £20 per year
  16. Use an ice tray instead of the ice feature on your fridge door. The automatic ice machines use a huge amount of energy and making this switch could save you up to £15 per year
  17. Regularly defrost your fridge and freezer. You should never have more than ¼ of an inch of frost – any more than this and your appliance is having to work harder than it should and use more energy to do so
  18. Use small appliances for small jobs – cooking in the microwave can use up to 50% less energy than a conventional oven
  19. Glass cookware heats up more efficiently than metal or other options as they transfer heat more effectively
  20. Store drinking water in the fridge in a bottle or jug so you don’t have to keep running the tap until it is cold
  21. Use a steamer to steam your vegetables instead of boiling them. Not only does this massively reduce the energy required to cook them, but it also preserves a lot more of the nutrients making your vegetables even better for you!
  22. Use the fan setting on your oven – Circulated air transfers heat faster than air that isn’t moving
  23. Clean the coils on your fridge and freezer – keeping these free from dust and dirt can help them run more efficiently and reduce the cost required to run them – we advise doing this every six month
  24. Keep your oven and fridge doors closed whenever possible – can you make one trip to the fridge and get everything you need at once, instead of five trips?
  25. Switch to energy efficient bulbs in your light fixtures and lamps
  26. Don’t leave devices, televisions and appliances on standby – turn things off at the wall when they’re not in use
  27. Update your glazing – new double glazing will massively reduce heat loss from your windows
  28. Use a smart meter to track your energy usage so you stay on budget
  29. Consider investing in solar power – whether that solar lighting in your garden or solar panels on your roof – there are options for all budgets
  30. Reduce the time you spend in the shower – set yourself a timer to help keep your showers short and sweet

We’re always looking for more ways to help us reduce our environmental impact, so if you have ideas we’d love to hear them. Please email info@smilekitchens.com if you’d like to share your ideas with us.

If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to designing your dream, energy efficient kitchen then why not chat through it with one of our designers? Our design process is completely free and we’ll never pressure you to purchase. Our designers don’t work on commission so their focus will always be your needs and creating a design that is right for you.

Get your kitchen journey started today!

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