Selecting the Right Appliances
Now that the home is certified, it’s time to catch up on some blog writing! I frequently get asked about the appliances. After extensive research, we opted to use Bosch kitchen and laundry appliances. Bosch was a logical choice because they manufacture energy efficient and well designed equipment. The one exception is the range hood, which Bosch had on back order and we couldn’t wait, so we chose a stainless steel Whirlpool model instead. Selecting appliances involves a number of factors, including energy efficiency, aesthetics, size, warranty, and cost.
For the Green on Gift home, all appliances obviously needed to be ENERGY STAR qualified. We also had space constraints for the refrigerator, which needed to be counter-depth, and stacking laundry, which needed to fit into a specially constructed laundry closet in the bathroom. One of the overarching project goals was to balance energy efficiency and home performance with usability. For instance, we wanted to try out condensing clothes dryer technology, which is not terribly common in the United States and functions without an external vent. Conveniently, Bosch is a leader in condensing clothes dryers, and they also stepped up as a project sponsor.
There is no shortage of stainless steel kitchen appliance options, either, so it was relatively simple to achieve a sleek, modern aesthetic with features such as a lower-door freezer and filtered water dispenser. One take-away, however, is that it’s worth the splurge to have appliance installed by a Bosch expert if you don’t have time to memorize the handbook from front to back.
The photos below show the kitchen post-renovation.
Here is the new laundry in what used to be an enclosed porch.
I was already familiar with Bosch because they are a sponsor of the EarthCraft green building program and have a very cool demonstration home in Serenbe, an EarthCraft Community. The Bosch Experience Center is a zero-energy home that is used to educate the public and contractors about sustainable technologies. It also doubles as an event space for everything from business meetings to cooking demonstrations.
Stay tuned for a detailed review of the condensing dryer!