In our last post we looked at the design of the kitchen in the EkoModel Home; this week we’re sharing the decisions we made when choosing appliances.
In recent years awareness has really gained traction when it comes to the energy efficiency of kitchen and other home appliances.
As a result, there were quite a few good contenders when we started our research.
Passive house has benchmarks designed to keep appliance energy use kept to a reasonable minimum. These benchmarks include:
Refrigerator: 350 kWh per year
Dishwasher: 290 kWh per year
Clothes washer: 160 kWh per year
Range and clothes dryer: no benchmarks are provided for these items since energy consumption depends on how much they are used
We assessed energy performance ratings using ENERGY STAR and EnerGuide. Here’s where we landed:
Range: induction style
Induction ranges are super efficient as they boil water and heat up much more quickly than conventional models, saving energy across the board. Unlike gas models which rely on a non-renewable source of energy, induction units use electricity.
Additionally, for the extractor hood, we selected a recirculating style vent that works well with the requirement to minimize air leakage in a passive house. There are a number of recirculating vents on the market and most hood vents can be installed in recirculating mode. We chose the IKEA GODMODIG – it has a charcoal filter which takes care of odours and grease. The grease filter can easily be cleaned in a dishwasher.
Refrigerator: 350 kWh/yr
Refrigerator research was interesting because we found only ‘top-freezer’ models were rated at the 350 kWh/year benchmark. Most other fridge styles, including bottom mount freezer models, consume closer to 550 kWh per year.
We went with the Whirlpool WRT541SZDM, with standard 33″ width.
Dishwasher: less than 290 kWh/yr
We found there were many options for the dishwasher, with most new units performing below the benchmark. Our selected dishwasher is rated at 259 kWh/year.
Bosch 300 Series SHE53T55UC
While we were deep in appliance research, we also made choices for the laundry room. These two units are stackable or can sit side by side:
Clothes washer: less than 160 kWh/yr
We again found there were many options for the clothes washer, with most new units performing below the benchmark. Our clothes washer is rated at 90 kWh/yr, a true ‘energy star’.
In a Passive House the dryer must be a ventless one so that the building’s air tightness isn’t compromised. We found a good model that doesn’t need to vent to the outside.
Bosch 800 Series WTG86402UC
Taking the time to choose super energy efficient appliances is an investment that will pay off in reduced energy bills, something we all like to see.