The appliance list has been a work in progress for some time now. It’s no easy task trying to balance affordability, modern design and energy efficiency when searching for appliances. In keeping with our direction to spend more of the budget on the pieces that are harder to replace and will have the most impact on the energy efficiency of the home, we have devoted a decent chunk of the budget (~5%) to the appliances. Whether this list will stay the same or suffer changes due to budget reductions, I can’t say. For now here is our list that we are submitting to MaGrann today along with our HERS form.
Clothes Washer / Dryer
LG All-in-One Washer/Dryer WM3431 [$1,375 - $1,475]
This washer/dryer unit is the same model that we have in our own flat. It’s compact, uses a normal 110V outlet and is ridiculously energy efficient. In my opinion, this beats all other options out there, hands down, for a small home that has energy efficiency high on it’s priority list. I also just realized today that it comes in a sweet titanium finish for an extra $100.
For all of those familiar with this model (or the similar Asko model), yes you must wash small loads and yes it takes 4 hours to complete a load. This has never been an issue for us as it requires only a slight modification to normal washing habits. Simply through a load in before you go to work or before you go to sleep and it will be done when you are home or conscious again.
Frigidaire 18.3 cubic feet GLHT184TJ [$650]
The fridge is the biggest energy hog in the kitchen and therefore required some careful consideration. I actually considered splurging on this item for a short period to reduce energy usage until I realized that the cheap, small units out there are more energy efficient than the fancy, high-tech larger units that claim huge energy savings. No, it’s not the squarest or prettiest thing out there, but it’s not bad. Being that this is the easiest appliance to replace helped in the decision to go with a small, budget model as well.
For comparison, the economy Frigidaire model here uses 383 kWH’s per year and a the vast majority of the side-by-side, large fridges that everyone loves start in the 550-600 kWH range. Even the very expensive Liebherr models that are thin and sexy are pulling 433 kWH’s at only 15 cubit feet.
GE 30″ Electric Induction Cooktop ZHU30RBMBB [$1,500]
I went back and forth between gas and electric induction cooktops for a long time. Now that we will be living in the home, I really want to try out an induction model and see what the wife thinks as well for future homes. I keep hearing great things about induction, including the fact that top chefs are switching to them now.
Some of the great features about induction are as follows:
- extremely energy efficient even compared to gas
- flexibility and low cost of install compared to gas
- 90 second boil with precise temperature control
- cool surface when on increases safety over gas and traditional electric
- no gas fumes makes a healthier chef and improves indoor air quality
- sleek worktop greatly simplifies cleaning and allows it to double as a counter surface when not in use
IKEA MUMSIG OBI [$599]
What do I like about this oven? It’s by far the cheapest built-in oven I could find and one of the few 24″ models available that would fit better in our small house. It also has great industrial design and packs a lot of features into a small package. The only downside is that it has an IKEA logo on it. Maybe we can just scratch that off. Don’t tell anyone at the open house.
Seriously, though. For the majority of homeowners, I think that the oven is going to be one of the least important appliances and would much rather spend the extra coin on the cooktop. Yes, I realize that we could save more by using a traditional oven/range combo, but that just wouldn’t be as cool and would sacrifice our current kitchen layout. The kitchen is the most important room in the house and I think it is worth it to spend a little extra to make it more interesting and unique in such a small and budget conscious house.
Bosch in a budget home? That’s crazy! Well, maybe, but my days really feel incomplete if I’m not told I’m crazy at least once… and I really like it.
A budget dishwasher would run us about $350 most likely so what do we get for almost double the price in our Bosh model? A couple things of note:
- Great industrial design with a full stainless front (I really hate the ones with the black, plastic control panel at the top)
- Extremely energy efficient (Bosch is the only manufacturer I know that allows you to basically drip dry the dishes rather than drying them with heat that sucks a lot of power)
- Very efficient use of water while still getting your dishes nice and clean
- All the bells and whistles that come with a $700 Bosch appliance
GE Profile Spacemaker II PEM31SMSS [$229]
The microwave is kind of an optional appliance for a developer to include but we will most likely throw it in because we will not be installing one of those large, above the stove microwaves that double as a range hood. I’d rather give the homeowner something small, efficient and stylish that fits the decor rather than force them to struggle with the decision of what microwave to use and where to put it. Unfortunately in our super-sized country, the smaller microwaves are more expensive than most big ones.