|Kitchen Trends: Appliances
Top 5 Trends
Energy Star appliances
The general public has lost patience with anything less than energy-efficient appliances; environmentally-friendly has gone mainstream. With government incentives such as Energy Star, it is now less confusing for the consumer, with green options taking center stage.
Appliances which have earned Energy Star status are 10 to 50 percent more efficient than standard models. The savings in energy and water reap long-term financial and environmental rewards, even if the initial purchase cost is higher.
“Induction is called the ‘new fuel,’ the next generation for cook-tops. Induction uses magnetic fields, enabling zero loss of heat in the transfer from the element to the pan, making it much more energy-efficient,” Kevin Murray, director of marketing of Purcell Murray Company, a distributor of premium kitchen and bath products says. Magnetic pans are required and the cooktop never gets hot.
Induction gives cooks more control over the heat. “You can boil water almost twice as fast with induction as you can with the highest BTU gas range,” Michael Borrelli says.
Tankless water heaters are another advance in energy-efficiency. A flow-through system takes the place of the big traditional cylinder. Water doesn’t heat until it flows through a small box; it’s an on-demand system. This saves energy because the entire canister does not need to maintain heat.
Kevin says, “Traditional appliance sizes are still available, but now you have the option of modular units which work well for point-of-use design. You can have a 24-inch food refrigerator column for your produce or an 18-inch column for wine, or a freezer drawer just for popsicles for the kids.” The microwave drawer from Sharp is very popular. Built-in coffee machines are also more standard.
Michael notes that modular units are used in kosher kitchens as well, separating dairy and meat. Small drawer-style dishwashers are also now available for smaller washing needs.
Stainless steel appliances continue to be a big seller. But color is definitely coming back. Bertazzoni offers oven ranges in bright red, blue or yellow, which, according to Kevin, comprise a large percentage of sales.