Greening Your HVAC System
Remodeling projects present a perfect opportunity to check up on the performance of your HVAC system. This is the time to increase the airflow to the kitchen register or add another while walls or floors are open. It is also an opportunity to install radiant flooring that is connected to your water heater.
Any leakage in any exposed ductwork should be sealed with low-VOC duct mastic. Contrary to popular opinion, duct tape should never be used on duct work.
Consider Radiant Floor Heating
If you are putting in new flooring or there is an unfinished basement in the floor below, you might also consider radiant hot water floor heating that uses water in tubes under the floor to deliver heat to the room. People love radiant hot water heating because it makes cold kitchen floors warmer and because it heats objects instead of air—efficiently making you more comfortable. If the kitchen is close to the water heater check with your plumber to see if he can add a pipe run to the kitchen floor on a separate thermostat.
Note: Interestingly, the more your water heater is used the longer it lasts.
Ventilate Moisture and Gases Out of the Kitchen
Given all the moisture created by cooking, ventilation should be a top priority. A range hood directly over the stove will move moisture and combustion gasses outside the house. The noise of range hood fans is measured in sones. Choose a fan that emits less than 3.5.
See Chapter 6, The Kitchen in the book Green Remodeling for more details.
Review Our Green Kitchen Remodel Best Practices
Install a Heat Recovery Ventilator
We highly recommend installing a heat recovery ventilator, or HRV, to ventilate the entire house, not just the kitchen. HRVs efficiently transfer heat from the outgoing exhaust from the range hood to warm incoming fresh air that is distributed around the house. This will only make sense if you are doing a larger remodel that requires changing your heating and cooling equipment.