Common Cottage Eco Experience at the Minnesota State Fair

Again this year, Warners’ Stellian appliances among other eco-friendly home ideas in the Eco Experience Common Cottage exhibit at the Minnesota State Fair.

Sure the house has a smart design and is constructed from reused and reclaimed materials, but you can also learn tips to improve the house you have: increase the energy efficiency of your home with an energy audit, incorporate composting and recycling systems, improve indoor air quality and install eco-friendly kitchen surfaces and appliances.

And if that doesn’t get you going, there are backyard chickens on the patio, covered by part of the now-defunct Metrodome roof (and a super pretty natural gas grill from Warners’ Stellian).

If you’re intersted in improving the energy efficiency of your home, you’ll be introduced to the best resources for financing your energy improvements, from loans, rebates, tax credits, or grants.

My camera ran out of batteries before I could take pictures of the STUNNING kitchen, with its blue-green colored reclaimed cabinets and recycled glass counter tops, but I can show you the smart and sexy appliances we chose to showcase this year:

Liebherr refrigerator

The architects on this project specifically requested Liebherr, and we couldn’t have agreed more. Liebherr goes beyond being super energy efficient (27% over federal standards) to become the most sustainable refrigerators; its refrigerators are manufactured in the greenest way out there. Plus, its two compressors ensure premium food preservation. Basically, your fresh (local?) foods will last way longer because the dry air from the freezer won’t disturb the humidity in the refrigerator.

Electrolux induction range

Elements on this Electrolux induction range automatically detect the presence of magnetic cookware, activate the induction field and adjust it to the exact size of the pan. This means that no energy is wasted heating anything else but the cookware holding your food. Induction is 20% more efficient than electric and 70% more efficient than gas, though it boasts the same power and responsiveness that cooks love.

Bosch dishwasher

Not only is it whisper quiet, this Bosch dishwasher uses only 2.4 gallons of water per wash; the average kitchen faucet flows about 4 to 7 gallons per minute!

LG washer/dryer combination

 

This ventless LG washer / dryer combo takes up less space and washes and dry in one appliance. Plus the washer is Energy Star rated, meaning it uses less energy and water to do its job.

What Is An Induction Cooktop?

Gas or electric? Home cooks everywhere debate this age old question. They like the speed of electric, but the control and responsiveness of gas. But what if you could get all the good qualities of gas and electric cooking in one? Well you can. It’s called induction.

How Does Induction Work?

Instead of using an electric or gas-heated element, induction cooktops use electric currents to heat pots and pans directly through magnetic induction. If you want to get more technical, the electric current passes through a coiled copper wire under the cooking surface, creating the magnetic current. This only works with magnetic cookware, such as cast iron or stainless steel. To know if your cookware would work with induction, try sticking a magnet to the bottom.

Induction Cooktop Benefits

What do you lose with induction? All the wasteful energy loss. Cooking with induction is 70% more efficient than gas and 20% more efficient than electric. Because the heat is direct, your pots and pans heat up quicker. In fact, boiling is 50 percent faster with induction than electric cooktops. Home cooks appreciate the precise temperature control induction provides.

Cleanup is easier  because spills don’t burn onto the surface. You can stick a hundred-dollar bill between an induction burner element and a pot of boiling water without worry. This also makes induction cooktops popular choices for kid- and pet-safe kitchens.

Due to its recent rise in popularity (induction has been around since the ’70s but only took off recently), brands now make induction ranges in addition to induction cooktops. We can’t wait to see more people delight in the ability to cook like they’re using gas without the cost and hassle of switching from electric.

Featured image via Frigidaire