Appliances to Match Your European-Style Kitchen
There is a foreign and exciting quality to all things European, at least in the eyes of Americans. The charm and sophistication of European-style kitchens tend to be an object worth fawning over once you get to the states, where common tastes would lead you to the largest, ugliest and most inefficient options on the market.
Why is this, and how did this come to be? There’s a myriad of possible answers to this question, but perhaps the most all-encompassing reason behind the difference in European and American tastes will surprise you; in Europe, energy and space are more highly sought after.
America is known for its openness and copious living space as well as its immense sources of natural resources as well as the infrastructure to manipulate these resources. That means living spaces are larger and the energy used to power those living spaces is in higher supply for a lower price.
For this very reason, compact appliances rule the European domicile; there’s simply less space to begin with and more value in conserving what space there actually is. Thus the appreciation for small, compact, diminutive options that an American furnisher may overlook for the a larger appliance.
Energy efficiency is also much more appreciated in Europe than in the United States. Energy efficient dryers sell much better in Europe despite their tendency to hover about $300 higher than the standard dryer; electricity costs so much more in Europe that even the staggering upfront prices of their green appliances end up creating a payout along the line.
They also use something called heat pump dryers, which take twice as long to dry a load of laundry but also are twice as efficient as a standard clothes dryer. Again, the energy efficiency outweighs the time costs when your utilities bills are through the roof. Heat pump dryers may begin to make an appearance in U.S. markets and there are allegedly prototypes in the works. There is also some research being invested in microwave technology that would dry clothing similar to how electrical appliances heat food.
Europe is also known for being more environmentally conscious than the U.S., whose economic infrastructure has enough political lobbying power to slow the reaction to climate change. Because dryers in the U.S. use about 66 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of energy every year (which accounts for about six percent of the country’s entire energy usage), a lowly 10 percent increase in electric dryer efficiency would result in the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions by an astounding 7 million metric tons every year. These kinds of numbers would surely make waves in Europe, but unfortunately the American culture and political system has made it difficult for politicians to push for a green revolution.
That said, no matter where you are on the Earth, if you have access to a dry, hot day, you have access to the most energy efficient and compact clothes drying technology in the world: a clothes line allows you to dry all of your articles of clothing using only solar power and not a dime out of your wallet.