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Cost-Saving Appliances | Day 134 | The Garden Home Challenge With P. Allen Smith

**Cost-Saving Appliances | Day 134 | The Garden Home Challenge With P. Allen Smith**



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With building an eco-friendly home, Allen’s first criteria for choosing appliances is energy efficiency. Well, having everything look great is a really close second!

In the Garden Home Challenge, planning, design and craftsmanship converge when designer and lifestyle expert P. Allen Smith and his colleagues build an environmentally friendly designer home for $150,000 in 150 days on his Moss Mountain Farm in Arkansas. Check back or subscribe for new episodes to track Allen’s progress, get to know his team and see what it takes to build a beautiful home from start to finish.

Have any questions for P. Allen Smith during the Challenge? He’ll be answering your questions via regular video updates, so leave your comments and questions below!

More from Allen:

P. Allen Smith is an award-winning designer and lifestyle expert and host of two public television programs, P. Allen Smith’s Garden Home, P. Allen Smith’s Garden to Table and the syndicated 30-minute show P. Allen Smith Gardens. Smith is one of America’s most recognized and respected design experts, providing ideas and inspiration through multiple media venues. He is the author of the best-selling Garden Home series of books published by Clarkson Potter/Random House, including Bringing the Garden Indoors: Container, Crafts and Bouquets for Every Room and P. Allen Smith’s Seasonal Recipes from the Garden. Allen is also very active on social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, Allen’s Blog and YouTube as well as on the new eHow Home channel debuting January 2012. His design and lifestyle advice is featured in several national magazines. Learn more at
Hey, the air conditioning is on, but it's
not the only thing that's cooling this house. Let me show you what I mean. They say an eco-friendly house can't be built
in 150 days for $150,000, and I say it can. I'm Allen Smith, join me as I push the limits
with time, budget and creativity with the Garden Home Challenge, exclusively on eHow
Home. You know, choosing appliances can be a daunting
exercise. But in this case, it was actually easy, because
we were looking for a few things. We wanted the aesthetics to flow with what
we had going on here. With this galvanized ceiling, I wanted stainless
appliances all the way around. So that narrowed it down for me. We also wanted appliances that were Energy
Star rated. Now what I mean by that: You can find appliances
that are actually engineered where they'll use less energy. You see, energy efficiency is based on the
kilowatt hours an appliance uses throughout a year. If you get one that has been designed to be
energy efficient, what you can do is save 15 to 20 percent on the fuel or energy costs
that it takes to run this. Okay, you may say: "Appliances, 15 to 20 percent
— that's not much of a savings." But you gotta look at it from a big picture
standpoint. First of all, we've got energy efficiency
going on throughout the entire house, the way it's heated and cooled. The insulation, that adds to it. Plus, what we're using in our light fixtures
— the light bulbs themselves, energy efficient. Now the appliances, energy efficient. You see, it all adds up. And you think about the amount of energy you're
using and paying for over an entire year, you're talkin' about saving some money here. Let me give you something to think about when
you're selecting appliances: It's an aesthetic thing, a little thing, but I think it makes
a difference. For instance, you can have appliances that
are made by the same manufacturer, but the handles on them are going to be very different. So when I chose these appliances, I wanted
to make sure the handle on the refrigerator is the same as the handle on the dishwasher,
which is the same handle we see over here on the range. Then, of course, we see it up here on the
microwave. Now when it come to cleaning stainless steel,
the way to get these smudge marks off is to just use some warm soap and water. Just wipe with the grain of the stainless
steel. Yes, stainless steel has a grain — you can
see, it's running up and down here. You wanna wipe and rub in the same direction
as the grain. The other thing is, if you really want it
to shine, you can put a thin coat — again, by just wiping it on — of mineral oil. That'll give it a nice shine. Do not use a glass cleaner or Windex on your
stainless steel — that's not a good idea. If you're enjoying these tips on the house
and how it's moving along, check in with us regularly. And make sure you subscribe to eHow Home.