Many homeowners in America today are aware of steps that can be taken to reduce normal household expenses. Everyday things, like sealing windows and doors, or properly insulating attic spaces, can yield high returns on your investment dollar. However, one of the most overlooked ways to save money is by changing light bulbs.
Sure, we’ve all heard for years about switching to CFLs and how changing a light bulb can save up to $ 67.00 in energy. Also, many of us have gone to a store, bought some and started saving energy. We have prided ourselves on getting rid of old incandescent bulbs as part of our personal efforts to save the planet, but have we done our best? Chances are, you haven’t even touched the tip of the energy-saving ladder.
We recently conducted a household survey of more than 500 households in South Florida. Our intention was to find out what is the average household use of compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs). Our results were astonishing and, to say the least, surprising. In our survey of medium-size households, we found that only one in four (1: 4) households used CFLs. Also, we discovered that not a single owner had swapped all of their incandescent bulbs for CFL bulbs.
In this study, an introductory question was asked of homeowners. How many bulbs are there in your house? By counting and averaging the results of the question, the average American homeowner’s estimate was twenty-one incandescents per household. As part of our survey for the American home, each homeowner was walked room by room and around the exterior of the home, counting each light. No one person could guess or identify the true average of their home. The average number of light bulbs per home was a whopping forty-seven, energy-wasting lamps.
According to our estimates, more than 90% of residential electricity consumers are not reaching their potential savings. If we calculate the energy savings that can be achieved by changing or replacing traditional incandescents or halogens in a home at a rate of $ 67.00 each, then the total achievable savings per household would be $ 3,149.00.
Each home may vary in size, design, and number of fixtures or portable lamps, but here are the areas most commonly missed in our survey and why you should choose to use them:
- Outdoor: Porch lights and motion activated security lights can provide great energy savings when switched to an energy saving lamp. Make sure the product you purchase is qualified for use with switching devices.
- Torchiere lamps: Consider replacing double ended halogen fixtures with lamps that use a traditional screw base.
- Wardrove: Using CFL bulbs in closets can help color matching clothes because they provide better color reproduction and make it easier to sort blacks and dark blues.
- Garage: Because CFLs have higher color temperatures, such as daylight, this makes it easier to perform tasks in traditionally poorly lit areas. Don’t forget the light bulb inside the garage door opener.
- Laundry room: Using fluorescents or compacts in this area makes better use of task lighting for pre-treating clothing and sorting stained items.
- Refrigerator: Although this light doesn’t stay on for long, LED bulbs can save up to $ 30.00 and keep food fresher.
- Hallways: Although many people don’t use them often, replacing bulbs in this area is helpful when you need them.
- Bathrooms: Newer CFLs do not have long warm-up times like older lamps. Using them in this area can dramatically reduce electricity while providing a better quality of light for tasks like makeup and grooming.
Try the household survey yourself. Make a chart of each type of light bulbs found inside and outside your home or condo. Indicate what wattages and base types are required, and then search for the energy-saving products that are available and simply add up your savings. Not only will it surprise you, but you’ll also be able to afford that new energy efficient dishwasher you had your eye on.