Thursday, November 3, 2011

If It Is Thursday It's Going Green - Cut Cost of Electricity


As the seasons change this is a great time to replace regular incandescent bulbs and fixtures with Energy Star–qualified compact fluorescent lights (CFLs), available at most hardware stores. CFLs cast a warmer glow than the cold, harsh fluoros of old. They cost more than regular bulbs, but they use 70 percent less energy; last longer (10,000 hours, compared with 750), and look just as good.

Use task lighting. Turn off lights when you leave a room.

CAUTION: If you have a torchière-style halogen lamp anywhere, get rid of it. It probably runs a 300-watt bulb and heats up to about 970 degrees. It can also be a fire hazard.

Install dimmers on all bulbs to save energy and extend their life. Timers work well for front door and security-related lights; sensors, which turn on lights only when needed, are ideal for outdoors. Solar-powered outdoor lights ( has a wide selection) are an energy-free option.

SOLAR POWER: Don’t underestimate the power of daylight. Use skylights and well-placed mirrors to reflect natural light and help reduce lighting costs.

Take advantage of free solar power. You can reduce your heating bills by up to 10 percent.

Open your curtains and shades during the day to let the sun in so you can turn off lights. Open window coverings also bring free warmth into the house on sunny winter days. Cut heat loss by closing curtains and shades at night.

Think your electronics and appliances are turned off? Probably not. Hair dryers, phone chargers, TVs and other devices use energy for display clocks and memory chips all the time.

This hidden energy drains account for 5 percent of total domestic energy consumption and sends 18 million tons of CO2 into the atmosphere each year. Unplug them—or make it easier on yourself by connecting them to a surge protector and flipping the switch.

By making some of these small changes you can save on your utility bills and help the environment.

Don’t forget, together we can make a difference.

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