Many people are trying to go green nowadays, and you may have decided that it is your turn. If so, you probably decided to start with your home. Making energy-efficient changes around your home may not garner a swift response in savings. However, if you and your family stick to the changes, you will notice changes in your electric bill soon enough.
Below you will find three economical things that you can do to start living in a more energy-efficient home.
1. Switch to More Efficient Light Bulbs
With an average lifespan of 1,200 hours, traditional lights, known as incandescent bulbs, are not known for their energy efficiency. To create a more energy-efficient home, your first step is to switch out your bulbs for one of two types of more efficient bulbs: compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) or light-emitting diodes (LEDs).
Compared to incandescent bulbs, CFLs use approximately 70 percent less energy. These bulbs cost roughly $1 more per bulb, yet they can last significantly longer – up to 8,000 hours. However, CFLs can take a few seconds, or minutes, for the bulbs to fully warm up and reach their full brightness. If you need a lot of light as soon as the switch is flipped, these aren't the right bulbs for you.
LEDs, on the other hand, offer an instant and reliable source of light. These bulbs are known for lasting between 25,000 and 50,000 hours, though they are more expensive at about $8 per bulb. LEDs also remain cool to the touch, regardless of how long they have been turned on.
The different kinds of bulbs can give off different amounts of light, so consider what you value most in brightness, price, and longevity to help you make the best choice for your needs.
2. Turn Off Lights When They Aren't In Use
You know to turn off the water when you are brushing your teeth to conserve water, so you should generally do the same thing with the lights in your home. However, depending on the type of light bulb that is being used in that room, you may want to first consider the length of time that you'll be gone from that room first.
According to Energy.gov, if you plan on being out of the room for longer than 15 minutes, you should turn off CFL lights. For halogen and incandescent lights, turn them off regardless of how long you will be out of the room.
3. Install Dimmer Switches
Sometimes, you want lights that aren’t as bright. You need the light and it's too dark without the light on, but you don’t want bright light. Maybe you have a headache, or you would like to enjoy a candlelight dinner with your significant other. A dimmer control switch would come in handy in situations like these, and dimmer switches can help reduce energy usage at the same time.
Consider installing dimmer switches in certain rooms of the home, such as the dining room, kitchen, bathroom or living room. Dimmer switches can help improve a room’s aesthetic appeal and reduce energy consumption. However, dimmer switches work differently depending on the style of light bulb it is attached to.
When dimmed, halogen bulbs will utilize roughly less energy, though the bulbs will become less efficient over time. CFLs and LEDs will retain their efficiency when dimmed, but you must make sure that the bulbs are designed for dimming. Otherwise, you could create a fire hazard.
For more advice on making your home energy efficient or to learn more about having dimming control switches installed in your home, contact a member of our team at Richardson Ready Electric Incorporated.