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Switching to Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs

Have you been using incandescent bulbs in your home? If you haven’t made the switch to energy-efficient light bulbs yet, don’t worry. Most everyone seems overwhelmed just looking at the light bulb aisle these days. Good news: Picking the brightest, most efficient bulb is actually pretty easy. Follow these tips to get started.

Should you switch to energy-efficient light bulbs now, or wait until your old incandescent bulbs burn out?Does Switching to Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs Make a Difference?

Just swapping out 15 incandescent bulbs in your home could save you up to $50 a year, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. That’s because a standard incandescent is only 10 percent efficient, the agency says; the other 90 percent of the electricity it uses is lost as heat.

CFLs, LEDs and Halogens (also called “energy-efficient incandescents”) are the three major categories of energy-efficient light bulbs, and they are commonly found in home improvement stores.

Compact fluorescent lamps, or CFLs, are 75 percent more energy efficient than conventional incandescent bulbs and they last 10 times longer. CFLs are just like the fluorescent “shop lights” you may already have in your garage – they’re just a different shape. Not all CFLs are dimmable, so if that’s a feature you’re looking for, be sure to check the package. CFLs contain a small amount of mercury, so they need to be recycled properly to prevent the release of mercury into the environment.

LEDs are 75 percent more energy efficient than conventional incandescent bulbs and they last up to 25 times longer. Unlike CFL bulbs, which take time to “warm up” when they switch on, LEDs turn on instantly. But, as with CFLs, you’ll need to check the package if you’re looking for a dimmable option. LEDs are expensive relative to incandescents, but the Department of Energy says “they still save money because they last a long time and have very low energy use.”

Halogens are 25 percent more energy efficient than conventional incandescents, and can last up to three times longer. These bulbs come in multiple shapes and sizes and many can be used with dimmers. Halogens don’t have a “warm up” time; they’re at full brightness the instant you turn them on.

Comparing Brightness of Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs

With incandescents, we are all used to shopping by “watts,” which is a measure of energy consumption. But wattage only tells us how much energy the bulb uses, not how much light it gives off. Now, the Department of Energy says, you’ll have to shift your focus from watts to lumens, which is a measure of light output.

More lumens indicate more light. For example, your bedside lamp at home may currently use 60-watt incandescent bulbs. This means that the fixture provides a light output of about 800 lumens with an incandescent. You can enjoy this same light output (800 lumens) with a CFL that uses less than 15 watts. (Note: Bulb labels will still note the wattage, but you should compare them based on the lumens to get your desired brightness.)

When Should You Replace Old Bulbs With Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs?

No need to wait. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, it makes sense to replace your incandescent light bulbs now because you can begin enjoying the energy savings right away. You might save your old incandescent bulbs for use in a closet, the Energy Department says, where they would only be used for minutes at a time.

There are some incandescent bulbs that are exempt from the new restrictions (they include appliance lights, black lights, bug lamps, and 3-way incandescents).

The Department of Energy has more information on Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs at their website.

If you have any questions about making your home more energy-efficient give Brown and Reaves Services, Inc. a call at 843-497-9867. Remember to grab our 20% off coupon on your next service call by Liking us on Facebook.

Make Your Home More Energy Efficient

We all want to make our home more energy efficient, but breaking our old habits are sometimes the hardest part of living an eco-friendly lifestyle.

Everyone knows that turning off lights, replacing old incandescent light bulbs with more energy efficient fluorescent lighting, and adjusting the thermostat, goes a long ways toward saving energy. Here are some easy tips to help you make your home more energy efficient, especially as we head into heating season and the holidays.

Energy Efficient Electronics

When we buy energy efficient electronics or appliances we are saving on our electric costs as well as using less energy which saves our resources.  Televisions with LED back-lit panels reduce energy needs and therefore costs. Televisions are a major energy hog, so when it comes time to replace one, try to purchase one made without lead or mercury, both of which are harmful to the environment.  Before buying any electronics, visit the manufacturers website to see if they support eco-sustainability and recycling programs.

Energy Efficient Appliances

Energy efficient appliance carry the Energy Star seal.When the time comes to replace an appliance, it will be hard for you not to choose an energy efficient model, since practically all newer model appliances carry the Energy Star approval. Energy efficient refrigerators use 20% less electricity and keep your food just as cold as regular refrigerators thanks to the use of more efficient insulation. Energy efficient range hoods use 65% less electricity than a regular range hood. Energy efficient dishwashers use 10% less energy and can save up to 4900 liters of water.  Be sure to check for the Energy Star approval before you buy your next appliance.

Eco-Friendly Decorating Tips

If you’re planning to do some re-decorating, consider recycled paints, low or zero volatile organic compound paints, or milk paints. Volatile organic compounds are harmful compounds that are released into the air when normal paint dries and they can cause a variety of personal injuries such as headaches, nose bleeds, and even kidney damage. Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams both produce Low (or No) VOC paints. Milk paint is produced from milk proteins, clay and limestone.  They are non toxic and eco-friendly. Homestead House produces Milk Paints.

We’ve posted other “energy efficient” tips on our site.  Find them here.

Remember to grab our 20% off coupon on your next service call by Liking us on Facebook.

Have a More Energy Efficient Myrtle Beach Home

Check out these tips to help you have a more energy efficient Myrtle Beach home:

Have a More Energy Efficient Myrtle Beach Home with Eco-Friendly Appliances

Many different Eco-friendly appliances are available these days, such as range hoods and ventilation fans for your stove. Refrigerators, dishwashers and even waters coolers are available to help you have a more energy efficient Myrtle Beach home. Energy efficient range hoods use 65% less electricity than a regular range hood.

Energy efficient refrigerators use 20% less electricity and keep your groceries just as cold as regular refrigerators. This is thanks to the use of more efficient insulation. It’s also cheaper to make your own ice instead of using an automatic ice maker in the door of your refrigerator.

An improved cooling system makes Eco-friendly water coolers use 45% less energy than regular hot/cold water coolers. Energy efficient dishwashers use 10% less energy and can save up to 4900 liters of water. Be sure to check for the Energy Star seal of approval before you buy your next appliance.

 

Have a More Energy Efficient Myrtle Beach Home with Eco-Friendly Electronics

Energy Star Logo

One way to have a more energy efficient Myrtle Beach home is by buying televisions that are certified by Energy Star. The Energy Star seal means they are more energy efficient. When we buy energy efficient electronics or appliances we are saving on our hydro costs as well as using less energy which saves our resources. Televisions with LED back-lit panels reduce energy needs and therefore costs. It’s nice to know that Sony recycles all of their electronics. We should also try to purchase televisions made without lead or mercury, which are both harmful materials. Before buying any electronics, visit the manufacturer’s website to see if they support eco-sustainability and recycling programs.

 

Have a More Energy Efficient Myrtle Beach Home with Eco-Friendly Furniture

Believe it or not, you can now buy everything from Eco-friendly sofas to energy efficient televisions. Eco-friendly sofas are made from fiberboard instead of harmful wood or metals. The cushions can be filled with recycled foam, soy foam, or latex foam which are all eco-friendly and light-weight materials. Lighter weight materials make it easier for transportation.

There are many ways you can have a more energy efficient Myrtle Beach home. These are just a few of our suggestions.

Here are 5 Energy Efficient Renovations Homeowners Should Consider

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