Everybody seems to be trying to save more and more money these days. Whether it’s trying to stay in for dinner more often, collecting coupons for the grocery store, finding discounts on everyday needs, or generally trying to consume less, saving money is on most households agendas. One thing that we seem to hear about more often now is saving money on utilities every month. We’ve all heard that changing your appliances to more efficient and updated units can greatly decrease your utilities bills. For many however, finding the money to pay for updated appliances can be out of the question because of their initial cost. There is another, less expensive way to cut your utility bill. That of course is lighting your home. Many people are skeptical though, as it can be hard to really know how much you save when changing your light bulbs to more efficient, updated ones. Here are some of the facts behind changing your lighting to help you get a grasp on how much you actually will save.
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What type of bulb is the most energy efficient?
We have all grown up and are familiar with the incandescent light bulb. The energy sucking bulb is now obsolete and even the government is taking steps to eliminate the bulb from American households. We are more commonly hearing about CFL bulbs and LED lights. Which ones better? Energy star rated light bulbs are compared based on how much light a bulb emits based on how much energy it uses. LED lights are the most energy efficient light bulb emitting 90 to 120 lumens per 1 watt of electricity. Compare that to the CFL’s 40-70 lumens per one watt and it is obvious that the LED is the more efficient bulb.
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Is the Price worth it?
Although LED’s are more efficient, they are also more expensive than CFL’s and many claim that the light LED’s emit is not as comfortable as CFL’s. If this is the case, than CFL’s will work just fine and will still save you an average of $5000-$8,000 in a ten year span. CFL’s have a lifespan of roughly ten years so you should plan on replacing them after that span of time. LED’s are going to be about double the price of a CFL bulb. They are a better investment with time however, given that LED’s have a lifespan of 40 to 50 years. And given the efficiency of an LED, in ten years you should expect to save $10,000-$15,000 in ten years, and after that ten years you won’t have to worry about changing your LED light bulbs.
With the seasons changing, our minds turn to the cost of our energy bills. It’s no wonder. Shorter days mean we have the lights on for longer. Cold weather means turning the heating on. Whatever way you look at it, winter can be expensive. What better time of year to turn our attention to long-term ways to cut down on our energy costs? With a little time and effort, it’s possible to cut down a significant chunk of the amount we spend on energy. Here’s how!
Turn Things Off
I know you hear this all the time, but it works! Turning lights off when you’re not in rooms makes a significant difference. Switching appliances off at the plugs is worth the effort too. It’s shocking how much of the energy in our homes gets used unnecessarily. It’s also worth practicing leniency when turning things on in the first place. Do you need the main light on, or can you settle for a lamp beside you? Do you need the heating, or can you put a jumper on? Taking the time to consider the energy you’re using will open your eyes to how much less you could get away with.
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Compare Energy Prices
It’s possible you won’t have to cut down on anything to save yourself a little money. Comparison sites show how much cheaper your energy could be elsewhere. Energy prices change all the time. It’s worth checking comparison sites often to see that you’re getting the best deal. You could always use this as a haggling tool with another energy company, too. Find out who they are and what deal they offer, then give them a ring with details of your current provider. Quite often, companies will match or beat your current bills. Don’t be afraid of putting yourself out there!
Look at Different Types of Energy
If you’ve had enough of dealing with the energy giants, why not take matters into your own hands? Producing your energy is excellent for the environment, and for your bank balance. The main choices you have here are solar or wind power. Both have their benefits. If your garden is south facing, solar energy may be the way to go. If not, why not consider a small wind turbine for your home? You could even go for a hybrid model that provides both solar and wind energy to fuel your home. There are installation costs involved with these. They will soon start paying for themselves. Solar panel experts can install the system into your home for you, so you don’t need to worry.
Following all these steps together would save you an enormous amount of money. If you can’t stretch to all of them, just following one or two will make a significant difference to your energy bill. If the saving itself isn’t enough incentive to change, think of the environment. Fossil fuels are bad for the environment in many ways. Cutting down, or finding alternate energy, will make such a difference!